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January 18, 2013

The Budget Challenge

If you saw {this post} the other day, you know our family has started a new budgeting program.  It officially went into effect on the 15th when we received a paycheck.  I created spreadsheets based off of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace and calculated everything out.  My mom also has a book by Suse Orman, but I haven't read that one to compare.  If you want to start a budget, I recommend picking one system and just going with it.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, move on and try something else until you find what you like.  Make sure you give the programs a try, though, before you give up.  It might take a little while to see the benefits.
The biggest adjustment we're having to make is the use of the envelope system.  I went to the ATM yesterday and withdrew the amount we designated for groceries.  I then proceeded to Costco to pick up some staples we were lacking and had the lowest bill EVER in the history of our trips to Costco.  It was $11 and some change.  We typically can't get out of there without forking over $100 or more!  If you belong to Costco, BJ's, or Sam's Club, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about!  Forking over that cash, though, and knowing that once I spent it all, we weren't replacing it made me fight the urge to look around.
We're still in the process of figuring out exactly where all of our money goes, so we'll be making a lot of adjustments to the amounts for each category.  It already feels so gratifying to have our money designated and know what we have left over each month to put into other categories.  I will keep you posted!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I enjoy hearing from you!
~Erin

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