The day has finally come. Our budget and our paycheck finally balance. That means that there is no more panic at the end of the month as I try to figure out what to make with a package of dried pasta and canned northern beans (soup â€“ always a soup 😉 ).
For several years, I have been cutting the grocery amount down to almost nothing trying to find a way to squeeze one more week out or the paycheck. I combined all of our trips into one day so that I could save money on gas. I kept the heat down in the winter and the air up in the summer. Every penny that could be pinched had to be.
This year, the raise that he got takes us to the break even point. Now the budget and the income are exact matches. The greatest part of this is that I have also been building a writing career that is bringing in extra income. This means that the â€œwantâ€ items that we put on our budget (like vacation, gift fund, and short term savings) can finally be obtained.
Donâ€™t get me wrong. We always stayed on budget before. Some months it was because I managed to cut expenses. Some months it was because I was able to bring in just enough extra to tide us over. We did what ever we had to do to make the budget work.
With the new income â€“ from the raise and from my own career â€“ we are on a path to a freedom we have never experienced before. The training that we have from the years of tight budgets will keep us from going crazy. Iâ€™m probably still going to squeeze a penny until it cries â€œUncle!â€
Budgeting is not about the money as it is about the best use of the money. We always want to use all that we have for the best of everyone around.