Tuesday, July 10, 2012

So How's The Budgeting Going?

We've started month three of our Total Money Makeover. Part of me says "Oh, it's easy!" but another part of me feels the crunch towards the end of the month when there are still a few odd bills that come in late (though they are budgeted for) and the bank balance starts to look scary low or the grocery money envelope has a few less bills in it than I would like.

Of course, it doesn't help that the "Pickles" suddenly needed orthodontics work on their teeth. We put it off for another month to scrounge up the down payment rather than putting it on a credit card. The monthly payments were added into our (already tight) budget. Thank heavens our dental insurance covered half.

Then there were the holidays and birthdays that seemed to come one after another...Mother's Day, Father's Day and Mr. LH's birthday. I was becoming creative with the low budget/no budget gift giving.

The "Pickles" also don't like the idea of NOT going to fun places this summer like the Renaissance Festival or Pirate's Cove, though we scout out other forms of (free) entertainment.

We learned more about the insurance plans we had and altered them where we could. I also called our phone company and changed some plans around, kept all the same services, and saved $17 to $20 off our monthly bill.

We've started going to the library more often...not just for books, but for free movies, too. (We didn't budget anything for entertainment - not even the cheap $1/ per night RedBox movies).

By the time July started, Mr. LH and I had paid off two student loans and one credit card (where most of our Vail trip was charged). We were starting on the larger bills...the ones that were $2000, $7000 and (gulp) $17000. This, I believed, would begin the harder part of the journey...the part where a bill wouldn't be eliminated every month. Their balances would just decrease over time until they were each finally paid off in turn.

Still, ALL of our bills are paid every month so we don't stress, we eat well though the menu isn't as varied as I would prefer and and we don't want for anything we truly need.  I'd say the budgeting is going well.

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