Tuesday, March 11, 2008

$2400...no way..how on earth?

Yep, I thought that too as I stared at our income versus our bills. I considered jumping off the roof to an untimely death at one point but then came to my senses. After pulling my hair out I crunched all the numbers and came up with a budget. I have never had a budget before, never had to, so I have revised that thing like weekly, probably a million times by this point, but I now had a working plan. That was our first step. Take an honest look at the reality we were facing. After getting up off the floor we decided that we knew two things for sure:

1.) I did not want to work anymore. I sold the company so I could spend more time with the kids. I did work from a home office so I wasn't technically "away" but I did not want to spend time "working" on things that were not related to the family.

2.) We knew that we did not want Husband to work more than 11 days per month. He left a high paying position with a major company so that he could not work 50 hour weeks and just work 11 days per month. When I was still working we made that conscious desicion so he could be home more. We knew we did not want him to have to find other employment or get a second job.

Since we were both in agreement on these two things, which is most important, we set to the task of figuring out how to get to this goal.
Hence the dreaded current budget:

Husband is paid twice a month:

1st - 1200.00

776.17 mortgage
100.00 groceries
135.00 power
30.00 cable
50.00 gas
60.00 tithe

What's left: $48.83

2nd - $1200.00

776.17 mortgage
100.00 groceries
59.00 life insurance
30.00 telephone
120.00 tithe
50.00 gas

What's left: $64.83

$113.66 - are you serious?

There it was. But okay. We were in the black. Not by much but were there. Now the challenge was to figure out why we were spending upwards of $4000.00/month. This is our current working budget. We used to have things like a cable bill that was $75.00/month, or a cell bill that was $80.00 but we felt that we were trading these things for time we would have to work so we chose the children instead. We used to have an $800-1000 grocery bill. As you can see I have whittled that down to around $200.00 per month. All of these items reflect our fixed expeses.

It can be done and I am going to tell you how we did it.

But the first step to get where you are going is to know where you have been. Put together a budget and face the reality at hand.
Debt and/or Savings Strategy Step #1: Make a Budget

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