February started, and we were so excited! Finally, here was the chance to execute our zero-balance cash flow plan* (aka budget) for the first time since we’d made it. I was pumped! I was ready to go! The month started on Wednesday; we’d blown our food budget by Friday. D’oh! When we made our ZBCFP, we’d forgotten to factor in for our Super Bowl party, and we’d failed to take into account that we’d be totally and completely out of food by the end of January (remember, three different variations on beans and rice?) and in need of restocking our entire food supply. Oh well. Dave says to expect it to take a month or two to get it right, but I’d so hoped we’d nail it the first month.
We did pay cash for everything, which likely means we spent less money than we normally would’ve. This month we’ve also discovered we’re pretty bad at the couponing thing. Why use a doubled $0.50 off two cans of Campbell’s soup when the generic soup is on sale for $0.60 a can, netting a savings of $0.75? If you can do the pairings (i.e., $1.00 off two boxes of one brand of popcorn and the store has a buy 2, get 3 free offer going on, too), then you can save a small fortune. Enough about grocery shopping.
We blew our blow money, but that’s why it’s there. We had made our budget based on my husband working a 36-hour work week. The weather’s been so nice lately, though, that he’s been able to work 40 hours a week, which means more money in than anticipated – and budgeted. With the rainy season coming up, though, we’ve got to be a lot more diligent about sticking to our budget!
Do you have a household budget? What change has having one made in your financial life?
*The zero-balance cash flow plan differs from a budget in that, a lot of people shoot for a balanced budget or having money leftover at the end of the month. The zero-balance cash flow plan has you redirecting money leftover into whatever step you’re on of the seven Baby Steps. In our case, it’ll go toward our debt snowball.
- Five Reasons You Should Budget (turbotax.intuit.com)
- Home Budget For Dummies [Old Version] (pro2sell.com)
- Ask the Advisor: Five Reasons Why Budgets Often Fail (savings.com)