Sunday, July 15, 2012

Budget Re-Do...

I pulled out my Dave Ramsey Book 
"A Total Money Makeover"
again this past weekend.

We are slowly
working our way through 
his debt snowball plan
And I needed a little extra motivation.

to pay something off.
The high and uphoria of 
the payoff,
for me,
is more exciting than the purchase itself!

I started quoting from the book
to my husband

"Dave says, blah blah"
"Dave also said, blah blah"

My sweet hubs decided to remind me
that although Dave might be a good resource,
his book was not the gospel.
I know, I know...
Everyone does not fit perfectly
into his mold.

his plan is a great one
after reading his books,
you get a swift kick in the BUTT!

I have been attempting to follow a budget
for a few months.
But haven't quite mastered it.
I am still figuring out what works
best for our family.

I seemed to be chasing our money
instead of "telling it where to go".
I would also try to budget for everything
that "might" happen that month:
Doctor's visits
pharmacy visits
sports equipment purchases
dinners out

Not all of these things happened
each month,
so I found myself constantly 
and almost daily
making adjustments to our "budget"
in Quicken.

I also had our groceries & household
But I would sometimes buy household stuff
at the grocery store
but didn't have any desire to go through
the receipts and separate out the purchases
into the correct category.

So I have gotten rid of all but 5 categories:
Blow Money

This is my first month attempting this plan.
Based on what we were doing,
I feel this will work well.
The blow money will include EVERYTHING
not listed under the other categories.

As I have said many times before,
we have NEVER had a budget.
But I really got tired of not knowing 
where our money went each month.
I would constantly sit down 
with a spreadsheet
and the bank statement
and categorize every purchase
then go into shock at how much we spent
at certain places.

When I started the budget,
it was really just for my benefit.
The hubs and I would talk about it
a little
but he really didn't seem to show much
interest in it,
so I wasn't going to force it...
can't make him be interested, right?

I am guessing he was just letting me
figure it out and sort through it all.
Cause now,
he is really encouraging me
and we do discuss it,
Every 2 weeks...
Where do we want our money to go?
What do we have going on the next two weeks?
Any major purchases needed/wanted?
Oil changes - got it.
Missions baseball game - got it.
Now we have it planned out.
And with any luck - 
I will know where almost every penny is going
before it goes!

Another headache with this budgeting 
is the grocery shopping!
I have been racking my brain
trying to figure out how to budget for groceries.
As mentioned before,
back home in NC,
I could sit down at the computer,
do my grocery shopping on-line
and flip through my coupon binder
and match up sales with coupons.
Then I would print off my grocery list
complete with prices
and mark which ones had coupons.

Then I knew within about $10 how
much I would be spending 
when I actually went in
and did my shopping.

That service is not offered down here.

So I have resorted to making my own
I shop at the same store
every 2 week.
And their prices are pretty consistent.
They don't have major sales,
but offer coupons regularly
in the store.

I don't get screaming deals on meat
like I did back home,
I would wait til meats went on 
and just do big meat purchases
and stock our freezer.
It worked!!!

Can't do that here.
Even the Costcos &
Sam's Clubs
have similar prices to those
offered at our
grocery store chain.

So I sat down with receipts from my 
past 3 shopping trips
and started creating a database
with prices.

Now as I create my two week menu
and then my grocery list,
I can add prices
and get a better idea of what I am going to spend.

This is the best way I know how to 
get a grasp on my grocery budget
and possibly find ways to trim it.

I have already started my menu planning 
for the next two weeks.

I am anxious to put this idea into 
action and see how it works.

Any other ideas 
on how to manage & foreshadow
 grocery spending?


  1. I struggle with budgeting as well. I have read Total Money Makeover once, maybe I need to read it again.

    I do better when I don't try and overdo the categories either.

    Good luck with your grocery budget. I always overspend in that area. :)

    1. Thanks Alyson - I would highly recommend picking the book up again just to get remotivated (if you need it). ;)