Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our spending plan is working...I think

“We broke the budget,” my wife M said to me recently with a sigh. “This system isn’t working.”

She gave me a frustrated glance as she scribbled in the checkbook register we use to track our expenses. June and early July are heavy spending months in our household, with birthdays, Father’s Day, and trips to the beach all in the mix. Plus, with all the additional fun-n’-sun activities, the little pile of receipts on our kitchen counter grew relatively big before we got around to logging them. Who wants keep track of your budget when a nice, hot summer day beckons?

As a result, we’d overspent our monthly spending plan to the tune of about $150. And consequently we had less to save toward the down payment we’ve been building to buy a new home.

“Maybe we should try something different.” M said. “This is becoming a habit.”

It’s not broke because it does work

She had me there. It wasn’t the first time we’d “broke the budget.” In truth, our budget is fairly “fluid;” we may overspend one month, and catch up (or almost) in another. August, for example, is a great month for us, with no family birthdays or holidays with gifts we have to wedge into our spending plan.

But our system isn’t broken. In fact, I think it’s working quite well. Here’s why.

  • We aren’t overspending with credit cards. Our discretionary spending budget—how much we plan to spend on gas, groceries, gifts, entertainment, etc.—is fairly low, while our goal to save each month for our house down payment is fairly high. So any overspending simply reduces our savings amount that month. If our overspending resulted in racking up credit card debt, I’d be very worried.

(My sister commented to me that it may actually be harder to spend less if you’re saving more, and, ironically, she may be right. I find it easier to agree about to going out to dinner or to the movies when I know we have the money on hand to do so.)

  • We know when we’re overspending. Since we’ve been on this tighter discretionary spending budget for several months now, we have a good feel for when we’re exceeding our limit—even before we log in the receipts. And our spending behavior naturally slows down and causes us to question additional purchases when we think we’ve gone over. That’s the whole point of having a budget, to keep our spending under control, and our system is helping us do that.
  • We know why we’re overspending. A budget is about making choices, deciding what dollar goes where. In times that we spend more, we save less, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing; neither M nor I want to be so focused on saving that we become misers. Plus, we’re still making steady progress in building up our down payment, so it feels like we have a good balance between the two.

Doubts in the back of my mind

One thing about our overspending does gnaw at me a little; if, for some reason, we had to strictly follow a tight budget, would we have the discipline to do it? I’m not sure. Our record says we wouldn’t, but it doesn’t take into account a big change in mindset. It’s one thing to spend money you have. It's quite another to spend money you don’t.

We could find out soon. Some of the houses we’re seriously considering purchasing will stretch our budget even more and put our discipline to the test. If anything, it could make for some interesting blog posts.

So am I fooling myself that our budget system is working? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know.


(Best Show)Watch said...


Two things

1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on The Goode Family
for our website

2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

The Best Shows Youre Not Watching (dot) com [all one word]

The Goode Family is one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

What’s in it for you?
Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think.


Aditi said...

Join our Direct Affiliate Program! Lending Club is the world’s leading peer-to-peer lending platform - offering net annualized returns of over 9% (since June 2007) to investors and low, fixed rates to borrowers (subject to credit worthiness)
$25/$25 Incentive for New Investors: Our $25/$25 program allows you to make $25 while also rewarding your readers with $25 bonus for just joining Lending Club
Our $100 Incentive for Borrowers: Receive $100 for every borrower who successfully lists a loan on our site
About Lending Club:
- Over 27,000 investors and growing fast – over 2,000 new investors joined last month
- Coverage in main stream media (see ours in the news page)
- Named one of the Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas of 2009 by Harvard Business Review
We look forward to hearing from you at referrers@lendingclub.com
Best regards,
-The Lending Club team

Currently only residents of the following states may invest in Lending Club notes: CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, LA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NH, NV, NY, RI, SC, SD, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, or WY.
Lending Club notes are issued pursuant to a prospectus on file with the SEC. Any investor should review the risks and uncertainties described in the prospectus related to a possible investment in the notes. Offer subject to change.

Anonymous said...


I keep coming to this website[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url]You have really contiributed very good info here coinjar.blogspot.com. Frankly speaking we really do not pay attention towards our health. Are you really serious about your weight?. Recent Scientific Research presents that about 70% of all USA grownups are either fat or weighty[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url] Therefore if you're one of these individuals, you're not alone. Infact many among us need to lose 10 to 20 lbs once in a while to get sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now the question is how you are planning to have quick weight loss? [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss[/url] is really not as tough as you think. If you improve some of your daily diet habbits then, its like piece of cake to quickly lose weight.

About me: I am webmaster of [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also health expert who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under hard training program than you may also try [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/acai-berry-for-quick-weight-loss]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/colon-cleanse-for-weight-loss]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effortless weight loss.

Anonymous said...


