Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Finances For A New Year

So my husband and I decided that we'd really like to start tracking our finances this year. We found ourselves asking where all our money went far too often these past few months. I have really been dreading actually taking a look though and digging down into where we spend our money.

Yesterday I decided to take the plunge and I went onto Crown Financial's website and found some very useful worksheets. I have their book and I thik I read the whole thing a few years ago but I never really got down deep into our spending and doing a budget. I just took away lessons on how to pay down your debt and applied those to our lives. Things were different back then though. We didn't really worry about our finances because Isaac was in the military and I was also working full time. Now that I'm not working and we don't get extra housing allowance, tings are much tighter. We actually need to be tracking where every penny goes. Especially with Noah arriving soon.

One of the major questions I was having was how much of your income should be spent on what. Like how much should we be spending on food? What percentage of our income should pay for our housing? I had been very frustrated because I had never been able to find something that actually gave you an idea until I found this sheet. They actually have them for lots of different scenarios, like single with x amount of kids or married with x amount of kids or widow, etc. I was thrilled to have found this and sat down to see how we measured up last night. It seems that our percentages are much different than theirs. We spend more on our total housing than they suggest and we also spend way more on our debt (student loans) than they suggest.

After looking at this I was just frustrated. It's hard to face the fact that you're overspending and spending on things that aren't really needed. Since I stay at home the only time I really get out of the house right now is when I need to go to the store. So buying for me is my way out of the house. Nevertheless, I am committed to tracking our expenses this month and to really getting an honest look at what we doing with our money. I know that I need to come up with a strict budget for our family, especially if I'm going to continue to stay home with Noah. I have to learn to live and spend on just one income. This should be interesting!

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