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Following a budget

September 8th, 2005 at 11:47 am

My thoughts on today, my 8th day (in my life!) of following a budget...

Almost immediately after writing it down, I started panicking a little: But, there's stuff I want to buy that's not in the budget... I wanted to buy one of those fancy trashcans with the tight-shutting lids, but I only have 10 in household expenses... Well... I guess I just won't buy it.

Immediately, though I had 1000 earmarked for savings, I started feeling like I didn't have enough money.

That lasted a day or two, and then I loosened up. I'm still writing everything down, I'm still tracking my spending, but if something comes up that's not budgeted, I'm willing to take from another category to pay it.

That said, I've already decided on what I'm going to change for next month.

I'm going to take an hour or so to make a budget, and not slap one together in 10 minutes. I'm going to consider what I'm going to need to buy in the following month. I'm not just going to say, $180 for groceries- that should be fine. I'm going to take into account what I have in my freezer and my pantry, what I'm going to need, and then formulate a more educated guess. What household items will I need? What clothing?

The other thing I'm going to change for next month is that I'm going to add a category for 'blow' money. This way I think I'll be less tempted to take from one category to pay for another. Not a lot- maybe $40/month- but enough money that I can spend on unexpected expenses.

I have most of my money left in all my categories (well, obviously not rent, and some others that I pay once monthly) but overall, for a quarter of the way through the month, I've used less than a quarter of my budget for groceries, dining out, and entertainment.

Spending for Wed Sept 7-
1.25- coke from vending machine

2 Responses to “Following a budget”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Good for you! Keep it up - it's good advice.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I set an arbitrary amount also for groceries for September and then of course all the stores started having great sales and I always stock up if possible before winter hits. If my grocery budget hits the skids this month, I know in a couple months, I'll be reaping the rewards of stocking up and a lower bill. We have that advantage in our budget because except for my SS disability check, our income doesn't come in weekly or monthly, it comes in chunks throughout the course of the year and we have to make it stretch till be get income again (and we never know exactly when that will be), but it also means I have several months worth of money I can tap into if needed. Once I'm keeping better track of groceries and an average amount, I know I will be spending less which is a good thing!

    Gail

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