Confession Time: At the start of a recent month, our ‘personal spend’ money for the month is gone.
This isn’t the first time we’ve been in this predicament and it’s probably not the last. To be honest, we are spenders who have put measures in place to ensure that bad habits don’t prohibit us from reaching our overall financial goals. I fail to believe we are the only ones who struggle with our spending; so I’ll share our method in case it could help others who have a similar issue.
■1 Write and track budget:
Preparing a budget tells us exactly how much money we have to spend in this category. Knowing this number doesn’t necessarily stop us from going over, but it keeps us conscious of our failures. This consciousness alone, reduces the amount we go over. I AM POSITIVE it would be worse if we didn’t set a number for this category.
■2 Cover expenses and financial goals:
This has been the 🔑 to our financial success so far. We pay all our fixed expenses and cover all our goals immediately after being paid. This includes transfers to our emergency fund, sinking fund, investments, and making our extra mortgage payment. Basically, 80% of our household income is gone within minutes of getting paid.
■3 Manage the final 20%:
This step is where it all gets foggy. This last 20% covers our variable expenses – car gas, supermarket, hair care, personal spend, lawn care etc. Remember, this is the only money left on our account; therefore, any overspending in one of these categories negatively impacts another. When we overspend in personal money, the supermarket budget usually picks up the slack. Instead of purchasing hotdogs and burgers, we go for oats and peanut butter, or less grapes and watermelon – more apples and bananas. If we max out personal and supermarket money (which has happened in the past), well.. then.. hair is done at home and haircuts are stretched. We figure it out!
Of course, this isn’t the ideal situation, so this post isn’t to justify or encourage our behaviour. We’re just sharing our journey and our truth. Until the day comes where we’re able to master our spending, we’ll continue to get the job done, even if it’s botched 🥴! #nailedit