So...we are on a budget. We have decided to use a budgeting program that my brother-in-law designed and shared with us. It is a cash/envelope system for the most part, with some expenses being paid out of the checking account and some money going into a savings account. It is taking some getting used to, and has been an interesting adventure the last week.
Here are some things I have noticed:
-Using cash is so way different than using a card. I have heard this many times, but it is SO true! Because we are using cash, we don't want to spend any money! It's hard to let go of the green stuff. A swipe of the plastic is just so easy to do!
-I feel like I have spent more money in the last week than I have in a long time. Maybe it's because I am so uber aware of purchases with cash.
-It has been a sensational feeling to tell my kids "yes" when they need to get something. We need a gift for a birthday party? No prob. We have a "gifts" fund. Time for date night with the hubs? Sweet! We have a "date" fund. It is causing us to be very choosy with our money and creative as well, because we want our limited budget to go as far as possible. Need new socks? OK, we have a "clothing" fund so let's get some! It's very freeing.
-Knowing we have the money in the bank and ready to pay rent is a GREAT feeling! Knowing the money is in the bank to pay all our bills as they come due is wonderful.
-I have had less guilt about a lot of purchases. Take the date nights, or gifts, or just some little thing I want. Before I would feel like I was taking money from our families "needs" when I put money towards a "want". It would cause me to feel so guilty about buying stuff, and mad at DH if he ever bought stuff. It's hard to explain, but now that the money is set aside for these things specifically, I don't feel bad using it. Like the other day, we were out browsing in a shop, and there was a little clock that I really liked and wanted to get. I had my allowance with me, so I bought it. No justification had to be made, no explanation necessary. I wanted it, I had the money set aside for it, I bought it. That. Was. Awesome.
We used our tax return to set aside a month's worth of expenses. I don't have a new couch like I had hoped, but we are saving up and will eventually get one. It is worth it to me to be using this budget. I have been waiting so long to start and am excited (and a little nervous, too) to give this a go. I know we will feel the pinch of the tight budget as time goes on, but we will also reap the rewards of sticking to it.
Admittedly, there are some budget categories that have no money going into them. I don't like that, but it is what it is for now. As we get more income those areas will be funded. Until then, for example, please please let our cars hold up cuz if they don't we are in trouble.
Anyway, I want to document how this goes so when we are feeling the burn of the budget we can look here and remember that it IS worth it and to just keep hanging on! Stick to the budget! We can do it!
Anyone else using or used a cash envelope system? Or some other budget that you like? Do tell!