So since we have lived the dream we want it back. I am the one who works the budget & pays the bills yada yada.. but I will be honest I haven't been very good at it. We have struggled due to over spending, splurging on unnecessary items &dinning out..
Well that is all changing!!! I found this Blog Easter Shore Mom
& she created a budget that I have been searching for & it has made me one Honestly Happy Momma! I have tried to create my own & have lived off one for years but it was more of an online check book vs. a budget. Here is her blog post link with the budget I am using now. Free Budget Template From Eastern Shore Mom
So now every week I am saving money!! We pay our bills & put what ever is left (as long as it over $50) into savings. If we need spending money we take it out of our savings not our checking. That is last resort because now my new way of having spending money is from cash we have from returns or that is given to us. If we we receive a gift card we put it in our coupon (we can talk more about coupons later) book to use when needed. Now I try to keep cash out of my wallet unless we need it that day.. but I have come to realize if I have it in my wallet I spend it. So I put all extra change & cash into my mason jar & it goes in the cabinet.
We had more cash on hand but after Stephen's Birthday on Friday it was spent at dinner. But usually I have about $40 in my cash jar. We use that for eating out or if I am in the mood for a good garage sale treasure day. But this is were it goes this is were it stays.
Now with gift cards we usually get those for Christmas & Birthdays but we don't get to spend them right away because most of them are for resturants, the movies or department stores & well we just aren't able to use them right away.. being that we have 3 yong children. So they come in handy when we can use them.. & its kind of nice because if it is the spur of the moment then I don't have to budget any out of savings.
Also I do have $100 emergency cash stashed away for medical emergencies only. It's not for anything other then that. I only did $100 because that is our co-pay for emergency rooms. But I am going to keep adding to it so that we have at least $5000 in cash stashed for medical emergencies because medical bills can add up.
Now one thing I always do is round up everything going out & round down everything going in. So if Stephen's pay check is $946.25 then I round it to $940 the extra is left in our checking for back up. Now if we get bonus checks or checks that are unexpected then I instantly put those in savings. If its enough to pay a credit card I put what I need for that credit card into checkings & the rest into savings & pay that credit card or loan that day no waiting. Money sitting means money that could be spent on nonsense.
Now I am also a Photographer, Indepenent Creative Consultant for Initials Inc, I am a blanket maker & Independent Consultant for Scentsy. I used to use our money for any expense realted stuff for that & I would always have my paychecks or money earned go to our checking account. Well not anymore. I have a seperate bank account for that. All money coming in or going out comes from that. I also have a credit card I use for business only. So for instance I had to buy a new camera sine my D3100 too a turn for the worst. That was money I hadn't planned on spending but since I had money on my cedit card I use for business I was able to buy a new one. Now I pay that credit card with my earned money. But if I am not making any money (which happens because its rough out there to gain business) I have to use our own money to pay it which stinks but it is what it is. But keep it all seperate for the most part so that its not confused. I don't make enough now to pay myself so it all just stays in that account.
So these are just a few of my Honest Money saving ways & budgeting. I will add more to this series when new tricks come in. I hope some of my ways help you.
Now you may ask why all the strict budgeting & no spending rules well because I want to own again. I want to create rooms for my girls that fit their personalities & give them their own space. I want to paint & plant & have something we pay a huge chunk of change on to be OURS!! I don't want to rent anymore & my girls to share rooms, I don't want to hear my neighbors walking upstairs or wonder if my below neighbor is going crazy from little feet above them. I just want a simple home of our own.. & this is the house we have our goals set on..
My HONEST RULE: is we can't buy or build until we have all our loans, credit cards & at least Stephen's car paid off. So we have a ways to go before we can take pride in home ownership, so for now I will take pride in our budget & savings plan.