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They say “confession” is good for the soul. And though I would tend to agree with this sentiment, just stopping at confession is kind of worthless. It’s like saying sorry, but not changing your actions in any way and commiting the same offense day after day. So I would submit that confessions should be followed by action to change your ways. So I want to make this post an open forum to confess your budget shortcomings, and be willing to talk about actions you can take to change your mistakes. You action can even be to increase your budget if it’s an area of overspending constantly. I’ll start:
Confession: We have overspent on our food budget for a few months….like…..by a few hundred dollars.
Action: We have already taken some corrective action on this. We signed up for eMeals (<- affiliate link) about a month ago, and have save hundreds already. We also need to setup an “entertaining” line item in our budget, because I keep grouping our food budget spending in with money we spend on entertaining (food, supplies, etc…).
Confession: I didn’t really set a backyard budget, and we keep adding more and more stuff to our project. We have a budget leak.
Action: This is something I talk about all the time. What I should have done is set up a goal and reverse engineered my budget for this project. I did pretty well for the fence, pergolo and patio portion of this project, but I have not done any planning for the landscaping. We keep buying plants and other landscape items without any planning ahead, and I could see this going on forever. Mrs. iHB and I need to sit down and plan this out, then allocate the money that we’re allowed to spend.
Confession: I have not used any savings buckets this year, but am still spending the money for birthdays and occasions
Action: I blew away the savings buckets this year because with Mrs. iHB transitioning home, we didn’t make enough to pay everything in our budget, so I have to remove the savings bucket categories. But this has not stopped us from spending in these areas. With me working 2 jobs, and a hefty amount of savings, we do have the money to pay everything in our budget, but I still have it laid out in such a way that it looks like we’re negative every month. I did this to motivate us to cut our spending, but all it is doing is being dishonest about our current spending. This makes us feel like we’re blowing the budget every month, and then we actually spend more because there’s no set budget.
I need to add the savings bucket categories back into each month, save up for those infrequent expenses and stick within the amount we have saved; no overspending. This will save us money in the long run, even though the budget looks worse.
Comments: What are your budget confessions? Do you have anything that you want to say here so that you can make an action plan to change it? Do you even care if you blow the budget? Also, did they really make another Spiderman movie? SRSLY? This is going to turn into the next ‘Land Before Time’ , with 37 sequels…
24 thoughts on “Budget Confessions (and action)”
I love confessions! I’m currently doing something of the same sort on my past mistakes. I stopped watching Land Before Time after the….3rd? movie I think. It was getting bad. We also spent a lont more money on the yard then we were planning too–it wasn’t in the budget or talked about. We have a better solution for next year at least. We are going to save up some money in the winter and that will be what we get to spend!
We didn’t have a budget when we were buying things to get our house ready to sell. I was hoping we’d spend around $800 but we ended up dropping $1200 or so.
I don’t think it’s the end of the world if we blow the budget a few months. If we’re being fairly disciplined, making progress, and taking care of our responsibilities then it’s not the end of the world.
We tend to have some great months where don’t spend anything that wasn’t on the budget, but there are others that just don’t go so well. After a few of the bad months (hopefully just one) then we tighten things back up and refocus our efforts.
I still blow my eating out budget periodically. I rectify this by reducing my “shopping” budget to make up the difference.
I have my eating out and food budget combined. Some dinners we eat out, so it doesn’t make sense for us to seperate it. But I also do some budget “borrowing” throughout the month 😉
Like Jason I just don’t have a set budget. So I can’t say I really have anything to confess there. I did splurge a bit on a few fast food meals last month, but I figured I needed a bit of a reward for eating so much healthier and earning more money. Other than that I’ve been so frugal lately that I think I’m doing just fine.
I am going to get you on a budget someday 😉 HAHA
I think it’s good to talk about any area of overspending because if it’s in an area that is not important to you, then you can be intentional about not spending there. Sounds like your overspending was somewhere that you wanted to spend, though.
Our confession was that we were spending far too much in the grocery budget even after using coupons. We have since went from $600 a month to $190 a month and buy lots of fresh veg and fruits, grains, beans, dairy etc and very few convenience foods. We watch our budget very carefully and have returned to cooking from scratch as much as we can. Little by little we will get there, so we started The Grocery Game Challenge on our blog. Post your weekly budget and your shop to see if you can beat your budget. Sometimes posting what you buy helps to motivate and see where you can make changes just as you did today.
