In May I realized our budget was in trouble. In our family I handle the finances, with support from my husband. I am the more organized one which helps me handle the budget. However, in May, I realized I needed help. I needed my husband to step in and be a second brain. So we looked, and crunched and looked some more. At the end I felt much better about everything and we had a new plan. The new plan has been working so well!
Let me tell you about our old budget first. I had tons of categories and I would have a piece of paper in a binder for each one. Then, I would take every receipt and calculate how much money of each category had been spent. Then I would write that amount on each corresponding page. Confused? Yeah I know. It was incredibly time consuming and very hard to keep up with spending. I found myself over spending in almost every category on a monthly basis. I was so disappointed in myself an overly frustrated that I was not being a good steward. I even felt belittled by my husband a few times when he would make comments about the bank account (he did not realize that it was bothering me, so don't worry. He was only making general comments but since I was already insecure about the budget it made me feel attacked.
So the budget now? Simplified by a million! I combined most of the categories and narrowed them down to the basic. The kicker? We are on the cash system now! Oh my goodness, if you have never done it.... you should! It has been the best budget system for us yet! Each week I get out our set amount of cash, then once it is gone.... we are done spending! This system does require more planing with my shopping but that has been helpful to me. It has shown me how careless I was before. It has also shown me how little we really need to be happy. I am enjoying this new system for lots of reasons!
So what do you and your family do to help with your budget?