we have struggled to make ends meet, and my husband has had second and sometimes even third jobs. i have taken care of other couple's babes and tried to sell my hand-mades. i sometimes feel like that might count as fourth or fifth jobs. :) and yet, we are determined to work in order to live, and not to live to work. we don't want to get caught in the trap of working for extra things that require us to keep working in order to maintain upkeep and replacement not to mention upgrades. our best work has been done in keeping with this quote:
instead of figuring out how to make ends meet, work on having fewer ends. ~courtney carver
i'd like to address a few of the ways we have been able to have fewer ends in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime here is the most useful and perhaps most obvious way i've found to stick to a budget and curb spending. for the last couple of months i've been keeping track of every bit of spending. i write budget categories on the front of a folded piece of paper.
our overall budget categories:
-extra curricular activities (girls)
i have already determined how much money is allocated to each of these categories. as each bill gets paid, i fill in the amount and make note of how much over or under the allotted amount that is. inside this folded piece of paper, i make a more spacious area to record:
these are the amounts that need my special attention during the month. i also note what each purchase was, so i can look back and see what was a good purchase and what was unnecessary.
at the end of the month, i can see exactly where the problems came from…or... i can feel great about extra money that was not spent that can go right into savings!
this does take some time, but it is time well spent and i actually have spent more time feeling in control of our budget (rather than a victim of it) lately!
inspiring short video