Living Paycheck to Paycheck – Budgeting Update

http://www.beboldbeblessed.com/2016/12/28/living-paycheck-to-paycheck/

In December I posted about the fact that we were working on getting out of debt, you can read that post here.   It has only been two months and although we have not made that much of a dent we are learning a few things along the way.

  1. There are hundreds of ways to budget.
  2. I made a few mistakes a long the way with our money…again.
  3. Having to budget for the whole family is hard when you are the only one handling the budget.
  4. Living paycheck to paycheck sucks!

There are a hundred ways to budget.

I’ve been visiting Pinterest quite a bit lately and I’m amazed at how many ways you can manage a budget.

  • Calendar budgeting- this is where I started.  I took a calendar for each month and for each debt I wrote the amount on the date it was due.  I would then cross it off when it was paid.  This worked for a while but only focused on the stuff we were paying (meaning debt) and not actually what we were spending.
  • Good ol’ fasioned paper and pen- you can list what you make and subtract everything you owe and then whatever is left is what you get to spend.  You still need to figure how much money is spent on items like groceries, necessities, gas, haircuts, etc.
  • There is an App for that!  Seriously, there are tons of budgeting apps out there.   Some of them are great and some were a littel cumbersome.  I tried a few but I always felt like I couldn’t see things in real time.  If you wanted to pay for a premium app you could sync it to your account balances and then know how much you are spending.
  • Excel spreadsheets- this is by far the easiest for me right now.  I keep tweaking it so it seems to be getting better and better.  I’m not an expert at Excel, I just know the common stuff like basic formulas and filters.  Other than it’s super simple and I’ve added a column to keep track of outstanding items like bills I have paid to ensure that I’m watching that they get paid.  I had an issue a while back which I’ll explain later that caused me to add this.

I made a few mistakes a long the way

  • I didn’t keep track of a payment that was made and it was debited from our account and then later credited back to the account because the routing number was wrong.  I ended up thinking I had more money than we really had and spent it. The creditor called me and said I hadn’t paid which made me furious and sure enough the payment didn’t actually clear so it was never paid.  So I had to scramble to find $482 in our budget.
  • Mistake number 2 was a doozie.  I paid our mortgage twice.  Not because I wanted to or had the money to do so.  I thought I had forgotten to pay it and actually had done at the beginning of the month so when the payment had not cleared instead of going in and checking the payment status I just paid it again.  It caused my bank to move money from our savings to our checking to cover the overage.  Uggghh.  I have not had an overdraft in over 20 years.  I was so upset.  The mortgage company was super awesome when I called and said no problem they’ll just reverse the payment and refund the money back.  I am glad because I never meant to touch the money in our savings.

Having to budget for the whole family is hard when you are the only handling the budget.

I’m grumpy most days when it’s the day I have to look at our budget and see what is going on with our money.  Why?  Because we have too much month at the end of the money.  We had a couple of extra expenses this month that I didn’t account for…oh wait it’s not that they weren’t accounted for, someone didn’t tell me we were going to be spending that money.  You know who that someone was right?  My Hubby, that guy that rocks most days. Well he pissed me off the last two weeks. He decided to sign up little one for Baseball.  Cost is $190- he paid the deposit of $100 and didn’t tell me.  He also paid for his yearly license to hunt and fish, again without telling me that he spent $55.

I’m pretty sure I’m sounding like I’m bitching cause $155 shouldn’t be an issue right? It’s an issue when you have no money and are living pay to pay check.

Living paycheck to paycheck sucks!

We are at that point right now and it honestly sucks big time.  I hate it.  But right now it’s the only way I can manage the budget until we sock away some of our debt. We are building an emergency fund and we are also working at pounding away some of the debt we have.  So far we have paid out $3,612.38 in debt and that was just in January.  Yuck right?  I mean seriously imagine all the things we could do if that money was actually ours and not someone else’s.  Yeah that’s how you have to look at debt people.  Once you have spent it and are now paying someone else the money you make every check is not yours, it’s someone else’s.  Enter curse words here!!!! #&%#!

I’m glad that we are working on getting ourselves out of debt but at the same time I wish we had never gotten here to begin with.  It seriously sucks and when we are all done with our debt I am going to be so darn happy!

 

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