Alrighty! So number 5 on my Resolution list is to create and stick to a budget and I finally sat down and have a workable budget. Woot Woot. Bad news is that I now need to find an extra $800 a month without getting a job. Haha, like that will happen right! Ok maybe I don't really need a job but we at least need to make it to tax time and bonus. The only reason it is that bad is that I have included into the budget a few extra categories. Here is a category view of the budget minus the amounts...
Gas for said car
Blow Money (both DH and I)*
School lunches and fundraisers for 3 kids*
Gifts (Christmas/Birthdays - including birthdays the kids may get invited to)*
Sports Recreation for 3 kids *
Items with an * are new categories that were not actually budgeted before but just kind of paid as we went if we could. Like haircuts, it has been at least a year if not longer since I have had my hair cut. :( New clothes? What are those?
I swear I am slightly OCD. Why? Because for one thing, I use Quicken for my banking and have to have it exactly right. When DH and I first merged bank accounts he used to round his transactions up to the nearest $$ and that absolutely drove me nuts. I have been handling the accounts ever since :D Because I have to have it exactly right I spent the majority of the day yesterday trying to get the accounts for the house, our car, and my student loan accounts to match the statements online. OMGoodness, I do not understand Wells Fargo's system for applying payments but I will try to tackle that another time. I am pleased that I now can tell you in a split second how much we owe without having to log on to each account. What what!
Next up was to analyze my grocery spending. Last year at this time a friend of mine showed me an Excel spreadsheet to calculate spending vs savings. I was wanting an accurate calulation of the amount of money I save using coupons each month and this spreadsheet is perfect. So today I sat down and entered in the month of receipts I have been meaning to input into the spreadsheet.
Resolution #6: Enter receipts immediately after grocery shopping so I do not have a pile to do at once. :)
The end result...Overall we saved 30% for the year. $975.58 saved in coupons alone. On top of that we saved $1,570.27 by purchasing during store sales. I seriously need to step up my couponing because if I would have been on my game the whole year (a few months we kind of slacked off using coupons) I would have totally made it under my budgeted amount.
Resolution #7: Coupon, Coupon, Coupon. ;)