Budget & Accountability {week 1} #FinancialFriday

budget and accountability week 1

I posted on Facebook about the spreadsheet I created in order to track our expenses.  Jon and I, prior to getting married, had some credit card debt to get rid of, so had to find out more about it all.  We accomplished that before we got engaged, and then from that point on, lived off our debit & checking account rather than relying on credit cards.  It went well. We saved. The items we paid for our wedding were done with cash rather than credit (except the groomsmen gifts. That was last minute and money was tight so it went on a card).  Then, we got an offer for Bank of America’s 3,2,1 percent cash back.  So in October 2010, we signed up for the card. We put everything on that and paid it off each month. Holidays were usually a bit tougher to pay it off since there was more expenses with gifts, but also home stuff – home warranty, home owner’s insurance, and both of our car tags.  But we’d get it done in January and move on.

Except this year, it got a bit out of hand. We had things a bit backwards. We had plenty in savings to cover the credit card, but didn’t want to use it.  I know, I know – wrong mentality.  So, with the sale of our condo, and the goal of a new house for 2014, we had to get serious.  No one likes talking about savings, debt, and goals.  It’s not fun. It’s not fun to look over what you spend your money on each month.  Target is my downfall. So many pretty things in one place. So easy to go there for all our household needs (and lets not forget my closet, and Aubrey’s).  Jon has a downfall too – Sam’s club.  He has the membership, so he’s the shopper there. Each trip usually entails one or two new things to try out – food, snack, or something else.  We both have to keep each other accountable, and open back up the communication.

Communication? Yes. Because we’re not using our credit card anymore.  This means every purchase has to be communicated to the other, to ensure our checking account is kept in line. We’re still saving and have bills to pay.  So I created a worksheet. I’m trying it out for a few weeks to tweak it before I post it online. But don’t worry. I’ll have weekly updates for you, and you can eventually download to use, if you’d like.

The goal is simple – track the bills we have to pay each week, and every dollar that we spend.  There’s categories, as well, to see where our money is going. We used a similar method early on in our marriage and it worked really well. It made me think twice before buying something, and Jon too. We just need to get back to that spot. We are trying to live slimmer, so we can save quicker. One thing we did was not get cable in our new house. We couldn’t get DirecTV again, and decided to just get Netflix instead.  But, because our storage is lacking, we have to have a storage unit as well. So money traded.

So here’s the week one summary.  I’m setting a monetary goal to get under each week. This does not include the bills that are due. What this does cover is food, gas, and anything else we buy.  The first week the goal was $300. We were doing pretty well early on.  But, then I remembered we needed to buy a wedding gift, and then my car battery died and needed replacement. So, even with those two expenses (and WOW are SUV batteries expensive!!), we came in over budget at $373.51 (the photo above had the original total scratched out, because I forgot I got Baja Fresh on Friday. oops.) But, I also somewhat “cheated” as the weeks run Mon-Sun and that weekend Jon stocked up at Sam’s club since we hadn’t been there in ages. So, the following weeks should be more representative of what we spend.

This week’s goal is also $300. I also have a baby shower to purchase for – let’s see how we do!

Let’s stay accountable together! Link up your Budget/Accountability/Financial post from this week! 

Comments

    • says

      I think it should be a part of everyone’s lives! It’s a smarter way to live. But I think it can have such a stigma that you budget cuz you’re broke. NOT TRUE!!!

  1. says

    We pretty much live on a budget without keeping track – It would be interesting to keep track though. I’m inspired by this especially after you posted about it on FB. Good luck and can’t wait to hear more!

    • says

      Ya seeing it in black and white (or color – since I’m keeping the weekly sheets pretty with pens. Lol) it can really smack you in the face.

  2. says

    Good luck with the budgeting! I think you guys will do great, esp because you’re checking in with each other (and communicating). I have Netflix and I love it. I wish there were newer seasons of shows, but I get over it.

    • says

      Thanks! Communication is important with anything. We know we’ll slip up but as long as we know we can feel safe to confess that to the other – it can help us be little cheerleaders to each other to do better next time. Ok so that sounds corny. But you know what I mean 🙂

  3. Maribel Reyes says

    We too cleared out of debt, now with trips to visit family and stocking up on items we will need as we relocate I have been going to Target a lot! That is my downfall too. My other downfall is because we are faraway from family and friends, instead of driving to visit them I end up shopping! I know retail therapy is the worst. Just like you communication has always been here as to what I buy or what I don’t, like I said before I am going to do my best to work with a budget and not buy things we don’t need.

  4. says

    We are so bad at budgeting. Looking forward to seeing how your spreadsheet works out for you because, especially with a new kid, we need to get serious about doing it ourselves.

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