September is over but our big stick-to-it budget push continues. Last month we committed to drop-kick extra spending and really follow the amounts our budget allows. Today I’ll share a little budget update on how that went and pose a challenge for us all in this new month.
Overall, September was a good month for tracking our habits, pitfalls and generally paying more attention to our budget. Also for learning to give ourselves grace when we overspend, which was often. (insert frazzled face here)
Practicing to handle money well is a process. We didn’t actually go over budget in the big scheme, but that was because one large line item was unnecessary and therefore untouched. It added ample padding that insulated the other areas with which we had trouble.
We realized that our biggest problem spots are overspending in the following:
- Food. This family LOVES to eat. We try to meal plan according to sales, but still we repeatedly find ourselves over budget when it comes to keeping our tummies full with good, real food.
- Books. This family loves to read. Mostly this line item represents recreational Kindle versions for Caveman, but I added a couple of books this month too.
- Birthdays. September holds by far the highest concentration of family birthdays. We only budgeted for cards even though we ended up splurging on a couple presents besides Red’s.
- Miscellaneous. “Impulse necessities” is also a continual mystery budget zapper. It ends up being stuff like forgetting to put batteries on the grocery list so now I’m running out to 7-11 because the camera is deaddeaddead. Or nipping out for diaper detergent and chili powder because clearly they are a match made in heaven. Ultimately our food budget suffers for oversights like these.
So looking into lovely October, we will move more into the food budget, we will adjust the card fund and maybe relabel the one “insulating” line item to Oops-I-did-it-again-Miscellaneous to help with “impulse necessities”.
Here’s my challenge to you. This month….
- Identify what your three biggest “repeat offenders” are for overspending the budget.
- Then think through if you should add more money to that item (if you are able) or identify ways to actually lessen the temptation or burden to spend.
Together, no matter what our individual budget numbers look like, let’s encourage one another to stay on track and in control of the amount of money we’ve each been given. We can do it!
Together, no matter what our individual budget numbers look like, let’s encourage one another to stay on track and in control of the amount of money with which we’ve been given.
Join the, um,… fun!? Comment below with your top three budget “repeat offenders” and how you plan to lessen going over-budget in those areas. Oh, and happy October. 🙂