Here is our plan to get into a better place financially.
My husband recently re-crunched our numbers (bills vs. income) and discovered we should end up with approximately $900 at the end of each month. What does this mean? It means we have been acting like complete idiots lately and we have wasted an unknown amount of money.
The plan is to pay our bills, and stay within budget for areas like groceries. By the end of each month we should have the surplus money to play with. This amount will be divided up between savings and various other funds (allowance, entertainment, a clothes fund, etc.). Because of our recent bad behavior, we will not have the full amount at the end of July, however if we keep focused and working hard we should have it by the end of August. Essentially we are a bit behind at the moment and July will be a very tight month. No more eating out, limited grocery spending, no entertainment (during summer movie blockbuster season? torture!), no extra purchases at all outside of rent, bills and food.
I worry about endurance. With any plan in the past we have done well for short spurts of time. Keeping our energy up for the long term is our challenge. Hopefully if we start to see our savings grow and debt dwindle we will feel inspired to keep going. If we can make this plan work and actually stick to a budget for once, the payoff (pun intended!) will be great!
I started yesterday by setting a spending limit when I went to the grocery store. I make our grocery list with items numbered by priority and calculate the total as I shop using the calculator on my cell phone. Shopping takes a little longer this way, but it is very worthwhile. I was $40 under budget and we have tons of food!
Another great reason to buckle down and follow this plan - we are turning in a loan application to our bank tomorrow. The purpose of the loan is to pay off our tax debt. We will then re-pay the local bank. We need to stick to our plan so that we can pay off this loan on time or early and be debt free!