Guys, I have been busy. Like with a capitol B. Over the weekend I planted a garden, put clean sheets on the beds, took glass to recycling (if you'd seen my glass recycling you know that this was important), got a new tag for Hooper, got a pedicure, and painted my living/dinning room. I know right?! And it didn't stop there. I got home yesterday after work and got on my yoga mat, cooked dinner, washed up, cleaned the bathroom and worked on a budget. A budget. I've always been the girl who didn't really know anything about her finances. If I wanted something, I'd tell Chris and he'd either get it or say wait and I'd shrug either way. I never really payed attention. I know this so 1950s housewife. But you know what? I had my jobs and Chris had his and this one of them. It's not like he withheld anything from me or gave me a monthly allowance. I just didn't care about any of it. Obviously, now I have to pay attention and I have kind of. I mean I pay the bills on time and stagger things out so that I have money for food and what not and I'm staying on track. But that's about it. More like treading water. So I decided that it was time to sit down and do a serious budget and here's why.
Yesterday, I don't know why, but the idea to buy a new car just got into my brain and that this was something that needed to happen soon. Lately I've been holding my breath whenever I start up the old Malibu because I'm not always sure it's actually going to start. I worry every time I make a trip to Oklahoma that I'm going to end up stranded in Kansas somewhere. There's nothing really wrong with the Malibu that I know of. It needs new ball bearings (expensive) and probably an oil change (not so expensive), but it just doesn't fill me with too much confidence. There are sounds and glitches. Also, I want to travel and part of that traveling means having a reliable vehicle. So I started looking into what it would take to get me a new car and this lead me to really looking at my finances.
I first made list of all the bills I pay every month and started looking at where I could cut back. I've already cut back the cable bill by $50 and have decided to use the Dave Ramsey method of paying off credit cards. Next step is to see about cutting my phone bill in half (this may mean a new phone number...sorry). I think I may have a garage sale or at least start a craig's list of things for sale. And I found this budget worksheet to help me keep things organized. I like it because it's free and easy to customize. My deadline to get some things paid down and in order by July, because I think that's when I need to tag this car and I do not want to pay for another tag for this car. Apparently, I'm really starting to get into this whole being a grownup thing.
So, what about you guys? What are your budgeting tips?