In early November I wrote about how we were taking a different approach to our monthly budgeting. Laura was asking me the other day how we were doing with that, so I thought I'd post a quick update in case anyone else was wondering. Which, I'm sure you're not. But I'll tell you anyway. :)
November was tough. Switching over to cash made things very tricky. Like going to Walmart. Something that used to be no big deal, suddenly was a big deal. Because most likely the things bought at Walmart would come out of several budget categories (food, kids, me, etc.). So for the month of November, there was a lot of moving money around. Paying with the debit card, then taking the money from the envelopes and depositing them in the bank. (Don't worry, there was money in the bank when I used the debit card!) :)
But ... we ended the month on a positive note. I think the only category that went over was food. We still use the debit card for food purchases because of the bonus fuelperks. And we only went over by a few dollars. Nothing staggering. And I didn't order pizza at the end of the month when I didn't feel like cooking. Now THAT is an accomplishment! :)
And I actually ended the month with cash still in my wallet. Something I am very proud of thankyouverymuch. :)
However, December hit. Christmas shopping. And birthdays. And more Christmas shopping. We had money saved for Christmas, but we went through it pretty quickly. We will be budgeting a higher amount for next year.
(For those of you who are new readers ... we base our budget on Doug's base pay and our goal is to save any and all overtime that he gets ... which has been A LOT these past few months. So you know when we're "going over our budget", we're not putting stuff on credit cards ... we're just not ending up with as much in savings at the end of the month as we planned.)
Anyway, December is not pretty as far as sticking to the budget goes. But this is all a learning process, right? So January we'll get back on track.
Also we are refinancing our mortgage. We're switching to a 15-year fixed rate from a 30-year fixed rate. (A Dave Ramsey recommendation). And we're opening an account with the credit union through Doug's job, since they have most-excellent mortgage rates right now. And less than $500 in closing costs! Our monthly payment will go up about $100, but we will save about $45,000 in interest over the life of the loan. That should take effect in January as long as all the paperwork gets taken care of.
We will still have our emergency fund fully funded by the end of this month! So be on the lookout for a giveaway in January! My way of celebrating!
And, yes, I'll make sure we budget for it! :)