Monday, June 10, 2013

Budgeting is easier said than done.

I've had a very busy, but very clean weekend. I put my computer down either Thursday or Friday and am just now picking it back up. More like it was upstairs and I wasn't in the mood to go up and get it most of the time, but I really was busy.

On Saturday my in-laws came for a lunch visit on their way through town to go on vacation. It was so nice that my house was mostly clean, as it was for my mother's visit, so all I had to do was tidy up and then I could focus on cleaning some other problem areas. My dining room still has a little bit of unneeded clutter, but that is slowly getting taken care of. All other rooms are looking pretty good for now. Another way I saw my new habit shine was by loading dishes into the dishwasher before they were even gone. Usually when company comes I just load everything in the sink and take care of everything later, usually a day or two later. This time it was done before they left so I got to sit down and relax a minute after they left. Well, not really.. I had to drive 2 hours to my family for a baby shower. It was nice knowing I was leaving my husband with a clean house and no dishes in the sink to worry with. And I guess he is catching on because all of the dishes he's used since I've been gone have been loaded and washed, all I need to do now is unload. Like I said, HUGE improvement on my old habits.

So far I've stuck to my habit of doing dishes and making my bed. I've been doing a quick pickup everyday too, usually before bed. This makes a big difference because I don't let myself go to bed before I've done dishes and picked up. Usually its just toys or random things out of place, but by doing this it doesn't become a lot that is hard to handle. I've also been doing laundry and folding, but getting them upstairs to put away has been a little more of a struggle. The fact that their washed and folded is an improvement though.

The only thing on my goal list of daily tasks is wiping down the bathrooms and doing a quick sweep or vacuum over floors. This means taking my small handheld vac and going over the floor and just using the big vacuum once or twice a week. I just haven't done this because I hate hauling the thing out of the closet and plugging it up. Usually when I do it gets left out for a while before I get sick of seeing it and put it away. I think I will work on this though. My floors aren't horrible, but I'm sure they could be better.

Another thing I need to work on is eating out less. Other than cleaning house, eating out is my biggest struggle. Its truly an addiction. In my mind its so easy to say not to go out. Just stay home and cook something simple. I can so easily go through all these motions in my head, but when it comes time it really is something I struggle with. To be honest though, I think financially we would be a lot better off if we could get this one area under control. Most of our extra money goes to eating out and if we saved it instead of spending we could do a lot more.

The more I think about it I'm coming up with ideas to motivate myself to save more of that money. I think I'm going to work more towards going to a cash system. I think holding the cash in my hand and having a choice of eating out or putting it in another place, such as a vacation envelope, I may choose the vacation envelope. When you calculate that we spend about $20+ every time we eat out we could easily save $100 or more in a week. That is really sad when the numbers are there seeing how much we waste on fast food, but I'm just trying to be honest. It is the one part of our budget I haven't gotten under control. I'm as frugal as it gets until it comes to eating out. We get paid in 5 days so it'll be a chance for me try something new and see how it works for us.

I'm going to go ahead and write out my plan.. Thankfully I have an app on my phone that makes transferring money easy.

Paycheck : $1033
Transfer $290 to savings - This will be added to the amount I put in the last pay check and pay our car payment and credit card.
Balance: $743

Pay Insurance : $132 - I'm not sure if this is the exact amount because we are adding something to our policy, but this is what the website is showing right now.
Balance: $611

Pay Internet : $33
Balance : $578

Groceries: $120 - I just recently raised my grocery budget. This is for two weeks and should be more than enough since I coupon and don't need much to begin with. I plan on pulling this out in cash in the beginning and letting it last from the 15th until the 1st.
Balance : $458

Newspaper Money: $12 - This budget I just recently lowered since I plan on buying less at the store. Usually it was $12 a week, now its half of that since I'm going from buy 4 papers a week to only buying 2.
Balance : $446

Now at the end there I have over $400 left over. I'm racking my brain to try to figure out what I'm forgetting, but I honestly don't think I'm forgetting anything. Other bills are paid on the first. I already know I want to put a little bit in savings, and a little more towards something my husband wants for his motorcycle. I also may need a couple of things for my cake class. Other than that the rest of that money usually goes to eating out and most paychecks we end up having just pennies while waiting to be paid again.

So lets just say after our other things we have $300 left over. I think from now on I'm going to take it out of the bank and put it in an eating out envelope that we can use as we please. Whatever is left will be put into a vacation fund at the end of the pay period. I know me and I'll still use some to eat out, but maybe this will help limit it. Maybe a vacation will sound better than Wendy's and I will be motivated to cook something.

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