Confession time: I used to keep a budget. And now I don’t.
One of the best ways to manage your money is to keep a budget. You know this, I know this, anyone who reads any sort of personal finance books or blogs knows this. So why aren’t I doing it?
I’ve definitely gotten out of the habit of keeping a budget. Every day I checked my bank balance, entered in the spreadsheet the payments that had cleared the previous day, thus having a precise image of where we were financially at any given moment. I knew how much we had left to spend on groceries, on gas… which holidays were budgeted for, when the cats had to visit the vet for their check-ups.
And then I got out of the habit of doing so. Mostly because my life became busier, as I started graduate school, but also because of sheer laziness. Not to mention that maintaining that high level of concentration can be exhausting after a while!
I’ve got to get back in the habit, however.
We have a different rent payment now. One car has been paid off and we’re about to take on another car loan payment. My salary has increased (!) and both my husband and I get subsidized restaurant vouchers from work, reducing our eating out costs. Our nanny costs have gone down, but we now have to budget for school lunches… there are so many new variables that it’s hard to mentally keep track.
One of my goals for this week, therefore, is to update my trusty excel spreadsheet. A new month, a new budget, if you will! I hope to be able to share it with you next week.