Saturday, February 4, 2012

Let's Talk Budget

January Budget Recap

Well, as a whole, I feel better about our spending last month than I have in a while.  I think the fact that we were tracking our spending on an almost daily basis really helped.  I can tell you when I slacked at my record keeping at the end of the month, things did not go quite as well.  But I'm going to take that as a learning experience and make sure that I am better about tracking our spending.

The grocery and food budget had to be adjusted.  There was just no way that I could keep within the $400 budget for everything.  So it was adjusted to $400 for groceries and $150 for eating out.  As I have said that I need to be honest with myself, I will be honest with you too.  We spent $472 on groceries and $165 on eating out last month.  As I said before I feel better about our spending, but it's still not perfect.  I would like to stay more in budget so that we have more money to put into savings.  If we keep working at it, I think we'll do better.

What did I learn last month?

If I'm debating if we are going to use something or might need it in the future, it's not worth getting.  As someone told me "A deal is only a deal if you're going to use it."  I think I spent too much time and money convincing myself that we would use something and realizing later that we aren't going to.

I need to have a plan and know what I'm doing or dinner becomes a much bigger deal.  It also means that if I don't feel well, Jolly Green Daddy can help me out and make a meal.  I have a meal plan for the month and am hoping that it will help me out.

It is important to keep track of spending.  It is the only way to make sure we're spending wisely.

If one shopping strategy isn't working try another one.  I'm giving Once a Month Shopping a try this month.

February's Budget

As I mentioned above I had to amend the Grocery and Food Budget.  For February we have $400 to spend on groceries and $150 to spend on eating out.  Small Fry turns 1 this month and I'm hoping not to go over budget even with having a small family get together.  I do have a separate area of the budget set aside for birthdays and gifts, so some of the spending will come from there too.

I will post the details of these trips later, but for now, here is how our budget is looking.  Remember, that my plan for this month is to do the bulk of the shopping at the beginning of the month with small supplemental shops for dairy and produce later on.

Starting Amount $400

  • Publix Trip 2/1: $70.12
  • Winn Dixie 2/1: $7.88
  • Whole Foods 2/1: $164.84
  • Whole Foods 2/3: $22.94
  • Target 2/3: $8.41

Remaining Budget: $125.81

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