Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Inspiration on a Monday: Budgeting

Rippon Vineyard, Lake Wanaka, NZ

This year the budget is becoming mighty important because I am no longer working.  This year I am going to be a SAHM.  I decided last year that I want to spend more time with our little one as he is growing so fast and changing so much.

When it comes to budgeting I love writing down figures and working out how to fit it all together in my special book.  I love making the plan of what is going where and it working of it all out given me enough of that “I can do this” to get me going well.

My husband and I are trying to work on a cash system - to avoid using credit cards essentially - because the budget we have works - but not if we have to make credit card payments - at all.  I have debits set up for the mortgage and food, and have all our bills coming out of an account (actually I do all of these manually rather than with debits as I think it helps to stay au fait with what you are actually spending).  The rest of our pay I draw out as cash and divvy it up into envelopes.  The envelopes cover all the non-essentials.  In the past it has been my pay that covered these things - so the goal is to find enough work to continue to cover them.

We also have some financial goals this year - which I really think help us to feel that we are not striving and struggling for nothing (not that we really struggle - we are going ok with what we have).  Our goals financially are:

  • Save enough money to have another baby (if we are lucky enough) with my lovely OB.
  • My husband to travel overseas for a conference and have enough money to enjoy himself  and not to have to put any of it on credit
  • To have no debt (apart from our home loan) throughout the year.

Great Grandma with her Great Grandson

The things that we struggle mostly with are:
  •  Spending money on take away/eating out

My husband and I (and our friends and family) all love food.  Whenever we get together there is food - we talk about food, swap cookbooks, watch cooking shows together, make each other food).  Before we had children and both of us were working - going out to eat every night of the week was not a problem - not was meeting friends for dinner - or spending a holiday in the vineyards - buying $40 bottles of wine.  But for know - that time is over.  To change our mindset with this one we are creating gourmet menus to try at home - looking online for recipes instead of buying cookbooks and inviting friends to our house for coffee etc (which works in better with our boys sleep anyway).

Enjoying cheese and wine at the Rippon Vineyard - see above for the view!

  • Being the one that pays for everyone else

Now here, I’m not taking about treating everybody to dinner or anything like that but my husband seems always to be the one who gets asked to organise the tickets, the bucks weekend, book this or that and so is the one who initially pays for everyone to attend the event etc.  Well, that also means that he is the one using his credit card and is getting charged the interest while everyone else gets their money to him.  On a few occasions it has even happened that people have pulled out and he has still had to cover their costs - so be warned - this is a tough love one.

The days of eating out at special restaurants are over for awhile - this is a Fleur's Moeraki, NZ

  • Going to the shops for something to do

This is something that we have been working on for awhile.  It’s that thing of being bored and not feeling like doing anything but spending money.  To combat this I have a list of things we need in my purse - or things I’m on the lookout for along with a rough idea of how much they cost at certain shops.  Keeping my eyes on the prize helps me to just look of we do go to the shops - or snap up a bargain with a voucher I have (I seem to get a lot of store vouchers as gifts).  I also find that if I’m feeling well-dressed and the home is clean before I leave I am less likely to buy anything.  I guess because in cleaning up I see how much stuff we have and how lovely some of it is.

Taking a ride in a light aircraft - not happening so much these days!

  • Buying water and snacks out
 I remember that when I was pregnant I always had something that I could nibble on in my purse because I would feel  a but yuck if I didn’t keep snacking throughout the day.  And then when you have a baby you are taking food and a bottle or similar around with you to pacify the baby - then when you have a toddler the only way to get anything done at the shops is to constantly feed them - my child is a bottomless pit.  It is just so much easier to know that I have drinks and food for us both.  Sometimes I try and leave the house just after we have had a big meal and this helps too.  In the mornings I have gotten into the habit of making coffee at home and taking it in an insulated cup.  Not only do I prefer my coffee but there is no waiting and it’s hot for ages.

Having portable food is a must when you travel with a baby - just landed at Hamilton Island Airport.

I realise that I could ramble on forever about budgeting as I read a lot and try a lot of things but I might save them for another day along with an update on how we are going with our financial goals.

Here are some links to people that I find help me to stay on the right track

A Bowl Full of Lemons here

A Time for Everything here 

Wellness Mama here

Blissful and Domestic here

Mrs Happy Homemaker here

The Art of Simple here

My Pinterest Boards for DIY and style ideas here

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