Could This Be True? I’ve Come Up with a FAMILY BUDGET!

A couple of weeks ago, Terrence and I had a night out while my parents took care of Miguel. We hit up our local Barnes and Noble (it’s a little bit of a further drive from our home now, unlike the two-minute-away Barnes we had back in Jersey, but it’s in a great location in Val Vista…nice shops in a park-like setting, with plentiful restaurants—a perfect place for a date night). We went there to get a break, of course, and to get our *free* magazine fix. At the end of the night, I gave myself a pat on the back for coming out of there without making a purchase. In our double-income days, I almost always get something from Barnes (a gift, a card, a cute notebook for me, a book for Miguel, etc…).But not that night.

Lately, I’ve been more conscious and cautious of our purchases for obvious reasons. I really thought I was doing well, until last night, when I decided to compile all the receipts from the past month and a half, and add up what we’ve spent out-of-pocket (I won’t even divulge the number…it’s embarrassing to say the least). After seeing where our money went (some were practical expenses, most others…not so much), I’ve come to the realization that it’s time to create a budget and really stick to it. It’s the only way we’d be able to avoid unnecessary purchases.

I’ve been blessed with a frugal husband who wants nothing to do with paying the bills, leaving the financial control (and the freedom that comes with it) up to me. My financial mantra in the old days was as long as we’re paying everything on time, any extra money is free for spending (and my gosh, I do most of it!). Well, it’s time for a new financial mantra for the family, and it starts with this budget breakdown…

39% – Housing

22% – Health Insurance

15% – Misc (Credit Card Payments, Phone Bill, Gas)

10% – Groceries

6% – Miguel (Diapers, Wipes, Milk)

4% – Dining Out

4% – Clothes Shopping

…and it really should start with me. If we skip on the dining out and clothes shopping, we get to save that money. But realistically, who skips on dining out?

The clothes shopping might be a lot easier to give up…we’ll see.

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