I really love the first day of the month. It is a fresh slate. Anything that I screwed up in the budget last month is in the past. Mint.com brings me to a new budget page and I get to input my monthly income, each budget category amount and hope for the best. Things haven’t gone so smoothly the last few months for several reasons. We had some unexpected travel expenses, a job loss and veterinary fees for our kitty, Cody.
The 1st of the month is a great time to readjust the budget items to more properly reflect the reality of your situation. When I first got married I assumed our budget would double. I budgeted $200 per month for groceries when I was single. We got married and I assumed we’d be fine with $400. This never worked for us. The budget went up to $500 after a couple of months of running over. Then I realized that if we were going to eat mainly organic/free range/grass fed/non-GMO food, I would have to budget for that as well. We’ve been rocking the $600 grocery budget for a few months now and I think we’ve finally found the sweet spot that works for our family. We prioritize having a clean diet, so we eat out a lot less to pay for it.
This month we’ll be getting an influx of money from my husband’s last free-lance consulting job. That will enable us to catch up on our savings that went awry in September and October. I’m not beating myself up for not making my savings goal of $1500 the past 2 months because we didn’t screw up because we were selfish and frivolous with our spending. We had legitimate unexpected expenses. And we didn’t go into debt to handle them, we cash flowed our problems. Our emergency fund is still intact and growing. That’s a win in my book.