A budget is not something you put off. When we do our budget, it helps us stay on track. In the past, I have written about getting off track but even during those times a budget kept us from going overboard. This time around we kept putting it off and putting it off and just kept spending without a plan. This laziness has hurt us and it pushes us further away from our goals. When we got paid on the15th, we did pretty good and had some extra cash in our envelopes at the end of the two weeks. This paycheck, I know we have spent more than we brought in and had to go tap into savings for non-emergencies. When this happens, it feels like I have let my family down.
I am the one who is going to set the example for my children and their money. I could always just spin it and tell them that this is an example of what not to do. I know the habits that we are supposed to have that will make this work. It starts with making the budget. Duh! It needs to be done in order to make the money behave. When I write down $100.00 a week for food, it doesn't mean $100.00 if I go grocery shopping and just use the debit card for restaurants and fast food until I get a chance to go. After the budget is done, we need to go and withdraw the cash for our envelopes and spend that money accordingly. Grocery shopping needs to be done early too, because I can't tell you how many times we are at home and say there is nothing here, let's go get something.
Felicia and I were talking about grocery shopping the other day. We used to go to the Farmer's Market early in the morning on the weekends and then go grocery shopping later in the day and eat at home during the week. Not sure how it happened, but we stopped going to the Farmer's Market and started just going to the grocery store. The fruits and vegetables from the Farmer's Market were our snacks during the day, especially on the weekends. And when we stopped going, we started making quick runs to the store to get a snack and you know when you go to the store it is never a quick or cheap snack trip. This past paycheck with no Farmer's Market and no grocery shopping, All Hell Broke Loose!!!
I am glad that I keep track of what happens here, because it allows me to see what I did wrong and how to fix it. Not only that, but it gives me a reality check. It lets me know who or what the problem is...I am learning it is not the economy, the government, or my job. It is me!!! I have control of my financial future and if I want it to be a bright one for me and my family then I need to take control of it.