With August just around the corner, my thoughts have turned to budgeting. August is always an expensive time of year for us. During the summer I typically work for pay less (though it doesn’t feel like it!!) and our reserves are slowly dwindling by the time August roles around. On top of less cash coming in, August also means that the second payment of our house taxes is coming due, it’s time to pay the first installment of the kiddos tuition for the year, and all of the typical back-to-school needs are added to my Target list. August is always a month that puts our typical budget to shame. Not to mention we are planning to take our family to the
most expensive happiest place on earth in September…
I assume that most of you who read here also worry about budgeting from time to time and making sure that you’re spending and saving the right amount both for the short-term (back-to-school) and the long-term (college – eek!). I’ll be the first to admit that one reason I’ve tried my best to maintain my career is because I want to be sure that we have what we need financially in the future. I assume that many of you are in this position too. It isn’t that I don’t like my job — I do — and I would probably still work even if we were independently wealthy — but if money wasn’t a factor, my work would definitely be structured differently and I wouldn’t fret so much over this budgeting.
It’s been just over a year since I began to seriously budget plan for our family. While it still isn’t as strict or regimented as Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, monitoring where our money goes and being more accountable for our spending has been a positive. Creating a budget is not the most exciting activity, but I think it is vital — especially for working moms who want to ensure that the money they are working so hard for is being put to good use.
I utilize the Mint.com website and app religiously to help make the budgeting process easier. Both Mike and I can access the app from our phones and know immediately how much money we have available and where it is going for the month. It took a bit of time to setup all of our accounts on Mint, but it has been well worth it to have access to all of our financial information in one place and so rapidly.
Utilizing the app has helped me to see where our money is going more clearly and to be more mindful of how we are spending our hard earned cash. Food and groceries are definitely a weakness for us! And so is children’s clothing…
Do any of you have any tips for establishing a budget? What do you do to budget your money?
Photo Credit: ownyourmoney.com