Monday, March 20, 2017

First Step to Meeting Financial Goals: Re-evaluate the Budget (Part 1)

Getting Back on Financial Track

Step 1: Re-evaluate the Budget 

It's not that I haven't been following a budget lately.  It's just that I make too many excuses to not stick to it.  And with my husband and I both just spending away on the credit cards, it's hard to keep track of all our expenditures.  I don't know what the solution is to this.  We keep our credit cards paid off so we aren't paying interest.  But I feel like way too much goes on the credit cards and we spend more than was budgeted.  My goal for April is to really document each expenditure and keep track of where money is going. 

Now as far as re-evaluating our budget, here are some changes I am making to be able to put more money each month to our goal of saving a $20,000 down payment.

1. Quit paying extra on my car.  I don't even remember what my actual car payment is I've been paying extra on it for so long.  I think it was in the $240 per month range.  Instead of paying anywhere from $300 to $400 per month, I am going to go back to paying only $250 per month.  It will be nice to pay this off early, but it won't save us any money by doing so.  And we already are way ahead, owing less than $8,000 on it the last time I checked.  We will still have this paid off a couple years earlier than planned.

2. Reducing our "Family Fun" money from $75 a month to $50 per month.

3. Over Budgeted Money. I over budget in categories like electric, the water bill and daycare expenses.  I like to have enough money in our budget for the most expensive months, but usually we come in under budget. The extra money from these categories after paying the bills will now go to the Down Payment Fund.  This could be anywhere from $0 to about $200 a month extra in savings.

I'm going to keep looking for ways to save in our budget and will be back with more tomorrow.

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