Saturday, June 18, 2011

Re-evaluating the Budget

I have been looking over our budget and crunching numbers lately. Here is what I have come up with.

Gas. Gas is killing my budget. I budget $250 for the month. For one, gasoline prices are high. $3.48 a gallon here (this is a lot better than what it was a month ago). Around $60 to fill our mini-van and $50 for our Jeep. We usually fill up about once a week. Add in the gasoline we now have to purchase to run our lawn mower and you can add in another $30 or so a month. Obviously $250 isn't going to cover it.

Groceries. I really need to start tracking this expense better. I haven't been buying meat since our freezers are full, yet I still seem to be going over budget each month. I am going to start tracking my grocery spending. Maybe I will log it on here to keep myself accountable.

Entertainment. This one we frequently go over. We budget $150 for the month. Going out to dinner once will take at least 1/3 of this. We have been eating out a little more frequently lately. So, do I increase the budget or just stop going out, which is something we enjoy. I will have to think about this one for a bit.

I feel pretty comfortable with our budget in all the other areas. I just have to rework the numbers to account for all the overspending above.


  1. Our gas is now $3.93 a gallon at the cheap station. It's killing me!

  2. Since moving close to work and shopping, gas isn't a huge expense for us, even with the rising costs.

    Food has become a huge expense. I usually stock up when things are on sale, then plan meals with what I've got. But we're still going way over budget.

    Eating out occasionally isn't helping, either. We limit the number of times we eat out each month, but it's still adds up. I'm just not willing to give up this little luxery (and when did an occasional burger out become a "luxery"?)

  3. I had this same dilemma a couple years ago. My solution was to go to a partial cash budget. I take money out at the beginning of each month. My hubs and I each have an agreed upon allowance and a budget specifically for groceries and eating out. While the cash budget hasn't been fail-proof, it has helped a TON!

    Now, we can use our allowance for whatever we want. Mine is generally spent on the kids, and his is generally spend on beer and lunch... If we run out of eating out money, and he has extra, he'll "treat" us to a meal! Or, we eat at home.

    Gas is different - it's a business expense for us as we are self-employed. We could probably do a much better at budgeting for it, but right now we don't - it's a cost of business. I'm glad it's a bit cheaper now than it was a couple weeks ago!

    Good luck. You should be able to reduce your groceries as your garden starts to reduce, right? :-)

  4. Cindy, I hear ya. Luxury dining for us is hitting up the Chinese buffet!

    Michelle, we try and do a cash budget as well. It has helped us, when we don't cheat. :) The garden has definitely helped as well.

  5. Sara, I have researched the resturants around me to find what days they have deals! For example, my family loves Buffalo Wild Wings...well on Tuesdays they have $.50 traditional wings (this is half price and what they normally order) So we can only go to BWW on Tuesdays. I have budgeted this for 1x a month! Some resturants do Kids eat Free days...this could help cut down the costs!