I've been hard at work finessing our monthly family budget for next year telling myself that this year, this year we will stick to our budget. Money will be put into savings each month and stay there! Birch gets his gym membership and I get a clothing and project supply allowance equal to the cost of his membership. Other than that: bills, bills, bills, groceries, bills, bills, baby necessities, bills, bills, bills. What fun. Working it all out I can't help but be befuddled by the fact that apparently we have money to spare, or at least should have money to spare. Either I'm not including some massive bill or we really do have that extra cash each month and by all accounts should not be scraping the bottom of the barrel like we have been for the past six months. Where does it all go? So, next order of business: finding out where it all goes.
I'm going to go ahead and guess 1) groceries and 2) Etsy. Groceries is Birch's fault, Etsy is mine. I'm actually a little nervous because I'm able to do all this work (and write this) because Birch is at the grocery store right now and I'm just realizing that he really goes overboard when I'm not there to check him/the basket. "No, we don't need five different cheeses for tonight's meal." The man is obsessed with good food (which is awesome), but we're the first to admit that our bank account suffers for it. The several farmer's markets around us help out, though, serving as a reminder to us that we can buy much more food for less if we only have cash and no cards. Perhaps it will be our new goal to only bring cash to the grocery store, just like we do at the market. We already declined the very sweet offer of overdraft fees (read: sarcasm, please) and now our card just gets rejected if we're running low. It's a tad embarrassing at the checkout counter, but it's better than a near-forty dollar fee! I'll sacrifice my vanity any day if it makes my bank's life a little less profitable. And then, there's Etsy. Sweet, sweet Etsy, how I love thee. I need to go back to my monthly allowance. Does anyone else have an Etsy addiction? Please, someone, say yes. Fabric buttons, scarves, vintage toys, fabric, ornaments, baby shoes, pillows... oh... it's all just so wonderful.
So, here's to making a list, checking the accounts twice, and trying not to be naughty and always nice.
Do you have any budget-keeping stratagems you'd like to share?