Friday, February 24, 2012

Budgeting

I decided to do a post on budgeting because it has been on my  mind a lot lately. I would love to be a stay-at-home-mom one day but since that plan isn't going exactly as I had seen it, I need to fall back to plan B. Be a stay-at-home-wife. I think I was born in the wrong century. All I have ever wanted to do was be a mom and stay at home and cook and clean and have gardens and take care of the house. That is what I want to do. But that is not what I'm doing. I am working at a job I don't enjoy. In fact, I like it less and less each day. I have been working there for two and a half years and I'm ready to move on. So here is the plan, Plan B. Quit and become a stay-at-home-wife. Now if only it were as simple as that...

Dan and I are much too responsible to just have me quit my job just because I want to. Wait, let me rephrase that. We are much to responsible for me to just quit my job without careful planning and preparation. So that is the stage we are in now. The planning and preparation stage. We are doing a trial period of living off of just Dan's income and putting mine into savings. It's going okay I guess but we could be doing better. We're still pretty good at spending money. Which leads me to the title of this post, budgeting.

We need to budget better. More like we need to stick to our budget better. I make the budget at the beginning of the month and we're all gung-ho about it for the first little while. But then we see something we want so we buy it and then we go over in a category and feel discouraged and then by the end of the month we have just given up and think to ourselves that we'll do better next month. And then repeat. We need to get out of this slump. We used to be good at budgeting. Back in 2009 I was nicknamed "Budgetron" by my brother because we were doing so well with budgeting. And we did great. We paid off all our debt and started saving up for a house. And we did most of this without me working and Dan was on EI. So I know we can live off of less if we just put our minds to it. Yes our expenses have gone up since 2009 but we're also making more now than we were then.

So looking at our budget, there isn't many places to cut back on. A lot of the categories aren't debatable so I need to focus on the few that are. I am determined to spend less at the grocery store. I always have such great intentions but never follow through with them. Well, I am determined to do better. I sat down over lunch and went through all the flyers and found the best deals and then thought of meals we can eat and tweaked and moved and re-did the grocery list a couple of times. According to my approximate calculations, I have it down to where I want. If I can just stick to it, I will have finally met my spending goal for a week's worth of groceries! I'll keep you posted on how I actually do.

Do any of you have any tips on budgeting or spending less on food? I would love to hear how you do it.

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