We have really stuck to it, and I'm so proud of us! Since we're on a cash budget, I decided I needed some organization to help us out a bit. I made some envelopes to hang up so we could have a place to put receipts. It's nothing fancy, because it's made out of things I already had around the house. :]
At the end of the month, I'll take them out and add everything up. Then I'll compare what we really spent to what our estimated budget was.
This is my budget planner. I got it from Target and it is AWESOME! They have so many cool things like this! I've written down our budget in all the categories and this is where I will compare the estimated to the actual.
It's so much easier to stay on a budget when all you have is cash to spend. When I'm at the grocery store, I have to stick to my list. I can't put other things in the cart, because I only have a certain amount of money I can spend. However, this does take lots of planning.
Sometimes being on a budget is stressful. We were going to have company one weekend and at first there were only going to be a few of us. No problem. I figured the menu out, wrote the list to go shopping, and bought the food I needed for the week. Later that week, we were notified that a couple more people were coming. Well, I knew that what I had planned on making for lunch wasn't going to cut it for all of us. After trying to debate whether I could just go buy more ingredients to double the recipe (and going over budget), I made a 9-1-1 call to my mother. She is SO smart. I knew she would have advice for me.
So together, we figured out that I had enough ingredients in my pantry to make a casserole (which as I later looked back to my menu planner, I was going to make a couple days later). I just had to switch some things around and it ended up being perfect (and we ended up having less people than we thought!). Being on a budget still allows for flexibility. Sometimes you just have to be creative about it. :]
There are sometimes where being on a budget, just plain sucks. There are things you can't do (unless you plan for it). Tyler and I are pretty flexible people and like to fly by the seat of our pants most of the time. We can't just go out to see a movie, or go out to eat, or do something fun our friends are doing. It has to be planned for so that we don't exceed the budget. It's been a challenge at times, but we've made it work.
It's been really good for us. We definitely are watching what we spend and where our money goes. We've cut spending just by not using plastic, which is great! I'm excited to see how our results will total up at the end of the month. I'll let ya know!
Oh, by the way, I've sold 2 Etsy orders since we've been on this budget! How cool!! And for those of you who didn't know I had an etsy, check it out here! It's been so cool to be able to help two different brides out! :]