The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

And now, a word on budgeting. 

Being an accountant, I can (and usually do) make very complex budgets. I have done this for several years for us, and yet, I still feel like we are not as in control as I would like. We are fortunate to have good salaries and frugal tastes, so it has worked out. This year, I am trying something different.

I have allocated a monthly stipend to use for household expenses. January, I went over. Not too far over, and the overage was offset by a gift check that I received. But... I overspent what I allocated.

Thinking about the month ahead, I know that some expenses (preschool, for instance) will be less because of the short month. On the other hand, I know that the mailbox will cost a certain amount to be repaired and I will owe some money for the recent surgery to repair my hernia.

My advice is to do the same: give yourself a fixed amount of discretionary spending (you know, after mortgage/rent & utilities) and then track what you spend. Before you make less urgent purchases (new clothes, shoes, etc.) think about what you have left to spend this month and decide accordingly. I, for one, will be putting off buying new running shoes for a month or so and not buying any new goodies for the kids.

Side note: budgeting time

I'm sticking to the new chore schedule, with this adjustment: I spent one hour on chores, then one hour on fun things (time with the kids, or time for me). It keeps me from working myself into total fatigue *and* I feel like I am spending adequate time and attention on the little ones.

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