Sunday, September 20, 2009

Power to the Budget!

I am obsessed in a game, Budget Wars. No really, its just me crunching numbers and making everything fit in our current budget. I have also drafted a new bare bones budget to be ready for lean times (which we know are coming) and to see how much "extra" I/we really spend each month. It was sobering because even at the bare bones level, I could/can shave off a couple hundred more if we really had too.

Let me back up a minute, to a not so distant past, I use to hate to Budget. I was "afraid" (my own word) of the money, and of figuring everything out, and how to track it all, and of just doing it. But a couple months ago we got the new version of Quicken, and I have been a tracking fiend since then. Everything is entered, categorized, budgeted out, and tracked to the penny. I have been pulling reports and income sheets. I have been forecasting and planning and aware of our future money status. It has been EMPOWERING. Seriously, the best game I have ever played.

This Budget Game has not only helped me to have a handle on our finances, but it has opened up communication with Casey that wasn't there before, it has lowered stress levels, and it has shown me where I need to stop blowing money (like everywhere). I have learned so much about our money habits, our businesses, and how to eat like a King on the cheap.

Which has been the newest part of the Budget Game, this weekend Casey and I have broken down every meal we have eaten and priced it out per person, or what we could have spent on it if we had not eaten out. Pretty darn amazing when I can see the meal in front of us only cost $2 a person and that it will last for two meals. I now want to calculate how much Alex's lunch box meals cost each day. :) Because I really want to know how much that Ham Sandwich costs.

I have also been looking to the future to events we know are coming up and that we have more then a couple of months to plan for, things like Christmas, Alex's birthday, a vet appointment for Betty, Christmas cards, HOA dues, Pool Chemicals for the rest of the year, etc. It's awesome, at least today it is. I love feeling like I have control of the hard earned money Casey brings in, and how quickly it leaves our hands.

Thanks Casey. :)


Screaming Iguana 11:59 AM  

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lea ann 3:31 PM  

I love that you call it the Budget Game and that you're in control of your money and it's not controlling you.

but I still like the fact it's a game that you're enjoying playing!

I so do the cost per meal game - sometimes balking at the grocery store at the cost of the meat I want to get for a special meal..then I realize that I spend at least double that on one item at a restaurant - where this is providing a whole meal. perspective!

a friend and I once went to the store and split up to see who could plan the cheapest meal EVER for our dinner..and we spent like $2.00 a person and felt like KINGS for making great choices.

have fun!!

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