Home > Uncategorized > Misadventures in Budgeting

Misadventures in Budgeting

January 6th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you are a numbers nerd, you’re going to be constantly tweaking your budget numbers, and if your spouse (assuming you have one) is not also a numbers nerd, it will drive them crazy.  It’s very important that you sit down with them and discuss the amounts for each category, and not make heavy handed decisions on what should be spent.  I was adamant that we should be able to get by on $250 a paycheck for groceries, easily.  My wife was sure we couldn’t.  So the first budget, we ran out of grocery money before the end of the second week.  What do you do then?  You blow your budget and that money has to come from somewhere else.

It’s one thing to estimate how much to budget for a category until you get some data, but it is another to force a category to be lower than you need to spend. Not that you want to spend, that you need to spend.  Some categories are pretty inviolable: your rent or mortgage, insurance, gas for your car, etc.  But others can vary, such as restaurants, clothing, blow.  If you cut too deep, your better half will resent it, and either resent you, or ignore your stupid budget  that isn’t workable.  If you don’t put any money into clothing for too long, somebody is going to need shoes and, once again, you will have blown your budget.  We actually set up a separate category for shoes (there’s five of us) that we save each paycheck and build up. Quicken’s savings goals work pretty well for this.

Communication and give and take in the budget are important.  If it’s all one-sided, you are destined to fail.

Tags: ,
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.