Week One… Our Spending.

I’d like to get a REAL handle on our spending. And learn to build a decent budget for us with our new home and lifestyle. There are times when I feel like we are just leaking money! We don’t have a ton incoming, but enough, but as I have been making some changes, like getting rid of our storage unit and reducing company web site costs and such, I’m beginning to wonder… what else might we be able to whittle away?

Every budget/money saving guru seems to think that you need to have a GOOD REALISTIC look at what you are spending NOW. It’s so easy to think of the big things… rent, insurance, electric, etc., and build a budget from that and then find you’re out of money after the first two weeks. Because you forgot to add in all the little things… that add up!

Hmmm… first week of my “learn our budget and what we spend” lesson. I saved EVERY single receipt that we spent for the household. We made 16 purchases totaling $376. (I rounded up to make it easy) I was sort of shocked to realize that EVERY visit I made to a point of purchase was costing us on average… $24 bucks!!! Yikes! (part of my brain said, stop going places. haha…)

Of that… 10% went for heating/kerosene. 14% went to gas for the car. Fast food/food out was only 4%. Animals were 12%. Household/food was 32% And extras was 27%. Interesting.

Now, extras were 4 purchases. One was a new bedspread/quilt for me. $40. I’ve been looking for one for a long time and finally found one. My old one was just in shreds, falling apart. I’ve had it over 10 years, daily use. So, that was kind of a good extra. I got a cheese stock pot for $10, and a pair of wool carding tools on Ebay for $30 (normally $70!) And last but least, haircuts… $22.

Now, the last time I went and got my hair cut was about oh 6 months ago. And that included a tip and a deep conditioning wash. We have very hard water and I’ve found that my favorite hair place, they have this treatment that they do that really really works well to deep clean and condition my poor damaged hair! (Look at me, making excuses for spending $20 on myself, twice a year. Hey, it was Valentine’s Day! It was my gift to me from me… pretty pathetic, I know. But it did make me feel happy.)

I suppose, in hindsight, I really didn’t need the wool hand carders. But they were such a great deal… the first pair I bought a while back were $70 plus shipping! These were $30 free shipping. And with seven sheep to process, I think we’re gonna need more than one person working the wool!!!

It’s so sad to see a grown woman making excuses for spending, now isn’t it? But then, that’s what this lesson is all about. REALITY. Not some fake paper budget that really isn’t real.

Really a little more “extras” then normal, but well, I decided that I would not try and fake our budget and spending just for the lesson. I will be as normal as I can. I think a lot of people THINK they can make a budget, but don’t really have an idea on how much little purchases they make here and there that add up. Now, we didn’t have any bills in this week, so that will change things some for the next couple weeks.

I hope to do this for 6 weeks or more. It’s very interesting….

I thought the animals cost would be higher… that 12% was for ALL the animals… pets and farm. And right now, is a higher cost time, since all the hoof animals are on hay and feed, since the grass is pretty much non-nutritional. And the chickens are getting full feed instead of free ranging bugs and grass and such like they do about 3/4 of the year.

Now, the household/food cost was kind of around what I would have guessed. I thought it was around $100 a week, and it was like $121. I went through all the receipts and just looked through it all, and about $30 was hardware/farm related. We had to build new floor platforms for the bunny hutch, since the old ones were not handling the weight of the three bunnies on the top level. Design adjustment. So, I guess, maybe I should have pushed that into the animal cost, but I didn’t want to start itemizing every receipt and such. We got the materials as we were also buying food and paper stuff and all that. It’s not a real regular cost and I imagine that next week, the household category will probably be a good deal less. Like I said, I’m not going to take hours and hours to itemize every single item, and I’m going to try and spend as normally as I might have last week or last month, etc.

If i had to guess, I would have said that we spend about $200 a week. But just based on this week, it’s nearly double that! It’s a big eye opener for sure. In a way, can’t wait to see what the next couple weeks bring. I wonder what surprises might lurk around the corner for us! Hope this might inspire you to try and do this as well. I think you’ll be surprised! If you’re anything like us, what you think and what is really the case is not quite on the same page, it seems!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

Comments

Week One… Our Spending. — 4 Comments

  1. Don’t feel bad about “making excuses” for expenditures. I always thought the point of putting spending on paper for a while is to simply see where money is going. It’s easy to spend-and-forget. I think your 6 week plan is a great time frame. After the 6 weeks is over, then you can see a true view of what’s happening and point out the biggest expenditure category and if those expenditures were also in the category of least neccessary. (Oh no!!)

    My problem at this stage of my life, is that I buy something that I forgot I already have!! (Talk about feeling dumb!) Well, mostly it is a case where I may not have the exact thing but a similar thing. For example, if something like new curtains, I decide I need/want new ones and feel good when I buy some on sale. Then the next time I’m digging in my storage closet under the stairs, I find a brand new king-size sheet I had found at a garage sale a few years ago and totally forgot!! A little sewing and that would make perfect curtains! Impulsive buying! (Well, maybe that is just creeping Altzhiemer’s, on my part!)

    It’s a fact-finding mission. You go, girls!!

  2. This sounds like a great idea! My husband and I are expecting in May and trying to decide if I can take a few months off when the baby is born. We’ve tried figuring out our budget but I think this would be a much better way to go about doing it. Thanks for the idea!

  3. If there is a cabinet shop in your area ask them about their scrap wood. Many of the scraps they would dispose of would be great for your use.

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