Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making my budget work for me

For some reason I was thinking that my budget had to stay the same every month. I think this is why I've tried budgeting in the past and have failed. Every month is not the same, so why would my spending be the same?
I'm not going to be as concerned with the categories of spending as I will be my "bottom line". I shouldn't spend more than the $645/mth for variables I have set forth, in total. But I am going to try and look at my budget in a more flexible light. March was a food and gift heavy month. With birthdays and anniversary in this month. April seems to be more food and entertainment heavy. We have concert tickets already purchased and are planning on going out for dinner before the events. However, only 1 birthday in April that I should be able to spend maybe around $20 on and no dinner out. I typically have a fairly small amount budgeting in the "Everything Else" category, however, we have the last dentist appointment and another one on Thursday to pay for. So, I've re-jigged the budget based on what I think April will be like. I've also decided not to spend any more money on clothing for this month at all. So the money left in PC/Clothes/Household is for PC/H uses only.

So, this is the "re-jigged" April budget with the amounts of what I've already spent in April (yes, 2 weeks worth of spending in 1 weekend!). I'm going to try REALLY hard to keep to this budget for the rest of the month:

I will try the same exercise in May. It will be heavy in food, entertainment, and gifts as it will be T's birthday and Mother's Day is also in there. I think this is where budgeting becomes "fun" making it work within your lifestyle.

TTFN, Morgaine.


  1. One thing I did to make the budget work more smoothly was I thought my way through a year. For example, January is hubby's birthday and I'd want to buy a gift for him, plus a cake and a dinner out, maybe needing a babysitter so January might cost $150 "extra". In Feb there's valentine's day and my son's birthday so the "extra" costs might add up to $200 for those events. I just went through each month and wrote down the non-typical expenses that month might have. I added up the year and divided by 12. That gave me the amount I needed to put into a Special Expenses Account each month. When each new month is about to start, I know that any of those non-typical expenses don't have to come out of my jar money. It's been a huge budget saver! If you think that might help to keep you on track, give it a try. You might be surprised by the amount you need to set aside to cover those various additional expenses. Over here, we put $900/month towards those non-typical expenses! No wonder I could never budget effectively in the past!

  2. That is a good idea. I've kinda implemented something like that. I feel like my budget is streched so far that I can't put anymore money "away" even for things I am planning on spending anyways. I just started a savings account for short-term savings (I wrote a post about a few things that I wanted to save up to buy) but I just raided it to pay for my dentist appointment yesterday. And I need to pay for my next one at the end of the month. Its good that I had the money instead of putting it on my credit card (or not going at all) but I just feel like I can't get ahead until this debt is gone.

    But I will try your exercise and see what numbers I come up with. I know next month has T's birthday and Mother's Day so I need to plan for those expenses.

    Thanks again :)