So do you wanna hear my new obsession? You'll laugh when you read this, but it's true. My newest obessesion is BUDGETING! Perhaps it's because stuff keeps breaking and we have to keep paying through the nose to fix it, or perhaps it's the idea of having 2 in diapers. I like to think it's just me following the counsel of Marvin J. Ashton...but one way or the other I started budgeting a couple of months ago and I love it.
It started small. I just wanted to know where all my money was going! I kept track of everything in excel. Then the next month I decided I was going to actually put better LIMITS on myself, now that I knew where the money was going. Now, one thing to know about us is that we aren't big spenders. We don't go shopping unless we actually need something, and even then we try to find the cheapest available thing. So we've always been relatively wise about our spending. But a budget can REALLY reveal what's going on with your pocket-book. I never counted all the quick trips I was making to the grocery store, or the trips through the drive-thru when I was too tired to cook. I really was shocked to see all of those little purchases add up over the course of 30 days! They put a big dent in the budget!
So, I have to say that I was actually having a harder time than I thought this month when I was trying to stay within the parameters of my new budget! At first I was feeling slightly constricted (as I had chosen to give myself VERY conservative limits). But something funny has happened. It's now become some wierd competition that I have with myself. Seriously! It's like, "How much can I save on my grocery budget this month?" Or, "Where can I get the cheapest and cutest baby clothes?" I don't want to feed my poor family spaghetti every other day. Everyone knows Chase needs more variety in his diet than that. The good thing, is that I've found lots of other people out there with the same obsession! I found some "online friends" who are super-crazy about coupon clipping and know where to find the best "deals and steals." And I've found some cool websites to help with dinner planning (my first lesson in grocery budgeting is to have a good meal plan every week). I signed up for the local paper and I'm going to start clipping coupons more!
Anyway, I encourage everyone to join me on the budgeting bandwagon!
Oh, and here's a fun website I'm currently loving...it does all the work for you! Hooray!