This week was a good reminder about being honest with myself when doing up our budget. While I’m all ”gung-ho” about paying our debt off, I have to be realistic about our spending habits and life needs before throwing all our money at bills and debt.
When I started budgeting I went a little cutback crazy in order to find as much money as possible for debt repayment. I was happy with some savings we made by cutting back in necessary areas but then I started lying to myself by saying we wouldn’t need to budget for things like eating out because I saw it as an unnecessary expense. With me being on maternity leave (and subsequently losing about 55% of my take home pay) I’m as frugal as ever.
Even if money wasn’t an issue, hubby and I were never big spenders on clothes/beauty stuff/toys etc but before baby we did love to eat out/order in. While we have cut back significantly, me not budgeting any money is setting us up for budgeting failure. If I’m being honest, we will probably eat out once a week, whether it be grabbing a quick lunch while running errands with baby, picking up a pizza on the way home or *gasp* actually going out for dinner, there is a 99% chance one meal/week will not be cooked by me.
This week made me realize that if I’m not honest about how our money will actually get spent; at the end of the day/week/month I will be scrambling for changes in the budget to accommodate this little white lie.
To keep me honest, here is a list of things that despite what I may think, I know will spend money on eventually:
- Eating out once/week.
- Haircuts every 2 months.
- Clothes. We both need them before I go back to work in a few months, there is no realistic way to avoid this.
- Razor Blade. It may seem like a small item but it KILLS MY SOUL to fork out almost $20.00 for blades. I’ve used crappy ones but I can’t do it anymore. Having said this, I use every blade like it’s my last one-I haven’t changed it in like 3 months haha.
- Diet Pop. It’s mine and hubby’s weakness. I gave it up while pregnant and very much limit my consumption while breastfeeding but we have a serious love for diet Pepsi (me)/diet coke (him).
- Birthday present/Christmas presents for each other. In the past for Christmas hubby and I usually didn’t buy anything much for each other, rather buy something for the house or money towards a trip if applicable plus maybe do up a small sock. The fact remains if I don’t budget anything for us (to buy for each other) I know we will end up spending a few bucks on something for the other person; we do every year despite our intentions. Same with bday gifts, I can tell hubby a million times not to buy me anything but I know he will (as would I for him). It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive but every dollar needs to get accounted for.
I know there are probably more things I need to think about in terms of how my spending habits are then and re-account for them but these are some of my budget lies. I think I just need to budget in a weekly allowance for ourselves to account for stuff like the above mentioned (minus Christmas as we will be budgeting for annual gifts/Christmas separately).
How do you deal with keeping your budget on tract and honest?