My husband and I have been married for 3 years and money was not something we had much control over. We easily spent money without thinking about the repercussions of it and now that we are in the position of having one income I found it was important to buckle down and take control of our finances.
When I first started thinking about how I wanted to set up the budget, I realized I needed to figure out how I wanted to keep track of it. Did I want to use paper? Would the computer be better? I have tried spread sheets and budgeting software. None of it worked for me. I tried several paper budgets and I find that this is the better option for us. I feel like I have more control and I am more aware of what I am doing because I have to actively write things down and crunch numbers.
Once I set up my own binder I found that my life changed in the following ways:
- Control – I had it! Finally! It took a long time to say no to that extra cup of coffee at Starbucks, or no to the Target trip I didn’t really need. I have control over where my money goes and control over what happens with my finances.
- Awareness – I finally was aware of where my money was going. Rather than opening my account one day and wondering where my money had gone, I now had awareness of where I spent the most money. This helped me cut back in certain categories of spending, *cough* Starbucks.
- Feeling at Ease – It has been a long time since I looked at my bank account and felt at ease because I knew all of my bills were paid and taken care of for the entire month. I am used to having to pick and choose which bill gets paid and wondering if I’m going to have to skip a car payment to cover the credit card that is building up. With the changes we have made in our spending, all of our bills are paid.
I still struggle to keep to my budget and we haven’t done the best job in the past couple of weeks of managing things but with Spring break beginning in a few hours I will finally have some time to sit down and get organized.
When I return from my trip I will break down our current budget and show you how we divide out money each month. It is possible to live on one income and shop organic and I will show you how I do it!