I’ve been really broke before and I’ve had more cash than I knew what to do with in one day. Having my son has really changed the way I think about finances. I’ve learned so much over the past two years.
My husband and I are planning on buying a house in the next year and a half. We also want to have another child in that time frame. In order to accomplish these goals, Chris and I will have to make some changes in the way we live.
Our bills now (including renting our apartment) come to his income plus approximately $300. We have decided that because we need to work on getting our debt paid off, thus raising our credit scores, and we need to save up money for a down payment. This has lead us to our unique way of budgeting.
Most people budget for the entire month. We found that when we did that, we never seemed to save anything. We would end up spending our money somewhere getting things. And I do mean things! Have you ever been to Target? It’s a trap. I love Target so much; but every time I go there, I end up buying ten times more than I needed.
Back to the budget. We tried a few methods and found that weekly budgeting works best for us. Chris gets paid weekly and I get paid bi-weekly, so there is always something that can be added weekly to the budget. I do the budget at the beginning of the month so that we have the entire month planned out. I’ll write another post on just the budget next week.
So I’m broke and I know it. And I’m fine with it! Here are three reasons why I truly believe I am broke.
- I don’t have money to spend on lunches out. I am saving towards a goal. When you have a goal in mind, it’s so much easier to say no to eating lunch at your favorite Mexican place almost every day. It’s easier to make lunch for you and your husband so that both of you don’t need to spend that extra money on food you already have in the house. Check out this super awesome DIY saving jar from Cosmopolitan via Something Turquoise! I plan on making one for our trip to Hawaii for our 5-year anniversary (maybe even 3-year anniversary if we can save enough). Yes, we just got married a month ago. I know! But there are things that need to get paid. When you have a set goal in mind, it doesn’t seem so bad.
- I don’t have money for extravagant or extra things. When my friends text me to say they are in town and want to go out (which usually entails spending money at several bars or strip clubs), I have to tell them, “No.” Sometimes I do go out with the girls if I know it’s only going to be dinner and a few drinks. If I know it’s going to turn into something more than I suggest something easier on my budget. If that doesn’t work then I choose not to go out. It sucks for now; but in the long run, my family and I will be better for it.
- I don’t have money for alcohol. If I could have it my way (and my husband would testify to this), I would drink a beer or two every day after work. The line of work I do can be very stressful and sometimes I come home just wanting a beer or a glass of wine. My intention is not to come home and get drunk every night. Far from it! I like to unwind or get a little buzz going. Because we are broke, I’ve started doing other things instead. I’m working out more. I’m drinking more water.
Honestly, the list could go on! It is possible to have money in the bank and still be broke. I pay my bills; and we have food and necessities in our house. Still we consider ourselves broke because of our goals. We want to pay off our debt, save up money, and pay off our mortgage so we can do things with our kid(s) in the future. We don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. Budgeting is the easiest way to get to that point.
Look out for another budgeting post next week!
How do you budget? Does it work?