Saturday, November 29, 2014

Budget? Yeah....

Honest truth?  I'm lazy, bad at math, and a bit of a compulsive buyer.  Not saying that I shop daily or buy $70 boots I don't need.  I do, however, let the kids get a toy they don't need when it's only a dollar or two.  Or I might buy something I see on clearance because I really wanted it or will use it in the future.  But THAT....THAT right there is why I need some dadgum self discipline!  I can justify about anything.  Spending a dollar now on something I will use in the future is foolish.  Really it is.  And I'm not talking big ticket items like birthday presents or every day necessities like bread or toilet paper.  These are things like seasonal paper products, fuzzy socks, or My Little Pony themed goody bags.  (Sweet girl has already asked for a MLP birthday party for her May birthday and the bargain hunter in me has been fighting with the wise spender I'm trying to be!)

We've been Christmas shopping and visiting family and I've had lots of excuses to grab some fast food and convenience items.  And the money has been flowing straight out of our account four or five dollars at a time.  That adds up SO fast.  

And then there are things like this...Publix is having a deal this weekend only where you get a $50 gas card (any gas station they carry cards for) for $40 when you buy $50 worth of groceries.  I made our list based on what was on sale and BOGO at Publix and away we went.  I overspent by $40 of what I budgeted.  See?  This is what I mean!  I managed to save $20 off our gas budget, get a free rotisserie chicken, groceries for almost 2 weeks, laundry supplies and I still manage to sail through my limit.  

So I am putting the brakes on.  LIKE NOW.

I wrote down every bill we have for the next month.  And I paid the ones I could today.  Off my plate equals less stress.

I added in a few extra expenses I think may come up such as a follow up doctor's appointment I am expecting.

I did NOT add fast food or entertainment into our budget this month.  I may add it in next month but honestly, we are paying for cable now and live so far from everything the gas would add up if we made lots of extra trips for movies and the like.  I will have to factor in some field trips for schooling soon so maybe those will just be adventure days with some entertainment or McDonald's added.

Looking at everything on paper, we are in the black!  I feel reassured about that but instead of seeing any of that as "extra" money, we will finish buying a few gifts and spend the rest on savings.  If I tell my brain that savings is a bill along with everything else, then I won't be tempted to spend it.  

I am going to further my limits by using a Bluebird card from American Express.  I am waiting on it to arrive so I have not set up my account yet.  I researched it though and I was really impressed by what they offer.  It is a free/no fee debit card.  You can set spending limits on categories like groceries, entertainment, etc.  You can also transfer money into a savings type account.  Again, no fee.  It's really like a Christmas Club that traditional banks offer but there is no penalty for moving the money out.  The last reason I will be using the Bluebird account is because from now until Feb. 28, 2015, Bluebird will double any money you get back from using the Walmart Savings Catcher!  I've already gotten about $7 saved.  Now, of course, you can only use this "money" at Walmart but that's ok.  It's one of the closest grocery stores to me.

How do you budget?  Especially this time of year when everyone is gift buying, travelling, eating away from home so much?

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Like George Washington Carver said:

1. Be clean both inside and outside.
2. Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4. Win without bragging.
5. Always be considerate of women, children and old people.
6. Be too brave to lie.
7. Be too generous to cheat.
8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.


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