budget

I used to hate the word “budget”.  I thought it meant I could never spend any money or buy anything.  Not that I need to spend a lot of money, but what if I’m at Target and that cute frame I’ve been loving is put on sale for $4.99, then what?  If I’m on a budget that means I can never get it b/c frames aren’t in the budget.

Wrong.

I now love being on a budget.  We have been doing a cash budget for a while now and it is so good for us.  So good!  We take out cash each month for ALL of our expenses except bills like utilities and such.  When I say everything I mean everything.  Yes ladies that means I have to walk into the gas station to give them my $40 for gas instead of paying at the pump.  Yes when I am at Target and have groceries and household and kids clothes I do 3 different transactions.  Kinda a pain, but so worth it.

This way at the end of the month we’re not trying to figure out how we’ll pay our gas bill b/c we have already pulled out all the cash we’ll need and the rest is for bills.  This not only keeps us on track with our spending, it helps prevent overspending, it helps promote saving and it keeps us accountable for what we spend.  No longer am I able to go walk around Target and spend $100 on clearance items just because I’m bored.  There is no folder for that in our budget!

I have this cheesy little acordian file folder that I keep in my purse and that holds all of our cash.  I take it everywhere with me.  Dorky I know, but it’s how we Ivey’s roll!   This way no matter where we are we have our cash.  Now I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes towards the end of our 2 weeks I’m pulling money out of gas to cover dining or vise versa.  It all works out in the end though b/c when a folder is empty it’s empty!

So, how do you and your family stay on budget?  Share your pointers with us!  If you’ve never tried a cash budget I’ll be the first to tell you that it is HARD to start.  It took us many times of trying before we truly were faithful to it and allowed it to work for us.  Now we love it and I can’t imagine not doing it.  This past month with the move and packing and all that we abused it and didn’t pull the cash out each month and it was more stressful.  We were both spending money and not keeping track and let’s just say we sucked at our budget.  Now we’re back and the budget is kicking!

How do you budget?

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