Getting Our House In Order

My name is Meg and I live in Buffalo NY with my husband Andrew and our cat Jake.
We are working on getting our house in order by saving money, getting organized, and simplifying things.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let's Talk about Budgeting

No!! Please!!  When I think about budgeting, I get all childish and rebellious.  I'm sure a lot of people are like that.  But over the past few years, I slowly came to realize that flying by the seat of our pants was not serving us well, and we would have to do something if we ever wanted to get ahead.
I am a firm believer in small steps.  If you find something to be huge and overwhelming, break it down and just do one tiny thing!
For me the one tiny thing was to get organized.  When I sat down and actually looked at what I had I realized that my biggest problem wasn't a lack of money. It was that I didn't know what bills were due when. My system was that I had no system, and things were all hapharzard.  I was paying late fees I didn't need to be paying, and I was sick of it.
So I got a calendar.  I marked all my paydays on it, and I wrote down what bills I would pay on those days. And it worked. That onw tiny little thing got me started.  I was paying attention.  It was good.
At this point, I have quite a few of my bills set up to pay automatically.  But I still cross them off my calendar when they hit.
At some point in the future, I want to take things the next step and actually name every dollar before it goes out. Create a real grown up budget that tells where everything goes, including the variable monthly expenses and savings, both for retirement and our goals, like buying a house. But for now, things work.  The bills are getting paid, and a little is going into savings every pay period.  I invest in my companies 401k plan and I am saving money on our groceries. That is good.
As a next step I am going to refine our savings plan. 
Stay tuned as I figure that out.  It should be interesting!!

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