|Source (already sold)|
I have tried to use a budget for years but always came to the conclusion that I never had enough money to make a budget work. With our sporadic income and the debt load, we just cut things to the bone and became poster children for frugality. It seemed silly to make up numbers for "groceries," and "entertainment" only to have them pretty much never work out.
Well, it was a new year and, doggone it, I was going to make it work this time!
I came up with a two-fold system that seems to have fixed the problems I've been having:
ONE: I have separated out a "Household Budget" from the rest of our money. I determined what I needed to take care of the four areas needed to make the day-to-day stuff function: My van gas and car washes, our clothes, our food, and miscellaneous household expenses like toothpaste and batteries. I came up with a figure that would provide enough money to take care of these areas using my penny-squeezing abilities. I separated that money into a new saving account and use one credit card designated for Household. The money is there at the beginning of the month. When that credit card comes in, it is paid off immediately.
TWO: I update the budget DAILY. Every receipt is instantly recorded. I know at all times what's happening with our finances.
The rest of the money that comes in is recorded in a different budget for General Expenses. That one gets updated constantly as well.
It seems to be working. What a relief of stress this is. I don't know why I didn't figure this out sooner, but I'm so thrilled that it is finally established.
Like I said, who knew?