Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Budget!

Oh boy! This is one of the hardest things that a husband and wife have
to come to an agreement on. How to spend the money. My wife for the
most part is a stay at home mom but does work a couple hours at the
school lunch room during the school year. I work full time. For many
years, I always wonder where was the money going. Every month I
would pay the bills and then not have much of anything left in the bank
accounts. We would pay for everything on the discover card: Groceries,
gas, anything at Walmart, eating out, clothes, etc. With a credit card it
seemed like we could always afford what we wanted. It was
never the big stuff that was eating up the money it was the small stuff.
McDonalds here $25, a movie there $20, new shoes $45, etc. The
small stuff adds up.

Well, 18 months ago I decide it was time for a budget. However, I didn't
want to be crazy with the budget. I really didn't need to know where
every penny was going. That would just be too much work and we didn't
have any problem paying the bills. It was just we didn't have much
money left over and our debt was not going away fast enough for me.

So we stopped using credit cards and switch to cash. At first this was
really hard. But it has really help and we have more money in the bank
and our debt is going down really quick. Here is what we did:

1.) I grouped our expenses into six major categories. These are the six
categories: Walmart / Food, Gas, Clothes, Sams Club, Home, Dining Out

2.) I created six white envelopes for each category.

3.) I then figure how much money we would need in each group.
Walmart was most important, followed by gas, clothes, sams club,
home and dining out. Dining out was the least important for us.

4.) Each pay I put the correct amount of money into each envelope.

So the money in each envelope is to be used until the next payday.
So you have to do some budgeting so you don't run out of money
the first weekend. Except for dining out and home you want the
money to last the two weeks. If there is no money in the envelope
you can not spend it.

Example: If there is nothing in dining out then you can not go out to eat
or even order a pizza.

Example: When you goto Walmart for food and there is only $60
left then you can only spend $60 dollars.

Like I said this is hard at first but after the first six months it became
habit. I would also strongly encourge that the husband and wife are
involved in the whole process. Both of you are going to have to follow
the rules of only spending what's in the envelopes.

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