Do you guys watch movies in theater or on internet? I use to rent DVD movies from [b]Redbox.com[/b]. Recently I discovered that we can watch all new movies on internet on day, they are released. So why should I spend money on renting movies??? So, can you guys please tell me where I can [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]watch latest movie Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This 2010[/url] for free?? I have searched [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Youtube.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Dailymotion.com[/url], [url=http://www.watchhotmoviesfree.com]Megavideo.com[/url] but, Could not find a good working link. If you know any working link please share it with me.


Personal Finance said...

Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about the Cash Flow Navigator is a Financial Planning Advisor provides free information and resources for their members to plan and achieve Financial Independence

zoren said...

I like to thank you. I enjoyed reading your blog. keep up the good work!


Nice laid out blog some very useful advise.

Forest Monte said...

Having a spending plan definitely helps to tide you over to the next pay day. I know that works for me for several years. However, when I tried binary options trading, I needed the help of binary broker optionbit http://optionbitsreview.com and I didn’t need to worry about overspending (in terms of the investment amount I put in my investment attempts). Overspending can take away security and we should be guarded from the temptation of putting in more (money).

Humaun Kabir said...

Thank you for your post. This is excellent information. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. It really gives me an insight on this topic.Here you can find many more tips about Self Improvement and Personal Finance.

julia bandth said...

You people have actually provided the best blogs that are easy to understand for the folks. ovation

Gexton said...

I’m so lucky that I have got this site that imparted me the high quality of information easily.
Android App in Pakistan

Malina Tysonh said...

The written piece is truly fruitful for me personally; continue posting these types of articles.

Anonymous said...

Michael Kors Factory Outlet The North Face Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Online
Celine Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Cheap Oakley Sunglasses The North Face Outlet Gucci Handbags Outlet Air Max
Michael Kors Outlet Louis Vuitton Handbags Marc Jacobs Outlet Moncler Outlet Cheap Oakley Sunglasses Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses nike air max pas Cher Kate Spade Outlet lululemon Athletica Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses
Celine Outlet Moncler Outlet Christian Louboutin Outlet Online michael Kors outlet stores michael kors outlet online Nike Free Run
Oakley Sunglasses Marc Jacobs Outlet Canada Goose Jackets Sale Michael Kors Outlet Online

Review my homepage ... Gucci Outlet

Dr.Zack Martin said...


Mie Helal said...

Thank you for sharing

relationshipgirlsjaipur said...

All type of Indian Escort Service in India Any Citis Cantact my Escort master In Jaipur Soniya Oberoi - Wesite :- Jaipur Escorts Service and Jaipur Escort Service with - Escorts in Jaipur visit and enjoy..

Jaipur Escorts
Escort Service in Jaipur
Independent Escort in Jaipur
Jaipur Escort Service
Call Girls in Jaipur
Jaipur Call Girls
Jaipur Escorts
Jaipur Escorts Service

8105783376 Doorstep Massage Services in Bangalore said...

Abu Dhabi Escort Service
Abu Dhabi Escort
Abu Dhabi Escort Service Ajency
Abu Dhabi Call girl Service
Escort Service in Abu Dhabi
call girl Abu Dhabi
independent abu dhabi escort service
independent abu dhabi escort

8105783376 Doorstep Massage Services in Bangalore said...

Surat Escort Service
Surat Escort
Surat Escort Service Ajency
Escort Service in Surat
Call Girl service in Surat
call gilr Surat
Indepndent surat escort service
independentsurat escort

8105783376 Doorstep Massage Services in Bangalore said...

Vadodara Escort
Vadodara Escort Service
Escort Service in Vadodara
Vadodara Escort Ajency
Call girl Service in Vadodara
Call Girl Vadodara
Independent Vadodara escort
Independent Vadodara escort service

8105783376 Doorstep Massage Services in Bangalore said...

Siliguri Escort Service
Siliguri Escort
Escort Service in Siliguri
Siliguri Escort Service Agency
Escort Siliguri
Call girl Service in Service
independent siliguri Escort Service
independent Escort Service

8105783376 Doorstep Massage Services in Bangalore said...

Bangalore Escort
Bangalore Escort Service
Bangalore Escort Service Agency
Escort Service in Bangalore
call girl service in Bangalore
Call girl in Bangalore
Adult Service in Bangalore
Independent Escort Bangalore
Independent Escort Bangalore service

Cara Mengobati Jamur Mulut said...

This article is interesting and useful. And let me share an article about health which insha Allah will be very useful if we use it again for others.

Obat Untuk Mengobati penyakit osteoarthritis
Cara Mengobati Penyakit Gula Darah
Obat Untuk Penyakit TBC
Cara Pemesanan QnC Jelly Gamat
Cara Mengobati Telinga Berair
Bahaya Penyakit Muntaber dan cara mengatasinya

Neha kumari said...

We are Dehradun based escort agency and providing high profile independent call girls, Russian, open-minded call girls in Dehradun and their near location.
Dehradun escorts
Dehradun call girl

Jaipur Escorts said...

hi thanks for sharing your post with us.
jaipur call girl
Jaipur escorts