It has been three months since I started using You Need a Budget. I’m pleased to say that I’ve stuck with it and am really starting to get my budget under control. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far.
- We spend a lot of money going out to eat. Well we use to. Now that I put in place a budget of $75 for monthly entertainment/date nights, we are rather picky about where and when we go out to eat. I spend a little more time on deal sites like Groupon and Living Social buying coupons to use on date night.
- Pets are expensive, but not as expensive as kids. We are considering getting another dog, a big 80lb+ dog, so I added the cost to our budget. Food, treats, vet bills, another bed, leash, food bowl, flea, tick and heart worm medicine, etc. It would cost us about $1500-2000 a year and that is if the dog stays healthy and we just have normal vet visits.
- I forget I need to buy stuff that aren’t emergencies. I’ve budgeted “Just in Case” money for emergencies but what I’m talking about are things I have to buy once, maybe twice a year. So now I’ve started looking around for those things I will need to buy but not every month so I can add them into the budget. For example, this past month I had to buy furnace filters, change the oil on my car, and buy new windshield wipers.
- Having a monthly allowance really makes me conscience of what I want to spend my money on for myself. I have $75 each month that I can spend on what ever. What I don’t spend carries over to the next month. I’ve already divided that money up. I’m saving to go on a 4-wheeling trip, a few things for my motorcycle, and a video game. In talking with my friend, he wants me to join his gym at $15/month so we can workout together. But that means I have to either give up something I am saving for or save longer to buy it later. After thinking about it, I decided not to join the gym because I would rather not wait and I have workout equipment at home. I feel like an adult now.
- Having a budget really gives me a clear picture on what I need to make every month to pay bills and also what bills are out of control.
- We are able to work towards savings goals together. We want to redo the patio this year, nothing major but it will cost a few hundred dollars. Now that we aren’t spending money on what ever, thanks to the budget, we will have the money to redo the patio. Thanks budget!
- Communication will go a long way. Throughout this whole process I’ve been talking with my fiancée about our budget. Even though our budget is a work in process it helps to understand where all our money goes and what we can afford and can’t afford.
Overall having a budget has taken some effort. I can see why a lot of people either don’t have one or argue over money. You Need A Budget has helped a lot. If you don’t have a budget, I would suggest starting one. You will be amazed what you spend your money on. If you do have a budget, what are something you have learned from using a budget? Please leave us a few comments!