Saturday, December 31, 2011

The budget report

Al and I fought over and over and over through the years about money. January 2011 started a change for us that I agreed we needed, and he was thrilled that I agreed to. A   B U D G E T . I've been on a budget before, that's how I was able to afford living in an apartment alone when I was single. BUT the thought of having a budget the way our spending was, was just too daunting, I couldn't even think about how it would work. But, it was a new year and I was ready to stop all of the bickering that was plaguing us. We started the envelope system. Basically you figure out everything you can possibly use cash on and then put that amount into envelopes each month. If the envelope is empty, your spending for the month is done, even if it's not the end of the month. That thought terrified me! I wanted to be sure we were accurate about how much to put into each envelope and I am so thankful that we calculated correctly and there were only a few close calls! I went through the year, following the budget as faithfully as I humanly could and each month the envelopes were pretty much empty. It was discouraging to Al because he had in his mind that we should "save" each month and not use ALLLL the money each month. My argument was that the money that we budget for is meant to be spent, that's why we also had a savings envelope that was not to be touched. This was something we discussed throughout the year, neither of us changed our opinion, it is what it is. I was thrilled yesterday when I went through the envelopes to take a year end calculation of how we did. I was beyond thrilled when there was some left over in each envelope. I was able to empty some of the envelopes (groceries, entertainment, eating out, clothes, etc.) completely to then pool the money into a different savings envelope (FUTURE HOME!!!) and I still was able to keep some filled to accumulate (school, medical, savings) and pool into next year's expenses. Overall, I would 100% say that it was a successful first year on a budget and it definitely motivated me in the confidence department that I am capable of being on a budget AND save money too!! It's a great day :)

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