Thursday, January 7, 2010

Man, this budget shit is hard

So, I forgot about a bill - Porgie's dance lessons. An extra $50 came out of our checking account yesterday morning. DAMN IT! We have no money left. None. Actually, that is a lie. We have $4.82. John and I discussed our options. If we were sane and rational people, we would just transfer money from our savings account. Be we are not sane and rational people, so we are just going to tough it out.

In order to achieve our lofty goal, we are not going to the grocery store next week. When John first suggested this, I looked at him like he had 3 heads. No grocery store? What will we eat? But then I actually looked in our cupboard. We have plenty of food. We will be fine. I already have the entire menu for next week completely planned out. The only flaw to our plan is milk. We have to go to the store to buy the kids milk. But I have $10 in my wallet, so we should be golden.

Now I have to accomplish the seemingly impossible - go to Target without spending money frivolously.


Jenny said...

Way to stick with it! I went to target for diapers yesterday and came out with more than I needed! That damn dollar section when you first walk in is the worst.

Good Luck!

Midwest Mommy said...

It is possible, we skipped the grocery store one week to see if we could do it and we did. It's amazing how creative you can be with what you have.

Carrie said...

Leave the target alone. Don't tempt yourself. Make the hubby go get milk. It's safer that way.

Just Jiff said...

Awesome! You'll be able to not blow the money you don't have since you just have a $10 bill and need milk.

My suggestion is to go in without anything other than your driver's license and your $10 bill. Or go to a gas station instead of Target. It's more expensive, but at least there is no temptation. :)

Eva said...

Oh wow, it's like Survivor!

Clare said...

amazing!! i hope you can keep it up!

Mama Kalila said...

Ouch! Sorry... Hopefully the time will fly by for ya though.

Jeninacide said...

I actually learned this lesson last year when we went through a super tight stage. I realized that we had been stocking food as if we were waiting for the Apocolypse or something. I probably have enough food in my house to feed my family for a week or more without going to the store if I wanted. Do I ever do that though? NOT UNLESS I HAVE TO.

amanda said...


(although i am dying to hear how the target trip went. as your fellow budget buddy - i can't even imagine!)

misguided mommy said...

Okay so. I'm just dying to ask. WHY ON EARTH DO YOU NEED TO GO TO TARGET?

Seriously explain it. I mean is there a reason, do you actually NEED something there every day or do you just go to go?

Really can someone please explain the target infatuation with me.

In other news I asked a very important question on my blog come answer it.

misguided mommy said...

oh wait i had more to say. budgeting is a huge bitch. HUGE. there are always things, an unknown visit to the pediatrician, and oil change, running out of milk faster then normal, CAR REGISTRATION etc.

One of the things hubs and I did when we started our budget was read the Dave Ramsey book (I swear that guy should pay me for all the times I talk about his book.) I also read online and learned about his envelope system and suddenly everything clicked. There was a way to be prepared for those little emergencies with out using savings. I made an envelope for registration, kids clothing, and incidentals. In the incidental one I include medication, unknown dr bills, extra milk etc.

Another thing Dave has you do is a monthly cash flow planning chart

I fucking love it.

I had to make mine on an excel sheet so it did the math for me, but the gist of it is SPEND EVERY SINGLE PENNY YOU EARN. that doesn't mean blow it, it means account for it. So every month I sit down and start a new excel sheet. I have four things that are always listed

Since I get paid weekly and my husband every two weeks my sheet is split up by week. Some people do theirs as one whole thing, i'm not smart enough for that. Anyway I start with what I know

First is income. every week I know I start with X amount the following starts with XX mine plus hubs

Every week I account for
groceries $100.00
emg groceries $50.00
Gas $20.00 (my work pays for mine or it would be more)
daycare $153.00

Then I list bills due that week, for instance, power, water, car.

I have the excel sheet keep a total at the bottom. So after paying the above things let say I have 500.00 left over on a week my husband gets paid. so then I will add other lines

incidentals 20
boys savings 40
shannon and rob fun account 20
registration 40
clothing 20

then whatever is left goes to savings i usually leave myself about 20.00 in padding in the account.

i adjust as necessary. for instance if i know i have a large medical bill due i will put thatin, in place of registration, clothing etc so it gets paid off as soon as possible.

this all sounds so confusing but if you click that link it really makes a lot of sense. basically by the end of each week i know where every dollar is going and i know that i will safely be fine every week.

I keep the emg grocery category for stuff like, extra eggs, or a sudden birthday party at school that requires other ingredient, friends that suddenly show up and i need more food, or to cover something that maybe went bad, lettuce or tomatoes whatever.

i know it sounds like a lot of work but, maybe give it a try just for a month. it helps so much to budget in real numbers instead of estimation.

when i budget in power i wait until the bill comes and budget that exact amount that way i don't over budget or under budget.

finally and i swear i'm done after this, there is a debt snowball which i know would be usefull for you here is what you do

list all of your credit cards from lowest balance to highest. pay minimum on all highest and the most you have available on your lowest card so you can pay it off right away. then take the pmt amount you used on that one and apply it directly to the next lowest card that way you pay it off faster. when you pay that off you apply that payment to the minimum you were paying and before you know it your are paying your largest card a very high pmt and it gets paid down faster.

try it, works amazing