Monday, June 14, 2010

A ledger

On July 1 we will begin to ledger our spending. Our last regular paycheck is on 19 July and it will be put in designated places to cushion the beginnings of separate savings categories for different expenses.

There is a breakdown of larger categories within my spreadsheet. The major areas are: taxes and insurances, utilities, groceries, allowances, gasoline, everything else.

"Allowances" breaks down into areas that we don't track as well: minor travel, small house repair and personal spending(clothing, snacks, new power tools). We found when we tracked those things carefully, it caused more problems than it helped. We let little things slide and found little joy in never having money for the newest book we were anxious to have. Later we may track those more if there needs to be more savings.
"Everything else" are those expenses we know that come up, and need to be planned for. Those things include: car maintenance, pest control, vet bills, tractor repair, college, and presents, etc.

It looks to me that we will have a wash on retirement income and expenses. We shall see!

The most difficult part of living on a budget is spending money only in the places you decide it is desirable to spend. There is a thought by some of my extended family that we have much more money than we actually do. When we choose to spend on something (like my mother's 80th birthday) we have saved for a year to do it. Same with visiting the kids. When other little things come up and we say, "We cannot afford to do that" there is a snicker and a sneer that we are simply being cheap.
Trying to get past that is one of the largest challenges of my life.


cath said...

we are a tough crowd... hard to speak our truth to each other and hard to hear it from each other... there weren't any role models for us on that so we are creating it as we go. interesting that some who have snickered are those who live beyond their means - hmmmm

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