In trying to redo our budget to make everything fit and pay off our debt from Hawaii, I decided to really budget every penny, based on our previous spending and annual expenses. We heard this message from Mike Yearly at Rocky Peak a few weeks back and he had talked about financial security, which we have been working very hard to attain, and he pointed out something interesting- you should always have some savings (duh), if not for emergencies, at least for annual expenses. I know that sounds really obvious, but there was something about it that I guess just wasn't clicking for me. He made the point that people sometimes have a bad month that sets them back or knocks them on their feet and they make comments like, "Had some unexpected expenses this month- the car needed new tires" or "my registration was due." This should not be a surprise to us. Cars do need new brakes and tires regularly. This is not technically an "unexpected" expense. Registration is due annually. It is even less of a surprise. This should have been so "duh," to me, but I guess I am just bad with math or not a good logical thinker, because we have never budget for these things, and our budget is tight. I am going to try to budget for Christmas too. December always sucks so much, and it wouldn't be so hard if we planned all year for it.
I love that mint.com gives me the ability to see averages and spending trends on things like auto, food, etc., so I can plan well for all this and really budget. I hate that plugging it all made me see why we have such a difficult time any time things like auto repairs or stuff comes up. We spend too much. Gas is expensive. We spend an average of $315 a month. Wow... And we spend, way, way too much on food. I am too embarrassed to even say how much. I feel like we try to be budget conscious about it, but we are going to have to cut it down by A LOT. Ugh.... I do not have time to be an extreme couponer.
Time to cut things down.... It's just gonna take spending less. Sigh.
What a concept.