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What Have We Learned After 5 Months of Serious Budgeting…

June 5, 2011

Sorry for the lag in posts. It has been a busy week!

So, we started really setting and sticking to our budget on January 1st. That puts us five months into the rest of our financial lives. So far, here are some things we’ve learned about OUR situation:

  1. Even though there was a bit of guessing at the start, we’ve budgeted about right. What I mean is, we use just under our budgeted amount in each category every month. We have to be careful, but not stressed about it. The fact that my wife has kept really close track of our finances for years made it a lot easier to set our budget amounts.
  2. Doubling our house payment stinks. Stinks. Back in our older home, our house payment was so nominal that we really didn’t need to check our budget very frequently. I kind of miss those days. But I feel pretty blessed that we have the small house payment that we do, especially with the way the housing market has treated everyone the last five years.
  3. We need to work on our grocery budget. We’ve not gone over on this one except for this month. But, we’re always pretty close and I bet we could do better. I’d love some ideas on how all of YOU do it. Use the comments below if you don’t mind…
  4. Even with our new budget, we are able to save money every month, as long as we’re careful.
  5. Writing our budget out on paper was tedious and not very fun to do. Using Mint has helped us significantly.
  6. Saving up for recurring, yearly items like insurance, Christmas, etc., is much easier to do when it is on auto-pilot.
  7. I thought the tracking our finances so closely, along with more monthly expenses, would cause stress. But keeping track of things and being proactive about our finances has been empowering.
I hope there will be more. It seems like we learn a little each month, making adjustments and rethinking some of our plans.
More to come….
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bonnie permalink
    June 5, 2011 9:57 pm

    I’m still planning on doing the grocery budget post for you. I have it in the works. Maybe when I am not stressing about the bathroom I can get it to you…

  2. Debbie Hom permalink
    June 5, 2011 11:17 pm

    I have really enjoyed your budget posts and am grateful for the information you have passed along. I feel compelled to make a small comment on #3 in this post. I understand exactly that you want to stay within the budget on food, however, having already walked that road with 5 teenaged boys and their friends who came to eat with us, you may just have to adjust that budget item higher. Food becomes very, very important as boys get on in their teens. And you want to have their friends feel welcome to come to your home and eat. I am not talking sodas and chips…but you will just need to increase the amounts significantly. I needed to take on a small part time job when our boys reached their teens and our food budget often exceeded the amount budgeted for our house payment. It is kinda like the post on spluging on ice cream…you just have to do it even though it makes you feel like you are overspending. You will be glad you did in the end…

  3. tboy permalink
    June 6, 2011 8:19 am

    I don’t know if you saw this on the news but I thought it was interesting: Maybe it will help.

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