Where do I start? …well…I’ve been a budget nazi for over 6 years; in the early days there were times when we budgeted flawlessly and utilized the cash envelope system to perfection as we worked our bare-bones budget to escape from being broke. There were then years where I made substantial amounts of money and therefore our budget was a little more relaxed. Then there has been this more recent phase where we’ve lived on an irregular income budget – which means we again have to be on our budgeting game as we simply don’t know when the paychecks will be coming in.
While we’ve made decent financial progress (by most standards) over the past few years, there is one problem we keep running into: we can’t stick to our budget! Ever!
I know, I know…most of you not-so-disciplined types will tell me, ‘it’s okay to kick back and enjoy life every once in awhile. Don’t worry about that iPad you just bought or the extra $200 you dropped this month living the not-so-high life. It’s just a couple extra dollars…’.
On the other hand, you fellow budget nazis are already biting your nails and frantically wondering, ‘how in the world can you spend $200 that wasn’t on your budget?! How can you live with yourself knowing you went over budget when you have gobs of student loan debt? Don’t you know that you CANNOT have a life when you have debt to pay off?!’
While going over budget every once in awhile isn’t a big deal, our problem has developed into much more than that: we’ve been going over budget nearly every month for the past 4-6 months! We Need Help!
As with most things, we tend to hold ourselves to some unreasonable expectations — especially when it comes to sticking to our budget. So, to be fair, the aforementioned iPad wasn’t something we splurged on. Instead it was purchased completely by rewards points that we accumulated from credit card rewards. Regardless of how it was paid for, it has made us feel that we’ve splurged a little too much. Then, when you add that onto the fact that we’ve gone over budget $50-200 each of the past few months, then you can probably see my conundrum.
Now, do I really think it’s the end of the world that we go a few dollars over our budget each month? No. Am I the worst financial blogger ever because I don’t execute our budget to perfection? No…it simply means that I’m human.
Saying all of that, do you think we need help sticking to a budget? Why do you think we’ve grown so lax and how would you suggest we correct it? Should I simply budget more for the categories we’ve overspending on, OR should we tighten up the strings and get disciplined again? Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
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