Saturday, July 23, 2011

The budget crisis

I'm not talking about the state budget crisis (which is bad) or the federal budget crisis (which is worse), but my own budget crisis. I'm actually thinking about making a budget. Can you believe it? Me? Ms. Is-on-sale, Ms. Is-there-a-coupon-for-it? Yes, me.

I came to this awakening because I can't figure out any other way to bring our spending in line with our income. We're not irresponsible or in debt or need to dip into savings every month, but there isn't anything extra. Plus, I'd like to budget in some fun, like a vacation. Maybe if we have a budget, I wouldn't stress when we go out or splurge on something. Our expenses have gone up quite a bit the last few years, but our income has gone down. Not a good combination. Plus we've got some big expenses coming up the coming months so I'm feeling the pinch even more. Unfortunately, I have no control over most of the increased expenses. Health insurance continues to rise as much as 20% a year, but I have the most cost effective plan at work. I have some family obligations that are taking a bigger bite than I expected. Food and gas prices continue to rise. I feel like we're living paycheck to paycheck, even though I'm sure we're doing better than most of America.

Hopefully, I can come up with some money-saving ideas (that don't include not buying scrapbook supplies) or rework where our money goes so I'm less stressed.


Jackie said...

it's a great idea Arlyn. I need to do one as well, probably after we move and we have 'new' expenses. I get that same feeling - we go out and I stress about spending $ rather than enjoying the evening out with Thad - and it's not like a bill isn't getting paid for us to occasionally go out either, but I too get so tuned into needing to save it rather than spend that I stress and then don't enjoy it. I look forward to hearing how your experience goes!

Demandra said...

Your Money or Your Life! Have you read it? Changed my life. I cannot stop harping about that book. It helped me figure out a budget that actually works and is based on the reality of my spending.

scrapper al said...

@Jackie, I probably won't make a budget next year when our expenses stabilize.
@Demandra, haven't read the book, but I probably should. Maybe I can buy it on clearance at Borders.