I have been working on sharing each week ways we save, but I thought I would do something a little different right now, and share our monthly budget. Do you have one? When I started blogging and doing research almost a year ago, we learned how important it is to have one, instead of just aimlessly spending money and hoping you have enough money for what you need. I have watched a family very close to me with five children live extremely outside their means, not being able to pay for gas, and needed medicine for the kids because of wreckless spending. Over 9000.00 came into their hands and they did not renew their drivers licenses, or even the tag on their vehicle. I now have seen the mother begging and panhandling trying to get those things paid for. She didn't consider when her husband got a new tattoo or she purchased new landscaping items that she might needs gas in her car etc. They saw what they wanted and bought it. It was great that one daughter had a nice birthday party, but what about the daughter that is now sick and mom can't get her antibiotics. Watching them go through this has definately reminded me it is time to start a new budget for our new home. (We are still in the apartment that we had the major problems with, but we are trying to work it all out and stay)
When budgeting I have learned it is good to include the family and determine what is important to them, and if those things can be worked in, or if it is time to determine those things aren't needs and cut them out. An example of this could be cable. For our family, we decided it was important to have it with internet. We just have a minimum package with our internet, but that is our form of family entertainment. We will at times watch a free movie from the on demand categories as our family entertainment or something.
My new budget is not yet perfect and it will require some tweaking later.
Some of the main things in our budget include housing:
My goals for each month are as follows
Car, renters, and motorcycle insurance 155 (for all)
Cell phones are currently 110 but I will be reducing those this month
automobile Gas 150
We also plan to tithe and set a grocery budget of 200.00 per month once we start paying for family health insurance through my husbands work at the end of the month. (until then I have been trying to plan ahead, we have 500.00 in savings...the pet supplies are well stocked at the moment, and I am still reading other blogs learning how to build a pantry so that I can learn to cook more from scratch and reduce our grocery bill.)
As I mentioned these are just my goals, but it is a start at least. I know if these are the things I am going to have in my life I know how much money I need for them. Once we finish regrouping from the challenges we have had with this place, we will revisit our budget, and add categories like pet and medical expenses and maybe family entertainment. I will also be working to stay within the goals I have set for the utilities or to reduce the amount of each bill.