Thursday, August 16, 2007

Budget Time

You know when you post a date of when you are going to start your diet and that date finally comes and you look for reasons why you COULD bump it back just a bit? Well, today is budget time for my family. My wife and I both get paid on the 15th and we are going to make a commitment to paying off all our debt outside the house and one car payment within one year.

I analyzed our monthly bills, fixed and flexible, along with variable items such as food, clothing and entertainment and with aggressively paying down what debt we do have we still have a bit of money left over each month. We are going to an envelope system where we will put cash in various envelopes: mine, my wife's, clothing, food and dating-entertainment. If there is no cash then it means NO GO. We plan on using our bankcards only for gas, hair cuts and any medical issues. Probably will create a miscellaneous envelope for the times I earn extra cash mowing or detailing cars.

My number each month to spend is $100, or $25 a week. When you only have so much to spend a few things will change: $5 buy in poker nights in stead of the $20 games, fewer fountain drinks, non-premium beverages on card nights, sodas while watching the game at a sportsbar, dining at home a LOT more, sneaking in my own popcorn to the movies, going to the $5 theatre instead of the $8 nicer one. Breakfasts at home instead of drive-thrus.

What do you think is a reasonable amount for personal expenses each month?

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