A mothers love is forever.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Do you have a household budget? How did you come up with it? Are you organized with it? Stick to it? What's the secret?

We have a budget. When we started into adoption and saw the high cost of it, we knew we needed to buckle down, so to speak. Then, once the girls came (surprise... you're gonna have TWO in diapers), and I decided to stay home, it only made sense. We started out by sitting down and really examining what we spend on things that are monthly expenses. Groceries, diapers, cable, phone, cells, gas, electric, etc. Then, whatever was left, we divided into other things like savings for the girls and finally, our montly "fun" money. I say fun in quotes because Aaron wants things like household cleaners and needed baby supplies to be in that same category. I guess that makes some sense because they were unaccounted for items. This also has to include any meals out, gifts for birthdays, anniversarys, holidays, mail, stamps, anything. Anything not already budgeted for.

So, we have this x amount that we have for those miscellaneous items. Most Every month since we started budgeting, we have gone over. We got a bit of a reprieve once when the girls went off formula to Vit D milk. But about that same time, they started eating more fruits and veggies so that money basically went there. Then, last November, YAY, Holly potty trained so the diaper budget cut drastically! However, for some reason, there doesn't seem to be any difference. I've even started using coupons. I'm not a psycho couponer (although I envy those who have the time and patience for that) but it saves on average $10-40 per shopping experience. I rarely buy anything large without a coupon. I love coupons. Anyway, even with all of the seemingly good movement toward extra cashflow, it doesn't seem to help.

I guess what I'm asking is, do you budget and if so, how do you do it? Any tricks to the trade? Any suggestions? This is our biggest fight in our home. If we didn't have a budget, I wouldn't peg Aaron as the enemy. I've heard lots of people have been blogging about Dave Ramsey but I have no idea who he is. Do you record your spendings? Do you sit down once, twice, three times a month to discuss it? Do you blame each other? Any help would be great.

I'd say we've tried lots...
  • Writing it on a wipe board in the kitchen
  • Documenting in Excel
  • Transferring x money for extra items into a cash card each month so we can't go over
  • Breaking down the x money into smaller categories
This is just for keeping track of it. Currently we have two envelopes on the fridge for receipts. One for the x money and one for the budgeted items. Then we go in at the end of the month to see where we are and sometimes earlier in the month. Right now, we are over budget by about $100. We are supposed to go on a date this weekend for dinner and a movie. Monday I have an appointment for Hannah's 18 month pictures (three weeks behind schedule). So, what do we do? Where do we go from here? Any ideas would be great!


  1. I would say you have to check it more often in the month (not just at the end of the month). We track it in excel and check it once or twice a week to see where we are at. It is so hard, I know, and even harder because we stay at home so we're not bringing in any income :(

    --Kristy (fellow adoptive mommy)

  2. We just finished the Dave Ramsey course (http://www.daveramsey.com/home/). Before this we never had a budget and it was definitely a source of friction with us. We use Dave's suggestion of cash envelopes for certain things - like eating out, groceries, entertainment, etc., and then budget using Excel for bills. He suggests that every dollar has a "home" before the month starts - which has worked well for us so far. We do have "Budget Committee Meetings" throughout the month - just to make sure we are both on track. Good luck with it Angie!!

  3. Well, this is how our "budget" works Angie: I am the only one who works so I get to fret and worry about all the bills and then at the end of the month, dh tells me how much I need to be paying on "HIS" credit card - charges that we have not discussed. I don't really have any "fun" money since I pay for groceries, housing, internet, phone, gas, dog food, our car insurance - dh parks his truck in the driveway and it sits for months and months (grrrrrr!) and then I worry about how I will get everything paid for including MY grad school. In the meantime, dh tells me "we" should rescue a dog and buy a new car. Uhhhhhh, I do NOT think so - thankyouverymuch! Good luck on the budgeting and I will come back for more suggestions!

  4. Let me know when you figure this out: ) we do a mix of dave ramsey, excel tracking budget sheet, and me being told I've overspent...again, haha. Btw, love the new blog, your girls are precious, and glad you can read our blog Too!