Jenn and I budget every single month. We spend all of the money we expect to receive in the upcoming month in the Monthly Budget Form (Excel) and AGREE on how that money will be spent.
THAT is the easy part. The hard part is following the plan for the entire month – especially at the end of the month.
It is easy to follow the budget at the start of the month because I have spending money, we have grocery money, we have dining out money, and we have entertainment money.
But as we arrive at the end of the third week and the start of the fourth week, it is not so glorious of a picture. You can bet that I have spent every dime of my spending money. The dining out fund is at or near zero. The grocery envelope is tapped out, and the entertainment envelope has kicked the bucket as well.
That is our story nearly every single month of the 62 consecutive months that we have planned our spending. Yet we stick with the budget, and it is where I see a ton of people fall off of the wagon.
How do we ensure that we stick to our plan? We hold each other accountable. We KNOW that if we spend more than we planned on these fun categories, then that extra money will be taken from another fund like vacation, Christmas, car repairs, retirement savings, or college savings. We simply refuse to mortgage our future just so we can have a little extra fun today.
That is HOW we stick to our plan and that is WHY we stick to our plan.
I would love to hear from others on HOW you ensure that you stick to your plan and WHY. Start the conversation in the comments below!