Contrary to what many believe, "Budget" is not a four-letter word.
When my husband and I first met, I was definitely more numbers oriented. I discovered this when he showed me his checking account register. To my horror I saw that he was ROUNDING everything. His reasoning was that it would all balance out in the end.
I immediately took charge of the account.
A few years later we sat down to figure out a budget. His response when we finished creating the budget was, "I knew it. We can't afford to live on what we make."
The main trouble we've had in creating a budget is the fact that we are self-employed. There is no regular paycheck amount that we can plug into the categories. We may have a fantastic month and then three months later bring in $300. I've puzzled and puzzled as to how to create and maintain a budget with income that is always fluctuating.
Enter YNAB (aka You Need A Budget). I read the information on the website and it made SO much sense. I decided to spring for the program and see if it would work for us. I. Love. It. The major premise is to use THIS month's money to pay NEXT month's bills. It is working for us in a major way. I finally have a way to work around that waxing and waning income situation.
I love to read other people's budgets. It's fun to compare the priorities of different families. Sometimes it even provides inspiration. Rini shared her budget HERE. (Thanks, Rini!) I would love to see others, either left in the comments or a post on your blog.
Time to get to the bottom line for us. Below is our budget with our customized categories:
There are a few things missing, namely health insurance, dental insurance, and "personal" money. We have almost never had the insurances in our whole working careers, and we've cut out personal money for the time being as we are committed to bringing that debt down to zero. Someone has suggested we looking into HSAs, which I will be researching soon.
Homeschooling costs practically nothing as I don't use a boxed curriculum, but make good use of the Internet. (If you're interested in my homeschooling "methods," please visit my homeschool blog at Homeschooling "J".)
This is our bare bones, we're-violent-about-getting-out-of-debt budget. As the months go by, I will adjust as needed. I will also make a determination about HSAs and possibly make room for that as well, if it works for us.
OK, I showed you mine. Now show me yours! (BUDGET, of course!)