The budget is working!

My gosh you guys!!!  We're sticking to this budget and this spreadsheet is making it SO easy to use and tweak.  it's even fun to move around things to make it all fit like a jigsaw puzzle.

This week we have two paychecks, mine on the 15th and my husband's this weekend.  Then we don't get more paychecks for 2 weeks, so it's a good time to get it right.  The one for my check is about all checked off. My check was direct deposited tonight. The autodrafts have gone through, some a few days earlier than expected so I had to move them from the 19th's budget to the 15th's budget, and it's going to mean making the Explorer payment this Saturday instead of tomorrow, but I think it'll be okay.  We had gotten caught up completely and the payment was due on Friday. But it's good to easily move the autodrafts from the next budget column to this one, and move the car payment to that one.  I also went ahead and changed December's budget around to make sure we take into account those autodrafts can come earlier than expected. I wish I'd known about this Google Docs template thing before now.  I'm in love!

What I am most happy about is knowing we have really saved a ton of money doing it this way and having Christopher be in charge of actually using the money.  If I were still doing things the old way, we'd be in a huge hole with overdraft fees eating up everything and would likely not even have the Explorer anymore.
Instead, I am going to be able to get some Christmas items this weekend (and maybe save it up for Black Friday), get Rhiannon a ticket to the Acoustic Christmas concert her rich friends are going to (they bought 2 rows of tickets and are selling them to friends for 1/2 price.  Awesome folks. )  And I can sign up to get Faelyn a yearbook since this is her last year at Middle School. Also have a little more money for groceries since its Thanksgiving.

Then in 2 weeks, I have a nice chunk of money for Christmas (we're getting a real tree with some of it!!) as well as money just for getting our hair cut again on time (this never used to happen like ever.) Also a lot more for groceries, though there will now be 2 weeks between checks for a while instead of one each weekend. Getting paid on the 1st and 15th is a pain.  Anyway, I even have money budgeted just for going out for date night like to the theater and everything hehe. It will feel great to do it without feeling guilty about spending money I know should go on other stuff.  I'm even paying more on my credit card.  Then the checks right before Christmas have even more Christmas money budgeted, so I am very happy about that..

The girls have sure been whining and complaining about the pinching and saving we've had to do, but I know they'll be very happy with the results in just a few weeks time.  Like by the end of January, we'll have paid off all the cash advances, and that will free up $240 a month! I HATE having to renew those blasted things.  It's the biggest waste of hard earned money ever. I am glad the places are there when we have an emergency but they're like a tarpit we can't escape.   But we will!

One thing I've talked to Christopher about is using some of this first Christmas money to get a netbook through the rental place where we got the fridge. I plan to return the fridge when I can buy a new fridge at Lowe's or some other local appliance place with the tax refund in February.  Then the money earmarked for the fridge rental can just go onto the netbook rental.  Until then, the payments will come from the Christmas money budget (and we have some room for it in January). And while it's on rental, it's totally covered for anything wrong with it which is nice, though we do end up paying more for it in the end. We were going to have the netbook be a Christmas gift to Rhiannon since she really needs a computer of her own for homework which seems to be kicking her butt this year, and she could take it with her and work on it on the bus and while waiting for a ride after chorus practice etc.  But after talking about it, we decided, the netbook will be a "family" computer.  The girls can use it when Christopher and I are both using our computers (the only ones in the house right now), and if they want personal computers, they'll have to ask their grandparents.  Their grandad builds computers as a hobby and has hooked them up with crappy computers in the past.  Hopefully he can make them at least one good one for Christmas.  But even if not, they'll get to take turns using the netbook, and I get to use it as well, which will be nice on trips or errands etc.

Hopefully soon (and I totally believe we will)  we'll be able to get each of the girls their own NEW computers.  As much as I'd love for them to go out and play more, that's just not going to happen with the teens, and besides they do actually lead pretty active lives with working at Rural Resources and chorus practices and all that. Also, Zoe is always outside playing, well at least at a friend's house.  At the old park we lived at, there was tons of outdoor activities (which my older girls got to take advantage of), but there's just nothing like that here, so Zoe doesn't have as much to do. I think I already posted a rant a long time ago about them banning kids riding bikes.  It's not a nice place to be a kid to be honest. I wish we'd known before moving here.  but anyway!  I'm SO tired of the fighting over computers. At this point, I know how much gadgets and computers are important to society and especially college, so I'm giving in. I'd say they'll all have their own by Spring (and then the netbook will be MINE hahaha!)  :)

I've not gotten pics of the living room yet, but I got a lot of sleep today and work is about over, so I should be feeling up to straightening it up and getting pics tonight.

Hopefully back soon with pics!
Patty

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