Budget Win!

Finally – a post that isn’t a bunch of pictures that scream, “look at me!”.

Here’s a secret about me – I’m terrible with money.  I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t married Jeremy, I’d be in a slew of credit card debt with hardly any money in my savings account.  When I graduated college, I was about $11k in credit card debt without much to show for it (except 20 extra lbs).

I blame my parents.  My parents are notoriously terrible with money as well and never really taught me the importance of savings.  I didn’t realize just how bad they were until my dad had a stroke over 10 years ago and I had to take over paying their bills.  Even so – I continue to see my dad spend money frivously and it irritates me to no end.  But then I realize I kind of do the same thing.

To help manage money – Jeremy and I have money directly deposited into our own separate checking accounts (as well as our joint accounts).  So yes, we give ourselves an “allowance” each month.  This helps me because the amount is small and it isn’t cluttered with bill payments.  Apparently the older I’ve gotten, the less my brain is able to process stuff.

I’m pretty unaware of how much money we actually have at a given time, how much we bring in monthly, how much we spend on bills and how much we waste on junk.  I just stay in a perpetual state of “ohmygod we’re poor”.  I think Jeremy likes to keep things this way.

Normally around Christmas, we don’t pay much attention to budget.  We’re blessed to (1) have decent paying jobs and (2) get decent year-end bonuses.  We’ve always used our bonus to supplement the cost of gifts but this year, our bonuses were earmarked for other things… like Jeremy’s tuition and my maternity leave (since a portion of it will be unpaid).

This sent me into a bit of a panic.  So we set a budget on what we would spend on each person as well as each other.  I made a super dorky spreadsheet to track out spending and I am super stoked that we kept to it!  We even came in a little under.  While I do feel like we’re not giving anything extravagant this year (not that we ever gave super expensive stuff) – I feel better knowing that we didn’t go overboard.

How do you keep your spending in check?

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4 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

4 responses to “Budget Win!

  1. Yay for dorky spreadsheets! I kept one for Christmas spending. I also keep one with all my expenses; debt goals, etc.. I have every expense as a line item.. It’s intense, but it also helps me keep the “ohmygod I’m poor” mindset, therefore not spending a bunch of extra money.

  2. I’m completely samesies when it comes to money and also live in a perpetual “Oh my god, I’m poor” state of mind (which I really do believe helps me to not spend AS frivolously).

    So, as much as it pains me to say, my way of controlling my budget is habitually convincing myself I’m too poor to afford anything. A plan that epically fails on pay day when I think, for one shorty day in time, (that only lasts until I pay bills) I’m the richest bitch on Earth!

  3. I’m so proud of your budget win! Wm also keeps me on track with budgeting and left to my own devices I’m terrible with money. I just paid off a longstanding credit card balance and I am determined to keep it that way, because paying it all back hurt, esp when I couldn’t remember what some of it even was. I also need to adjust my idea of what “my money” is. That doesn’t include my credit card limit. Just the pitifully small pile of cash in the bank.

  4. The only debt Mike and I currently have is our student loans. Which is a lot, but we don’t have car payments, a mortgage or credit card debt, so it’s ok. We pay all of our bills first, put some in savings, and then anything left over is free game basically. It’s too hard to budget for things like groceries, entertainment, incidentals, etc. So we take care of the essentials and then just spend what’s left as needed. Maybe not the best practice, but for now it works.

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