My Budget's Back

In my head I'm singing the title like the song "My Boyfriend's Back"... My budgets's back and you're gonna be in trouble. I'm completely aware of how weird that is. You know, unless it's a lot weirder than I think it is. Either way, it's back. The budget, not my boyfriend.Remember this post where I named some goals for this year? Well one of them was no more debt. That one is serious business, probably the most serious of them all. I've carried debt since I was 18. Gasp. I know. Let's not talk numbers , just know it's there and it's been there for a long time. It's gone down, it's gone back up and it's gone down again. I can see the finish line... even if it is kind of far in the future.

But oh boy, we are in trouble right now. Blaine and I. Mostly me since I do most of the shopping for us (groceries, household, etc) and I'm the one who pays the bills online and gets all intimate with our financial accounts. Let's just say December we got away with because it was Christmas, but January? Girl, we're in trouble. We spent WAY WAY too much on who knows what.

I spent a lot of time over at The Fun, Cheap or Free Queen. I don't even know how I got there! It lead me to decide it was time to have a family (aka just Blaine and I) meeting about finances and budgets. One thing that made me laugh is a video on that blog where she mentions that people will give detailed information about their birthing experience, but will not talk about money. True story. I'm not afraid to talk about money. Maybe I won't give exact figures about how much we make/spend, but hey, let's talk about money...

I've made a goal of $50 a week on groceries and for the most part, I've stuck to that for the last year. But we need to watch out eating out and spending on things we "need". Two people should be able have a grocery budget of $100/month per person. That works for me, that's what we've been working with. But the other stuff? We're putting a $200 spending limit on that too. That means $400 to live on. Groceries, pet food, household items, gas, everything. Blaine pointed out that we spend like $80/month pet related items because of the little "zoo" we have. Too bad, that just means we need to get creative and frugal with the rest.

Next weekend we'll be heading to the bank to open a second checking account to use as our "spending" account. Part of our problem is that we pay bills and spend money on other things out of the same account. So half the time we're wondering "Do we have money for this? Is a large bill going to come out sooon?" Well we're solving that by having all income go into an account, have all the bills come out of that same account and then set up our "spending" account to which we'll transfer money twice a month. Easy. We're also setting up 2 savings account, one to hopefully let us save up for big purchases in the future and one "life or death" emergency account that we basically can't touch unless someone is going to die.

This year we're going to become debt free. And this was probably the most boring post on the face of this planet, but I'm excited about it. Blaine is less excited about it because money stresses him out and he's not weird like me. I like the challenge.

Too wordy for you? Here's the summary:

Goal: $200/month on groceries + $200/month on other = $400 budget for us and our "zoo" to live off of each month

How? Open a second "spending" checking account where we'll transfer our budgeted money over. Once it's gone, it's gone.

What else? Two savings accounts: one for big purchases and the (hopefully) rare "oops, we went over budget and we literally have no food" and one "life or death" emergency savings.

How do I feel about this? I'm excited to pay off to be debt free by the end of 2013 and I'm totally up for the challenge.

How Blaine feels about this? Money makes him quiet, but he gets it and he's down. He hardly spends money anyway. I had to convince him to buy new shoes this weekend because his literally had holes in them. He gulped as he paid $35 for a pair that was on sale. He gulps when he spends money he doesn't want to.