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We had some friends drive out to visit us this past week. They actually ended up saving us more money than anything. They bought toiletries, water and lots and lots of food! I have all of my debts listed on a BIG white board in the nook that's supposed to serve as a dining room (I guess). The board has notes about what to consider in the budget for next month, goals for the current month, and sometimes it'll have notes to Spouse since we are rarely home at the same time. It also has the progress bar from FPU with the Baby Steps next to it. My friend inquired about how to budget. So, we sat down and I put some notes in the notepad in her phone about budgeting to fulfill BS1 and how the debt snowball works in BS2. I gave her some budgeting apps to play with and showed her how I use my calendar to make sure my pay periods line up with my bills etc... Spouse was listening to everything. Spouse: The budgeting thing works. The credit cards are paid off and everytime I look at the bank account, there's $3,000 in there. I don't know how there happens to be money in the bank AND we're paying off the cards, but it works. Me: There's not $3,000, but thank you for ankowledging my hard work. Spouse: *looks at our friend* But you won't have ANY fun. None. At all. Me: Not true! We have a small Resturant category, an amusement category AND you get Blow money! Spouse: *Still looking at our friend* You have very little fun. All that money can be spent in 3 days. Friend: How much is it? Me: $50 for Resturants, $60 for Amusement and $100 for her blow money. If it were up to me, it would be $100 for all of it put together. Friend: Yeah, I can spend that in a day. Friend's 14 yo son: That's why you need a budget, Mom! LoL I do want to say that we must be doing something right if we aren't having ANY FUN at all. LoL I am super glad that Spouse is acknowledging that the budget works!!!! Yay!!!! That was the highlight of my week!!
Moving my accountability thread to a blog entry. I got my first in 2013 paycheck and my income is going up slightly from my normal checks last year due to having proper withholdings now. We are a bit over on food costs mostly due to moving to a major once a month grocery shop and the learning curve required to do that. The good news there is that we can mostly eat out of the pantry/freezer for February and March. And a number of smaller items have come up that we need to take care of this month, so the snowball is on the small side. Goal this month is to put $600 into the moving fund.
This blog will mostly be used for posting my weekly budget updates. Payday is Thursdays and DH's work is very variable so we don't have a constant to work with. He only worked one day in January, but then he's worked 50+ hour weeks the last two weeks. I do have a standard budget that will be mostly the same with some changes from week to week that requires $535/week without a snowball. Most weeks DH will earn more than that I hope as that's only 24 hours of work, but there will also be some weeks where he will probably make less. I know that BS1 and BS2 aren't recommended to have sinking funds but we can't guarantee being able to cashflow anything without doing so, so please don't scold me lol. Oh, additionally we will be receiving family assistance payments shortly - I believe it's about $419/fortnight but I'm not sure. Mostly we expect that to go to the "snowball" (which isn't really a snowball as all our debt is in one place) but is there to help out in a bad week. Here is this weeks budget, with an income of $945.13: Category: Previous Balance/Budgeted Amount/Amount Spent/Remainder(Zero or Negative Balance) Tithe: $0 $95 $0 ($95) Rent: $0 $180 $180 ($0) Groceries: $0 $100 $65.06 ($34.94) Petrol: $0 $60 $60.73 (-$0.73) Utilities: $0 $40 $0 ($40) Car Reg & Ins: $0 $40 $0 ($40) Internet: $0 $15 $0 ($15) Mobile #1: $0 $7.50 $0 ($7.50) Mobile #2: $0 $2.50 $0 ($2.50) Hygiene/grooming: $0 $5 $0 ($5) Gifts: $0 $10 $0 ($10) Miscellaneous: $0 $5 $0 ($5) DH spending: $0 $5 $5 ($0) Me spending: $0 $5 $5 ($0) $570 Snowball estimated: $375.13 Actual: $228.40 I already blew the budget as I forgot about a chiropractor appointment I had booked weeks ago (-$86) and I spent $60 on baby things that I need but they could have waited. (-$60) For now every category will be carried over to the next week. Most things are monthly or quarterly and with DHs variable income we really need to do our budget this way. So snowball has to come from anything DH brings home over and above $535/week and Family Assistance payments. Snowball may decrease from what I forecasted but it won't increase. I'll update my progress and the next weeks budget on Thursdays.