As much as sitting down and making a monthly budget is tedious, it is a
However, this year- this new year- I vow to not get so worked up about failing. I am human. We are humans. And one thing I have learned in my life is we all have to start somewhere, no matter where "that" is.
In starting the year off with a new budget, I am solely going to focus on one month at a time. I am not going to focus on the next month or into the future other than the current month.
First things first...we listed our incomes. Since we are both working right now, we simply combined the two monthly incomes into one column. Next, we wrote down our fixed bills (those payments that are the same each month)...home mortgage, insurance(s), cable, internet, retirement accounts, school tuition for our daughter, piano lessons, gym membership, house phone bill, alarm bill, etc. Then we added another column of our other bills (those that are subject to change each month)...utilities, groceries, gas, , cell phones, credit card, etc. We added up our fixed bills and our other bills separately. Our next step was to look at what was left after we subtracted both columns from our monthly income. We were able to decide how much money we wanted to start putting into our savings account. We looked at expenses that were not necessary.
January is a hard month for our little family for several reasons. Our car tags on two vehicles is due in January, so we have to be very diligent about stashing away money monthly for this...which we did not do a wonderful job of this year. Since we dropped the ball on that, we will not be able to save as much money this month since it will be going to pay the car tags. This was definitely worked in our January budget to start putting money towards this January bill for 2016.
For this month, we are just going to cut out eating out...period...this will be the hardest for me because I seem to run out of time once I get off work and do errands, that I lose track of time so we wind up picking up supper. This is not a healthy option for us...physically or financially. This will take better planning and preparation on my part, but I am willing to do it to see results.
I will update you during the month as we venture down this road of not eating out...period! I know that I will need some accountability because I am the world's greatest at coming up with excuses for not cooking. Hold me accountable, folks!
We have talked long and hard about cutting back in certain areas. I feel like 2015 will be the year we take that step. We have some wishes and dreams for the future, and we want to be debt free to pursue those. Although there are many areas we can find to cut back, we are choosing to do them is small steps so we see little successes along the way. Each month we will add one or two ways to cut back, pay off debt, and save...and you will see our journey every step of the way.
If you have a budget success, please share it in the comments below. I love to see how others are winning at budgeting! And we can inspire one another along the way. Here's to a fabulous new month!