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August 13, 2012

Living on a Budget

A couple months after Jake left I decided that I was over spending.
I felt bad that Jake was in a country where american dollars weren't accepted.

I decided that I was putting myself on a budget and sticking to it.
I looked over all the money saving plans and decided that a hybrid was the best way for me to go.
I keep a set amount in the checking account at all times.
This covers me for when bills are due, or when Jake takes his random $30-50 out for haircuts and other little things he may need.
I started out taking $300 out of the bank account on pay days.
I divided the $300 between food, general, groceries and my voice lesson.
The overflow of those two amounts gets put straight into our savings account.

It has been the smartest decision I've made since Jake left.
It was possibly the smartest decision I've ever made.
I love to shop.
It's a problem.

Due to the smaller amount being in the checking account, I can fake myself out and feel like frivolous spending is out of the question.
I feel pressed to stick to my cash only policy when it comes to impulse purchases.
I was introduced to real couponing. 
(I'm no extreme coupon-er, but I love hearing that I saved $10 on a purchase.)
I am forced to pick and choose while grocery shopping.
I only eat out 1-2 times a week.
Sunday Brunch and Friday lunch are given.

This budget has also allowed us to pay down on my debt.
My credit card and school loans are looking pretty nice.
I'm actually scheduling my student loan (it was a small amount, in comparison to some of my peers) to be paid off by the end of August.

I just wanted to take a second to brag. 
Our financial status is something that I was so afraid to be put in charge of once Jake left...
Nothing better than Jake spending minimal money and I'm attached daily to the bank accounts and bills.
Not.
I much prefer sharing those responsibilities.

I'm nervous now because it's getting to be crunch time before Jake gets home.
There are a few things that we need that I've been putting off buying or taking care of.

Like the fact that I will need a car once Jake is home.
We refuse to be a one car family again.

And our bed now has a very apparent dent in the middle from me sleeping like a starfish.

To top it all off, once KG and RG move all their stuff out I'll be filling the blank spaces.
Like the storage shelves that I've grown quite fond of in our basement.

Anyway... I want to hear what keeps you on track.
How do you stick to your budget?
What do you do to find deals?

3 comments:

Shaina Brainard said...

I think we should cut coupons and trade up at family dinner on Sundays. Be I'm sure you don't use diaper coupons and I am sure pizza roll coupons will be a hot commodity in your house again soon enough.

Phil and Darby Hawley said...

What a good way to "trick" yourself in to conserving finances. We are trying to do that too, and sometimes it is so dag on hard with student loans. We've been trying the Dave Ramsy's 7 steps for the past couple months and so far it's working. I hope it keeps working though!

Nikki said...

We are auto withdraw fiends. We can set up as many auto withdraws as we want from my husbands paycheck so we just have it automatically move money to college savings, emergency fund, and vacation fund. This way we are always saving not just intending to save.