In my last post, I got excited about being under my budget and with the left over money for the week, I put some in savings and some towards my student loan. But I realized I never said what my budget was. I listed all the debt(with all its glory) and savings, but with all the stuff going on in my life, completely forgot to talk about my budget.
Every blog and article I read about personal finance, budget is the first thing that’s talked about and stressed with passion. I did plan on writing about my budget, but I find myself scatterbrained these days. So let me try to get back on track and talk about my budget.
Just to start off, let me state that BUDGET DOES WORK . But only if you stick to it and follow through. Before I realized how we don’t have control over our finances, I thought we were doing ok and I dreaded the idea of having a spelled out budget to stick to every week. I felt poor and cheap. But having a budget, following it, and reviewing it the last several weeks, really helped me understand where we are and how we’re doing.
Let me just list our weekly budget:
$50.00 for eating out
$100.00 for grocery(my husband insists we don’t want to be cheap with food at home and won’t agree to budgeting less than that)
$90.00 for gas
$70.00 shopping (misc things that we buy for fun or for home)
$120.00 for allowance, but starting this week, I lowered it to $90.00. My hubby has to take the metro to school after work and go out with study group occasionally, so he gets more than me. He gets $60.00 and I get $30.00 a week. I don’t mind (I’m the one who set the amount), most of my allowance goes to coffee with friends and little things for myself and mom.
The total is $400.00 a week. The average spending for the last 5 weeks was $330.00 per week. We rarely went out to eat. I cooked dinner and packed lunch almost everyday. The couple of days I didn’t make lunch for us, we both bought lunch with our allowance. Because we had to recover from overspending from previous months, I didn’t think we can save any money until a few months later, but because we carefully followed our budget, I was able to put another $100.00 into our savings today, so total $300.00 in the last 5 weeks that wasn’t in the budget.
Another place where we didn’t spend too much money was grocery. Even though we budgeted $100.00 a week for grocery, we didn’t spend that much at all. I started to look for coupons. I’m only a beginner, so I don’t save too much on that. But I buy sale items and started to use our pantry and try to cook most of the stuff in the fridge before buying new items. We throw out food less and I’m learning to cook different things. Aside from saving a few bucks here and there, I feel like this is making me take control over my kitchen as well.
When my mom was in the hospital, while my brother slept in mom’s hospital room every night, I went home for the night to sleep. But I cooked food in the morning and brought lunch and dinner for us, so we can stay with her all day without going anywhere. Saving money was one thing, but the hospital food for the visitors was horrible. It was good to feed my brother homemade food and in a situation where you have no control over, little things like this that you can control helps you feel less out of control and give you strength in the process to not fall apart.
I hope everyone’s doing well financially and in every other aspect. And call or visit your parents whenever you can. I feel like when bad things like this happen, I only remember the things that I didn’t or couldn’t do for my mom. Do them while you still have a chance.