Yesterday, overall, was a pretty successful day. Thus far in September (yes, I know it’s only been 7 days), we’ve managed to stay within our budgets. We only went over by $8 on the phone bill. I edited the budget for October to include an extra $10 in that area just for that. It turned out even better though because our electricity bill came in $15 cheaper than I had budgeted! I love autumn, if only for that reason so far!
Right now, I’m trying to cut down our electricity usage. Since it’s cool out, I have all the windows open, letting in a nice breeze. So our little crappy window unit is off, as is the fan in the bedroom. My husband is asleep right now. He works the overnight shift. People don’t really realize how much intimacy you lose by not sleeping next to your partner every night. I was spoiled when we first moved up here. He was working at this doggy day care during the day and with me every night. Prior to the move, he was working overnight 3 times a week and day shift twice. Now, I definitely wasn’t happy with the money he was making at the doggy day care. Seriously, we were slowly drowning in our own debt and not making ends meet. We even tried to sell a car since I use public transit and he uses the car for work. On the weekends, we could share. We’re upside down in value on both cars though, since they’re both fairly new.
I just looked at my net worth before signing on. If you haven’t looked at your net worth recently, don’t do it. Seriously, it’s a trap!
Anyways, our net worth is somewhere around -$26k. NEGATIVE TWENTY-SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. Okay, now that you see my internal screaming, we can move on. Back to the budget.
If you aren’t currently utilizing a budget for your household, you should. It’s just smart money management. We’re trying to save up our pennies to be able to eventually retire. And if you haven’t heard about social security in the United States recently, and how it’s going to run out of money for those of us in our twenties, use Google. We started out using Mint.com, which is a great FREE (but really, free) tool to help you set up a budget. It also updates your information automatically. I don’t use it for my budgeting anymore (as of the beginning of September) only for the simple reason that I need to type in each transaction to truly feel the weight of it slowly destroying my hopes and dreams.
So, we set up our budget in YNAB (You Need a Budget) and viola! If you read my last post, you’ll know that my husband is a man-child. I love him, but he’s still a man-child. I withdrew $100 on Friday before work for grocery shopping this weekend. Then, my husband told me that we would OBVIOUSLY need to spend more than the $100 I had alotted (plus the $7 I hadn’t spent the week before while grocery shopping) because our cupboards were bare and we couldn’t possibly live on no food at all.
I’m apparently crazy for thinking we could possibly live on a budget.
I did what any new bride would do, I freaked the hell out! I asked him why and he told me grocery shopping is supposed to be fun. It’s not, it’s functional. Sorry to disappoint, but being an adult sucks. And grocery shopping is one of those things that sucks, especially when you have a goal you’re trying to achieve. So he comes with me to the grocery store yesterday. What a magical place, the shiny linoleum floors, the screaming children, the packed aisles because it’s 2pm on a Saturday, the super long lines that I can’t wait to stand on, I can see why he loves it so.
Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday, so the first place we go in the grocery store is the liquor area. I promised him Moscato (sp?) wine for his birthday dinner. It was also supposed to be a steak dinner, but the grocery store must have missed the memo because the steaks were NOT on sale. They were ridiculously high priced. So I find a bottle of Moscato for $2 on sale from Los Hermanos, which my husband quickly turns down. I have a skill for picking the most disgusting wines because they are the cheapest in the store. He picks a $12 wine from some people I’ve never heard of (I did take a wine class once, but I’m not much of a drinker, so this really was for his birthday). Either way, he picks out his wine, I added in the tax and added it to my running calculator for the grocery trip.
This is the part that I’m sure annoys my husband to no end. But in order to be sure we’re getting the most we can for our $107, I use my phone for a calculator during the trip. I also carry a baggy of coupons. Either way, this is the part that really surprised me. At the end of the trip, while we’re standing in our magically long line to check out, my husband grabs the maple sausage patties he had added on and says “I’m going to put these back; I don’t really need them.” I know you don’t grasp the gravity of the situation, but I’m usually the one with pre-buyer’s remorse. If I spend too long in any store, I start putting things back and thinking, I don’t really need this dress, these cookies, this ‘whatever’. My husband was always the one that added things on at the last second. Oh look, doughnuts are on sale! And he actually gets irritated with me when I start putting things back. So I was shocked to see him offer to put anything back. But he told me several times while we were shopping that he wanted to have money left over at the end of the trip so that the next grocery trip would actually be fun.
So I guess, for now, I’ll allow him to be a man-child if it means he realizes whatever money he doesn’t spend doesn’t just disappear. I’m taking that $100 out every week for groceries regardless of how much we have in the envelope from the week before.
I guess the moral of today’s story is that it’s okay to be a child, even if you’re actually an adult. As long as you’re responsible 99% of the time, who’s to say you can’t think the shiny linoleum floors and crowded aisles aren’t fun?