Budgeting Requires a Record

There is no way around it.  You can write down as many budgets as you want.  Graphs and charts can cover every wall.  If you don’t keep up with what you are spending, it might as well be wallpaper.

Our family has been working hard to get completely debt free for the last seven years.  We have paid off all of our debts – except for the mortgage (and we are tackling that one almost daily).  I work on our budget every couple of months, as our expenses or income adjusts, but I still ran into trouble this last month.

It’s my own fault.  I got lazy.  I quit writing down all the expenses as we spent them.  I just wasn’t concerned because I “knew” we had enough money.  It turns out that no matter how much money you make, you never have enough.  We spent twice as much on groceries as I have budgeted for AND we spent about four times what we normally spend on entertainment (which includes eating out).


Now, normally, it might not be a problem.  But we also had to trips to the emergency room, two car insurance payments, and new tires for the van.  Panic was the first thing I thought about doing.  I took some deep breathes and remembered that I had started a savings account for just such emergencies.  We were saved – this time.

I’m back to recording our spending.  It’s important to know where the money is going, why it is going there, and whether or not it needs to be headed in that direction.  If you don’t keep up with expenses as they happen, you may not be able to plug the leak before your boat sinks.

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