I've realized that budgeting the year would give me even greater "control" over my budget. :) I had been surprising myself with my discipline and was feeling quite satisfied at the end of January, February and March this year. Money was going toward our mortgage, and I was feeling good!
And then came April. April is a birthday month. It is also the month to plant a garden...and tend to the lawn...and add some flowers. April gave us some very warm days and all the holes in our wardrobes were exposed all at once...literally. April was the month that Mr. Tribe decided that his toes-poking-out shoes could probably be replaced (he chose Allbirds).
Yikes. April really piled it on. I sold a few things (from my closet) and we were still able to send a little bit of money to the mortgage...but it was close! And of course, some of April's issues turned into May's issues...so...
I decided to budget the year...as well as the months. I've written in expenses that I can predict ahead of time + my list currently looks like this:
January :: replacements + plan/budget replacements
February :: replacements
March :: save + plan/budget warm weather wardrobes, garden + birthday gifts
April :: birthday + garden + sell/buy clothes
May :: clothes + sell/buy school books
June :: vacation
July :: save + preserve farmer's market food (corn + blueberries)
August :: save + plan/budget cold weather wardrobes
September :: replacements + clothes
October :: clothes + plan/budget birthday/Christmas gifts
November :: gifts
December :: gifts + festive fun
As the months actually come and go, I will be able to shape this list to suit reality a little better. It just makes me feel so much better to be able to see it all in one place, to be able to look ahead...and it doesn't look impossible. Although I can't schedule car or home repairs, I think they might be a bit more manageable as I keep our spending a little bit more consistent and in check.