I have yet to do a post about finances. Really saving and spending wisely could be its own blog... and is.... a lot. I have come across many pinching your pennies, grocery coupon, type blogs. Often I don't find them a realistic help to me, mostly because they show me how to save money on things I don't buy anyways, like cable, designer jeans, and brand name snack goods.
I wouldn't say that I am perfect with my spending. We probably eat out more than would be recommended for a perfect budget. I might buy my kids clothing at local yard sales, but then spend twenty bucks on the perfect Halloween costume for them. If you came over to my house you would see I am certainly not spending our paychecks on new home furnishings. We live comfortably, but are they type who haven't been on a vacation involving an air plane or the beach since our honeymoon seven years ago. We are still using the dinning room table we bought at a thrift store for $20 before we were married but didn't think twice about buying a new SLR camera this summer. We try to be smart, but not extreme- we don't have to be.
My husband and I come from very different financial backgrounds. He grew up on a farm, where they lived off powdered milk and hand me downs. His mother made everything from scratch and still never buys a thing for herself. My husband buys himself a candy bar at the grocery store check out each time he goes to the store. A treat for himself, because he is an adult now, he has an extra $ .70 and he can. He still refuses to spend more than $7 on any article of clothing that is not shoes or a coat though.
I grew up with money. Not tons of money. Not the kind you see on television. But enough to warrant a new car for graduation, and yearly trips out of the country. Still I was taught to save. I can remember saving for college already when I was just ten. When I had never even seen a college. It paid off. Not only did I pay for all my own tuition at a private university, I had enough left over for a down payment on the house we bought before we married.
Surprisingly finances have not caused even one disagreement in our relationship. Currently my husband earns all the money and I do most the spending for our household. I like things arranged this way. Mostly because it puts the burden of making our money work for us on both of us. It doesn't take much for us to live within our means. We are some of the unlucky in a house not worth the mortgage but we still thrive. My husband has a good job, and we don't have frivolous wants.
Still I love to calculate everything. I pay all the bills and check our bank account on a weekly basis. I love to assign out each penny. I love to watch our savings grow and our investments pan out. I love to make a budget that is tight and try to stay in it. I actually enjoy doing the taxes each year. I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't have been an accountant.
The economy sucks.
I hear this a lot... and in a lot of places.... from almost everyone.
I guess that means most of us could use some help budgeting. I think what it really means is that we need to learn to do with less. Try living on powdered milk and hand me downs and being perfectly content about it.
never the less
I tried a new budgeting tool today. I thought I would pass along the link.
Quicken offers its basic program for household budgeting here. and it is FREE
It can upload your expenses straight from your bank account- then help you determine if you are living within your means, how much you are saving each month, and project your actual balance based on future bills. I think it is a great program for beginners.
It took me all of twenty minutes to download the program, upload my info and review some of our balances.
I think this is what I really need however.
I hope this is only the beginning of savings type posts from me. Maybe some example budgets for you to come soon.