Happy Financial Awareness Day!
Alright guys, this week we are going financial. Its time to become a budget mom. I know I said the B-word… Something needs to be done. Mike and I have struggled with a budget since we got together. In the past couple of years, we have changed our mindset. We have goals and dreams we are making a priority in life.
With those goals and dreams comes at a price. The price being I have to make a budget. I mean which is free, so were not spending anything. If you have read any of our other posts or things we share on social media. You could see we have been turning the direction of our life towards the opposite of what it is now.
The reason behind our budget journey
Recently Mike started at a new company. Between jobs, he was home for 2 weeks. I know he needed the break from working all the crazy hours. Yet, it did kind of put us behind a little bit. Not too bad. but it could have been worse. Mike struggled back and forth with if he should leave his job of 2 years, but decided to take the plunge. No matter what his decision was I was supporting him.
Mike works for a traffic control company. You know those annoying detours and lane closures you see on the road… yeah that’s what he does. He sets everything up and some people don’t like to obey the signs. Mike comes home every couple of weeks with a story about one of his co-workers. Those stories scare me.
Benefits new VS old company
He works semi-good hours, gets a 401k, insurance, and PTO. Mike’s job is dangerous and the company was not paying him enough to risk his life on highways. If they did give him a raised it was only a few cents. Between taxes and child support deducted from his checks. Some weeks it seemed impossible that we would ever get caught up.
With Mike’s new job being a supervisor it gives us the opportunity to almost triple his yearly salary. Mike works so hard for this family and it saddens me that we are not living the way we should be. All we both have been doing is working live, not living to work. I never wanted my our life together to be like this.
Budgeting Powers…. ACTIVATE!
Since Mike is starting this new job and will be working crazy hours. I am taking upon myself to be the one who handles our finances more than what I am doing now. I am going to get this budget in order. So let’s see what I can learn from the budget mom.
To get our budget in order we are turning to none other than the budget mom herself Miko. I have been following her for a while and I like her style. If you don’t know who The Budget Mom is then let me explain. She is this badass chick who kicked her financial situations ass. She is all about a weekly cash envelope system that works for you.
Do what is best for your Budget
It’s not a one size way fits all. This system holds you accountable for your actions. It goes by YOUR real numbers in YOUR bank account. Not by someone else’s numbers or what you “SHOULD” be spending or saving. Its all done how you want it.
I knew, for the most part, I was already following a weekly budget, but I also knew I could do better. We were barely making it to the next payday and had nothing to show for it in the end. So with Mike’s new job, I am making it my mission to become a weekly cash envelope budget-er.
Be real with yourself and your budget
Let’s get started. The first thing Miko suggests is that you go through your own bank records from the past 3 months. You should highlight each transaction into categories. I printed out our bank statements from the past 3 months. I went through with a fine-tooth comb and highlighted like transactions.
If you don’t have a printer you can go to your bank and ask a banker to print it out for you. It took a while to go through all transactions, but you see where your money is going. I noticed going through our history. Our categories ended up being Bills, Groceries, Gas Stations, and Fun.
After I went through and highlighted everything. I opened an excel sheet and entered the amounts added them all together. Then divided by 3 (the months I was averaging). Which gave me the average of what I was spending per month in that category.
See where your money is going and where to fix it
An example would be groceries for 3 months we spent 1595.28 divided that by 3 months gave me 531.76. I thought I was spending 300 a month on groceries. I guess those quick little trips to Walmart did add up.
This showed me I was spending 231.76 dollars more than what I thought. I then divided that by 4 weeks in a month and it gave me the average of what I was spending weekly on groceries. It turns out I was spending roughly 132.94 a week on groceries. It opened my eyes.
Our fun category wasn’t too bad, but it definitely could be better. Total for 3 months we spent 1088.77 divided by 3 months was 362.92. Dividing by 4 for weekly shows we are spending 90.73 a week. Spending money on eating out, thrifting, Xbox subscriptions and doing fun family things. I didn’t think it was that much.
Knowing these amounts now, after the initial shock, I can now create a budget that fits what I am spending now. For groceries, I can now say instead of 132.94 a week. I want to meal plan and get it down to 100 a week. I have tips for meal planning if you guys want to hear more about that. Let me know down below in the comments and I will create that post.
For our fun budget, I want to drop it from 90.73 a week to 50. Make more conscious decisions if we go thrifting, do we need this or can we wait to save up for it. The house needs a bit of a purge anyway. It also needs a deep cleaning. If you are struggling with that part you will like my post on my cleaning tips.
Make a plan to save money and where it will go
If I can save the 32.94 from groceries and 40.73 from our fun budget. That’s 73.67 a week I could put towards my car as an extra payment. That’s almost 300 dollars. This will be the only time I will ever get excited about math.
When I see the potential in what I am doing VS what I should be doing. I am amazed by how many thoughtless purchases we have made. We live pretty frugally as it is. I mean I rarely buy anything brand new.
My goal is to be frugal with our money. Save for an emergency fund and make extra payments to all our bills. Our goal is to get a month or 2 ahead. Then after that, I will be tackling our debt.
Start small… take baby steps
I spent the 2 dollars and bought Miko’s budgeting sheet that I can print out when I need it. You can find it at the budget mom website. I am determined to do right by me and Mike. We work so hard for what? Nothing…We have nothing to show for it. It starts with a baby step, call yourself out on your mistakes and learn from them. Learn how to make your money work for you, not you working for your money.
I hope you guys enjoyed this beginning process on starting our new budget. Next time we take about finances I will be showing you how I am putting Miko’s plan into action. This was the first step to see where our money is going. Hold yourself accountable and realize you need to make better decisions.
I am going to track our spending a little bit more before I move on to the budget side of this. I want to understand my bank statements better. Hold myself accountable on the purchases we make. Then jump into making the budget.
If you guys are starting your own journey let me know what you need to work on or what your plan is. Share in the comments below to help someone who is struggling. Success in becoming a budget mom doesn’t happen overnight.
Until next time, have a great day!