The rules are simple but hard to follow. The outcome is always awesome because it helps us restart our finances for a new year.
Rule: no buying anything extra* this month
* extras include anything other than groceries and gas which are our two bills that fluctuate. Even groceries get cut back because I can only go grocery shopping once a week (none of those quick trips that always cost at least $20) and when I am at the store I can't pick up goodies or other food that doesn't go with our planned menu.
So basically we pay all our bills and that's all the money we spend for the month. No Amazon, no Redbox, nada. If we do go out to eat it can only be if we have a gift card.
What do you think? Does that sound hard or easy for you? In our experience the first few weeks are not bad. But by week 3 we are going a little crazy. Part of me doesn't think it will be as bad this year because with a baby we don't go out as much as we use to anyway. I guess we will find out!
At the end of the month we look at our spending (we love Mint.com!!) from the last 6 months and reevaluate our budget. We haven't reevaluated since Mckenzie got here so it will be good for us to have things figured out on paper again.
Bart and I are EXTEREMELY fortunate and blessed to have regular paychecks every month that make budgeting a little easier. The only downside to knowing that you have another paycheck coming for X amount is going over your budget because "the next check with cover the next thing".
We made a 2015 resolution to be more aware of what we are spending and be more PATIENT. we are going to try a new rule that says we can't buy anything the day we find it (online or in store) and if after a week we still want/ "need" it then we can talk about it. I'm hoping this cuts out the spur of the moment OMG I NEED THIS!!!! and help us distinguish between wants and needs.
So here is to another Rice and Beans
Month, I'll keep you posted!