Living By A Budget
No one likes to budget, except me. I really honestly do enjoy writing down all the numbers and keeping track of every penny. However, as much as I love it, my hubby hates it. This makes it hard for both of us to be on the same page. I am a saver so naturally he is the spender. He thinks we are doing just fine as we have some money in the bank, I think we are behind, as we didn’t put anything into our retirement last year. We are young but that is no excuse, which is how we are going to get ahead, by starting young.
Excuses Excuses Excuses!!!
Nope, I have heard them all, don’t even try and tell me that you couldn’t find a pencil in the truck to write down how much your McDonalds purchase was, you have a phone take a picture or text it to me.
Like I said my husband is not always on board with my new finagled budgeting system, but it is in constant flex as his schedule changes and so does our lifestyle. He sometimes has to eat out 3 times a day, as being a truck driver doesn’t lend itself very nicely to packing a lunch. I think there are ways we could make it work, but sweet hubby doesn’t think so.
Our Plan A, B, C, D, E, F AND G .
Currently what is working for us is keeping separate credit cards. One card for necessary purchases, such as groceries or toiletries. Then two more, one for my husband and one for me to purchase things for ourselves; this would be considered our play money. My husband has a fast food budget that he needs to stay under each month or I give him my squinty eye look and don’t make him rice crispy treats for a month! I normally talk my way out of overindulging in a month and my husband doesn’t really care. It is me that freaks out over the budget so I just have to cut back the next month.
This way with three separate accounts I can see exactly how much we are each spending and on what items. Before I got married I would go through my credit card purchases highlighting the different categories and add up how much I spent on each category.
It became too much once we had a family to do it this way. So now I know how much my husbands total for the month must be and if he is over, I tell him that we have to subtract it from his next month’s spending. For the household credit card I do quickly go through that statement with a few different highlighters and add up how much we spent in each category just so I know.
Here’s What I do
Open the credit card statement
Gather my supplies: 4 highlighters, calculator, and a ruler to draw straight lines from the purchase to the amount.
Then I go through the statement line by line and pic the correct color to identify it’s category. Here are our categories…
Once they are all highlighted I go with my calculator and add up all the green amounts, then I write on the top of the page gas=249.94. I do this with all the categories to see how much we are spending and where.
Little Sacrifices That Go Along Way
-We only eat out at fancy restaurants twice a month. When I say fancy it is still under 30 dollars for our entire meal. They just don’t have a drive thru window.
-I no longer drink soda, my husband will not quit drinking his coke, but I have gotten him to drink from a liter bottle instead (at times).
-I buy most of our clothes second hand or at garage sales.