I don't know about you, but I hate the "B" word. Yes, I know it has to be done. Yes, I know budget planning is the smart, adult thing to do. Yes, I understand that life will be more enjoyable if I figure out my means and find a way to live on less. In this case though, I try and avoid both the process and a little bit of reality as long as possible. We all have our weaknesses.
So, this week I've been making lists. I've listed all of my regular bills, made lists of those irregular expenses, as well as those occasional expenses such as travel that are important to me. The end result is that I need to make some budget adjustments. I knew this would happen, the question remains as to where and how. A second result is that I will probably need a little additional income in order to do some of the "good stuff'. I knew this would be true as well.
Because I'm a glutton for punishment, first I plugged in the basic, regular monthly bills. Those include mortgage (insurance and taxes), my utilities, groceries, gas, prescriptions and the like. My monthly income will cover those costs.
Then I figured out those irregular expenses such as medical copays, car maintenance, and home improvement expenses. I guesstimated those for a year (since they are not what they were in the past) and divided by twelve. I did include travel into this pot. My monthly income will cover some of those expenses but not all. They need to be cut, or some additional income needs to come in.
This is obviously a work in process. So far, I know some things. I know I need to look at where I can make reasonable cuts in expenses. I know that I need to add a category that is savings, and treat it like a bill-I'm not doing living month to month as well as I would like. Also, I need to increase the money coming in each month. That doesn't mean getting a "real job". It does mean spending a bit more on my sewing business and less time in school.
Now, it's time for me to sit down and set some priorities for spending, saving and yes, a little earning. Someone online once suggested that you should spend on the things you do every day. With the exception of travel, that's the guide I'm using on setting my priorities. Life is always interesting.
Coming soon, a final update on my $500 Christmas and a look at where I can adjust the budget to make life richer in retirement.