by Leigh Walters
My husband and I will be going on a week long vacation this month. Everything will be paid for. We will have to watch our pennies, but we will get to go! It never would have happened had I not saved money each week.
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Although I am not one to throw money away, I still spent more than I should in the past and found it harder and harder to save. So, I put myself on a budget. My husband gets paid at the first of the month. He pays the house note, house insurance, his auto note, auto insurance, my health insurance (his is provided) and utilities. After that, there is little left. I decided I had to be very wise with my money to get us through each month.
Make a list of every possible, but reasonable need for money you have. My categories included Car Payment, Car Insurance, Student Loan Payment, Savings/Mutual Fund, Home Improvements, Gas and Oil Changes, Food and Entertainment, Groceries, Medical Expenses (including medicine, check-ups and eye care), Christmas and birthday gifts, Vacation, Internet fees, bank fees, and Misc.
I then took my car payment note and divided by four. This is the amount that I must pay to my envelope each week to pay my car note at the end of the month. Then, I did the same with my car insurance, student loan, gas and oil changes (est. gas bill), groceries (We limit $20.00 weekly and easily stick to it for the 2 of us), Medical (we spend approx. $30.00 per month on medicine, but I add about $5.00 more each week for check-ups), Internet cost, and my $7.00 bank fee. These are bills that must be paid.
I add all of those numbers up and subtract that number from my weekly check. Then, with what is left, I divided among savings/mutual fund, entertainment and food out, Christmas & birthday gifts, vacation, and misc.
To begin with you might not have the luxury of an entertainment fund or a vacation fund, but if you stick to this, you eventually will. Might I suggest that you have a savings fund before a vacation fund. After a while you might can save $5.00 per week for a vacation fund. It might not be much, but it could be a weekend getaway in a year's time.
The main thing is:
Stick to your goals! Do not take from one envelope for this or that. This can work for you and won't you be happier with $100.00 in your savings account than you would be with the new outfit that you don't need? This is a good way to budget your money and not feel deprived!
Budgeting this way has really paid off. My husband and I will be going on a week long vacation this month. Everything will be paid for. We will have to watch our pennies, but we will get to go! It never would have happened had I not saved money each week. Good luck!
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Copyright © 2001 by Leigh Walters. All rights reserved.