Week 3 came to a close and also rounded out the end of the month. I didn’t start this project until the 2nd week in March, hence the 3rd week of our accountability, yet the 4th week listed on that photo above. As you can see, WE DID IT! We came in under budget! We still had our weekly gas fill up for both cars, some shopping for minor things around the house, but the main reason we’re severely under budget was because I didn’t need to do any grocery shopping. I had some stuff in the freezer and with the holiday weekend, most of our meals were spent out of the house with family.
It was a relief to total everything up and see that we can stick to our budget. Hopefully as time goes on, we can trim that $300 goal down to $250 a week. I know during the summer while I’m on maternity leave we’ll be eating a lot of frozen meals that I’ll prep ahead of time. This will mean, however, that leading up to that point, we’ll be adding more to our grocery budget to stock up on the items I’ll need to prep. I guess it all evens out? Jon is great with providing me with all the receipts so we can mark them down and I remembered to split up a purchase from grocery items and a gift we purchased in the same store.
I’ve kept all the weeks and will continue to keep them but might work on another sheet that summarizes each month, so we can quickly glance our progress as time goes on. Saving that for another day. I know things will get easier, and hopefully we’ll be better prepared for when slight emergency purchases (like that battery) pop up every now and again. And our main goal – a growing savings account – will become larger with each passing week!
And now, because I’ve used it, tinkered & changed some things, here’s the spreadsheet I created and have been using:
So for the most part, it’s a pretty self-explanatory doc. You use one a week, week runs Mon-Sunday (this coincides with my MomAgenda planner). Top bills due are never calculated into the weekly budget, nor anywhere else. Just a friendly reminder of what’s due. Whenever Jon and I spend money on anything, it goes in two spots. The top Receipt Tracker is just like using a check register. You write in the date, the store, and the total. The really expensive week, we ended up spilling onto the backside of the paper. Then, the Daily Breakdown is just that – separate out (if necessary) the items on your receipts to see where your money is going. Target is usually where this happens – since we can do some food shopping, clothing, house supplies, gifts. The bottom row of that is the daily total, and the far right column is the total per category.
At the end of the week, put the total you spent up in the top section, and as you continue through the month, you can update listing the other weeks. Set your own weekly budget, and at the end, it’s easier to see why you were over/under budget. Good luck people! If you purchased it, let me know! Leave a comment 🙂