Monday, November 17, 2008

Give Me the Cash

I spoke about our bare bones budget here. Over the weekend our pay period began so I thought I would talk about what we do to keep to our budget.

Making a budget is easy – it’s keeping to it that is the hard part. Our biggest weakness is the cards. We pay off our credit card each month but we often eat into our savings to do so. I think this is because when you hand over a card for credit or EFTPOS it is like you aren’t really paying for the item because there isn’t any actual cash.

To fix this we went cash.
At the beginning of the pay month I withdraw out enough cash for the month and then come home and divide it into envelopes. Our categories are: groceries, petrol, Mr Berry’s money and my money. These are the main categories that can be variable. Things like bills, insurances etc are usually paid automatically and are pretty much set each month. For anything else, we discuss it before hand and look at our budget; this also stops impulse purchases.

It takes discipline to not spend all the cash within a week. Mr Berry and I go about this in different ways. Mr Berry divides his money into weekly amounts and leaves the rest at home. I have all my money at home and just take it when I need it. I always know how much I have and monitor my spending so it is spread over the month. Use whatever method works for you – the important thing is that it works.

And for The Great Water and Electricity Challenge I started yesterday, here are today’s readings:

7am this morning (Monday 17/11/08)

Yesterday's ReadingToday's ReadingUsage
Electricity725247253511 kwh
Off Peak Hot Water507745078410 kwh
Water1499.4611499.91450.4535 kl

I did use the gas yesterday for about 5 mins on the stove but it obviously wasn’t enough to turn the meter.

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