Sunday, September 7, 2008
Finances- Life on a Budget
I feel like as a SAHM a big part of my responsibility is finances and making our budget work for us as I have more time to devote to it than hubby does, and being the
A budget is a hard thing to sit down and sort out, but a budget truly brings freedom to your finances. There's so much irony in that way, yet I can say personally it can be a real eye opener.
When you go about setting a up budget it's good to look at the entire picture. From the bills coming in, debts owed, the money you have in the bank, and the things you have such as vehicles and retirement investments, these things are an important part of your budget, it's not just about the bills.
I found that by having a clearer picture of where we were financially, and where we felt we needed to be was a good thing to learn. Hubby and I did it together with the help of a financial advisor (she didn't charge us a thing until we opted to have her take care of our retirement accts and life insurance), and we learned invaluable information about how we each felt about our future.
I'm the penny-pincher, hubby the spender and we learned that with a budget we can do both. We can save wherever possible, yet when we have a certain amount alloted for something like entertainment, that's what we can spend on it. (I have to admit that me being the saver, I often try to stretch those dollars too, but not so far as to take the fun out of it)
When you have boundaries on your spending, it makes life so much easier in knowing that you're allowed to spend "x" amount on clothing and still pay the bills.
Since, in my family, the only real shopping we do is for the home, we're not big on the latest fashions and gear, and don't have to have the latest technologies or vehicles, I find that the best way to add to our financial health is to save money in the grocery. I've done the part of setting aside so much per week for groceries and household supplies. My current budget is $60 for the 3 of us and our beagle Sadie... who we ofen refer to as "SadieDog" Evey week I stop and take that amount out of our checking account and place it in it's own place in my purse. That money is only used for groceries and other household products. Some weeks I spend more and some less, but I rarely take any more than that for those kinds of items each week. If I didn't spend as much one week, I often find myself spending the balance of the extra the next week and it all works out.
I know many of you probably think $60 would never work for a family grocery budget, especially if you through in cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, and health and beauty supplies, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to bring your total out of pocket down. Now I want you to know as well that we are probably actually eating better as well, less processed food and more fruits and veggies.
I'll be sharing more about finances and saving money. Check back later for more details and ideas.