The budget talks with my husband have been resolved via a compromise. As of June 1, we are adding a separate grocery budget of $125 per week (remember we had been taking our grocery money out of the $200 spending) and then each keeping our respective $200. This effectively increases weekly spending money by about $50-$60. I still wanted to push for more cut backs but the warning signs of jumping off the debt payoff ship were evident so this is a good compromise. I anticipate with time we will add more budget line items like kids, clothing, gas, fitness, etc….but this is where we are now.
The discussion about budgets did, however, prompt me to write out how I plan to spend my $200. I got a free app “budget envelopes” and have created virtual envelopes to track how my $200 is spent. For this week I am still buying 1/2 of the groceries with this money. Thankfully it is a small grocery need week with lots of meals already available at home and with the kids at lots of events where meals are provided! My $200 is broken down like this:
$25 to clothing
$30 to kids
$50 to the van (gas and hopefully building up an account for oil changes and the like)
$10 to dry cleaning (so that I can get about $30 done per month and rollover the rest)
$25 to yoga (saving toward buying a package so I save more per class)
$60 leftover for groceries and “spend.” My plan is to reduce that spend money each week as I get better at this.
As of today, I have spent $0 of the clothing money, $15 for the kids ($5 to a scout event, $10 for two birthday gifts for parties), $40 on gas, $46.00 of the cash (of which $37.50 has been groceries), $0 of the dry cleaning and $0 of the yoga money.That’s $101 and have $99 remaining. Of that $99, there is only $14.00 remaning in the “spend” column. I really should not need more than $14 for things but my goodness does seeing only $14 there make you stop and think! I REALLY want to have at least $90 remaining on Friday! That would be so cool to go into the next week with that rollover fund starting!
Another benefit I noted–yesterday I had to come up to the office for about 3 hours. I brought 7-year-old DD with me and as we left the house she was suddenly hungry. I DID remember to bring snacks but noted that this is a withdrawal process for DD and so…I agreed to stop for a snack and then as I drove to the office, she was in charge of inputting the deduction for that snack! When she saw the spending money go from $18 to $14 she didn’t think much….until we were returning home and again she wanted to stop! I reminded her of our budget line and she quickly said “we have snacks right here…we should just go home.” She didn’t like it but WOW what a moment!!! I must employ this method with the older ones ASAP just so they get the “hands on” part of it. Although I recognize they won’t be nearly as cooperative or excited as she was about the whole thing!
So this is my newest addition to the process. Steve isn’t biting on this one but he says he does have part of his $200 set aside. I think giving each of us total control over the $200 is reasonable although I still don’t think it necessary. Time will tell.