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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!