Well done. Sounds like you’ve really killed it in the food category! Have you written an ebook about this yet? Sounds like you have a great plan for yourself.
I too have been spending more on our food category, but we also have been intentional about having a social life, meaning eating out with friends when invited and not hesitating (too much) to celebrate special occasions. We have been saving money in other areas, so it’s okay in my eyes.
We find that blowing our food budget is a result of entertaining. I think I need to break down and just allocate $50 a month for entertainment, because we love to host parties and encourage community. Do you have an “Entertaining” budget category?
It’s refreshing to hear from a finance blogger that no one is perfect!
We spent approx. $200 over our grocery budget in March. Whoops. We also don’t have a vacation savings bucket…we just use the excess in our checking account. We have discussed starting one but never seem to get around to it.
Haha, far from it! I definitely blow the budget on occasion, and I am pretty bummed about it. But having a plan makes it so we don’t stress about it, we just make adjustments. Budgets are definitely not “set it and forget it” items. Adding items, removing them, and changing allocations is part of the monthly adventure 🙂
Yea, a new Spiderman…with a whole new cast? DUMB!
My financial confession? Our first house was too expensive for us. We lied to ourselves saying that we could afford it. We were even told we could afford a lot more! We would be on the streets if we had purchased an even more expensive home.
Feels better to admit, doesn’t it? (though I’m sure you’ve already talked about this on your blog 🙂 ) I would say that our house is too expensive for us at this point as well. I don’t regret the purchase, but it has definitely lit a fire under me to get my income up.
We are still trying to figure our budget out. I figured I would take six months and then average everything together to come up with some realistic numbers. One thing that we don’t budget for is eating out, and we always spend more on that than I would like.
I also don’t think that even if we had a set budget that we would be real strict about it. As long as we spend less than we bring in I am happy. But I know that needs to change, and we need to save and invest more. I think automating savings would help with that. As for the new spiderman movie, I’ll probably go check it out next week as its a little darker than the previous ones and I wasn’t a fan of Tobey Mcguire as spiderman. What I’m really looking forward to is the last Batman near the end of the month.
It definitely takes time to get everything sorted out with your budget. And budgets are definitely not static documents. They are ever-evolving based on the changes month-to-month. You have a great start by spending less than you make. I also suggest setting goals and reverse engineering them to give your budget some more purpose and direction. Feel free to click on the “Budgeting” tab above if you want to see how we got on our budget.
We’ve gotten lazy about tracking our expenses. We used to review budget vs. actual spending and income every month, and we’ve gotten out of the habit. We really need to recommit, because I know our chances for reaching our goals are less if we don’t pay attention to this stuff.
I always try to plan a 30 min. meeting the weekend before the new month. Doesn’t always happen, but it helps us not only see the budget, but discuss our goals for the month and make adjustments as necessary. That way, when you make decisions each day, you know that you both have the same goals and it causes less money arguements.
Don’t hurt me for saying this…but actually we’re doing pretty good right now, budget-wise.
Except the reason we are is that Husband got a huge raise.
But the Jeep is making funny noises. (It’s old, too.)
I could use new glasses. (Squinting a lot.)
The chickens need a new coop (To the tune of about $400.)
And I’ve got a chance to buy a huge batch of my books cheap. (If I pay for them up-front, that is.)
Our garden is doing well, so I will probably skimp in the food area, using up items in the freezer, too. We’re ok in the clothes department, which also helps, and I’ve pretty much gotten birthday presents for the rest of the year.
We also got a substantial check for replacing the roof. (Our area had a huge hailstorm that wiped pretty much our entire neighborhood’s roofs out.) I will squeeze that as far as possible to cover some other home improvement jobs we need done.
I think you tweak your budget the way you tweak life — if you can’t squeeze it in, you take on extra income to pay for it. Or just go without, until you can afford it. Our ancestors did it that way — why can’t we?
Sounds like you’re using every dollar for all it’s worth, nice job! It’s funny you mention going without. We’re definitely in a day where waiting for something is a ridiculous option. People look at you like crazy if you have the gall to suggest that they don’t buy something until the HAVE THE MONEY to pay for it. It’s a weird concept, I know, but saving money and then buying something is a much better idea than financing it now and hpoefully paying it off later (with interest).
Thanks for dropping by 🙂