Becoming Debt Free Step 4c – Budgeting Step 4

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We now have a revamped budget with 4 categories:

  1. Shopping, Entertainment, Eating Out and Home Improvements  – $400/mo
  2. Bills, Gas, Tithe – $$.$$/mo 
  3. Home Repairs – as needed from savings
  4. Gasoline – unbudgeted

Extra non budgeted money from our paychecks at the end of each month will be put towards the mortgages.Any budgeted Bills etc. money left will roll over to the next month. Texas electric bills are higher in July/August. Half of the budgeted Shopping etc. money will become blow money for us and the other half will roll over to the next month when I do a lot of Christmas and birthday shopping for the kids in our extended families.

It’s been a week since I revamped the budget so it’s time to check up and see how much we’ve spent this week. We’re actually about 2 weeks into the month so I’m checking to see that we’re under the halfway mark for our $400 budget.

So far this month we’ve spent $144.90 so we’re only at 36% of the shopping etc. budget!

After dropping over $50 at Super 1 Foods on Monday and Tuesday I thought we’d be over budget for sure.  But that’s why this step in budgeting is so important – if we had spent more than half the budget already, we’d need to be very careful the rest of the month and reign expenditures in.  I certainly don’t want to wait until June 30 to see if we’ve stayed in budget.

We don’t currently work on a cash system, and I can’t see one working for us.  But I’m toying with the idea of setting up an ING account with a debit card that I can put our shopping etc. funds into each month and only use that card.  Has anyone tried this or a similar method before? My fear is that I’ll see it as a safety net of money to be spent instead of trying to not bust the budget. 

Let’s review:
Getting Out of Debt Step 1: Know how much debt you have and the associated interest rates.
Getting Out of Debt Step 2: Build an Emergency Fund
Getting Out of Debt Step 3 (Budgeting step 1): Know how much money you have to spend and make sure your tax withholdings are correct.
Getting Out of Debt Step 4: Create a Budget
Budgeting Step 2: Track your current expenses– preferably 1 year’s worth – to see where you’re spending money.
Budgeting Step 3: Make a plan for all your money, taking into account one time expenses.
Budgeting Step 4: Check up weekly

Amazon Code Hunt 6/28/12 Part 2 : GE28GE I’ll post the last part of the code around 9:20 CST in a post that combines cooking and debt (that’s a pretty easy clue right???).Claimed!

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