I admit it. I am struggling. Nolen has been back to work a little over a month now. It is HARD paying for daycare. I mean really HARD. I have been doing what I can with couponing, but I spent more than I should have trying to get stockpiled. I got a TON of stuff and saved even more. That doesn't help us pay bills though. I know it will be a lot easier going forward, but it was a very difficult month.
So what am I going to do about it?
This weekend I am going to sit down and do a new budget. I know, I know...I did one this month. Well, with everyone getting sick. Getting used to paying for daycare, and the expenses of two working parents has been quite the adjustment. So I need to redo our budget and I need it to be realistic and doable.
I will be working the envelope system one way or another. I have tried it in the past and always made it a day or two. What I am doing now is not working, so I am going to do what works for thousands of people. I just need to make sure hubby is on the same page too. One thing is for sure, I need to be accountable.
Here is my plan:
1. Research how much exactly we have paid for in each of our utilities the past year and find a monthly average. No guessing. I want actual totals.
2. I will figure out an accurate total for our take home pay (without overtime included). Working a 15-16 hour day once a month is required, but the overtime associated with it is not a guarantee. If that day happens to fall during that week, its not overtime, just extra hours. If I end up getting sick the same week, I won't get overtime either. So I cannot count on it. This has been the cause of past budgeting problems.
3. I will then figure out our "HAVE TO SPEND" items. This will be Rent, Electric, Food, Gas, car insurance, etc.
4. Next I will come up with a list of "Other" items. This will be clothing, entertainment, and such.
With this information I will create a budget based on goals for the remaining of the year. Not just month to month. I will have main envelopes for those expenses that will be paid by cash. On the 10th of every month I will get out the money for those envelopes and divide it up accordingly. I will then set up automatic payments for the utilities to come out of my check on the 25th.
Nolen's pay will cover Rent and Daycare. He gets paid weekly. I will take our monthly rent, multiply by 12, then divide by 52. Each Friday when Nolen gets paid, I will have that amount automatically moved into my savings account dedicated for Rent. Then on the first I will have all the money ready, transfer it back, and pay it. I will also pay daycare Friday afternoon for the following week. No more having the money in the bank to be "accidentally" spent over the weekend.
Once we get to our Baby Step One (see Dave Ramsey FPU), I will go into more detail on debt repayment. For right now we must focus on doing the right things financially. Paying bills on time. Living on budget and being ADULTS. I feel that we have made so many mistakes. I want to do what has to be done to help alleviate the stress of it all. We make decent money, its time we take care of it.
That about sums it up. I will be checking back each week to let you know how it is going. Please pray for me...I know this isn't going to be easy.