Budget Smackdown

Posted by Mrs Money on October 24th, 2011

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On Friday night, Mr. Money and I sat down and went over our budget.  We’ve gotten a little lax over the past few months to say the least.  I totaled up our monthly spending for the month of August (since we weren’t on vacation at all that month) and it was pretty surprising.  After viewing the totals on some of the categories I wanted to throw up.  However, that isn’t really very productive, so we decided to be a little more strict with our budgeting and try to work a little more at staying in line.  It will help us reach our goals, and enable me to stay at home with the baby.

Because I’m crazy, and I think it will help keep me accountable if I post the actual numbers of our variable expenses here, I’m going to do it.  Feel free to shame me if you want; I deserve it.

Groceries, including household items= 371.76
Clothing (work shoes for Mr. Money)= 42.39
Gas= 298.20
Eating Out= 369.95

I wasn’t too surprised about the grocery category, because we try to buy grass fed local beef and other meats from a farm close to our house, as well as purchasing many organic items. I knew that our grocery total was going to be more than I wanted it, but there’s little I can do unless I want to compromise the quality of food I’m eating. With me being pregnant, that’s not something I really want to do.

The eating out part of our spending? Is completely ridiculous and I can’t believe that we let ourselves spend that much on eating out. I know part of the problem was that I was still experiencing “morning sickness” and when I had a craving for something that actually sounded pretty good, we indulged. Apparently I had a lot of cravings during the month!

We’ve decided to cut back on the expenses that we can control. Of course, the fixed expenses we have we don’t really have much wiggle room, so we’ll have to leave those how they are.  Here’s what we’re proposing for the new budget:

Food= $350
Dogs= $20
Netflix= $8
XM= $25
Gas= $300 (I’d like to make this lower)
Eating out= $120
Retirement=$50

Here are some of the things that I know we’ve been slacking on, causing us to spend so much money: not meal planning, not having things for lunches for me, and being lazy.  I guess it all boils down to being lazy.  :)  I have now realized that I can’t afford to be lazy, so I’ve got to change.

Of course, I decide to do this right before Christmas!  And then after Christmas, I’ll be quitting my job, and then we’ll be having the baby!  It’s more necessary now than ever, so I’m going to have to suck it up and not have any excuses.  Any freelancing income I get will have to be used for monthly expenses, but I’m happy with that.  If it needs to be done, it needs to be done.

Have you ever realized you’ve gone way over budget and had to change it?  Any advice for me?

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7 Responses to “Budget Smackdown”


  1. Kacie says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! When you are pregnant and in the early newborn weeks, sometimes the budget just has to go when you’re in survival mode.

    Meal planning is great, and it is important to eat nutritious foods and of course that is more expensive, but that’s ok! It’s for you and your baby and you’re both worth it.

    Your gas ought to go down after you have the baby, depending on how long your commute was.

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  2. Jenny says:

    This happens to us sometimes too. Glad to know it’s not just us!

    I was the same way with my first baby especially–if it sounded like something I wouldn’t mind eating, we bought it! Our eating out budget did go really high sometimes before we had kids, but now it’s one of those things we hardly have to worry about. Going out to eat is now usually a planned thing and not an impulse buy, by necessity, with the exception of drive-thrus which usually aren’t that expensive anyway. Now the most common cause of overspending is doing fun stuff with our kids and I think it’s okay to do that occasionally.

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  3. It is always important to revisit your budget. My wife and I have done this a couple of times. Usually, it is just minor mistakes. It is best to address it when it’s small so you aren’t forced to revamp your entire budget. I don’t mean to spam, but if you want accountability, you could join the Dollar Challenge at my site.

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  4. I agree that when we need to cut back on our expenses, we should take a look on the things that we can control first. In our case, we reduce the frequency of our lunch outs, aim for lower electricity (They know the rule, just need to remind everybody.), water, and gas expenses. I don’t cut back on meals and snacks because we need to stay fit and healthy.

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  5. Becky R says:

    I pretty much go over budget every month. My budget doesn’t allow for much (I am a single homeschooling mom of two growing boys.) It is frustrating at times since something like buying my son new boxers (since none of his fit anymore) breaks the budget, but it is also amazing at times to see how God provides for the shortfalls.

    I just did a blog post that I know exactly what I have made in 2011 so far and exactly where 90% of it went, the other 10% was misc. like new underwear. I like to keep track so I can be accountable.

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  6. Doctor Stock says:

    Your budget looks a little like mine with the dining out category… I love eating out, but it does add up.

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