Categories: Work in Progress |

Two weeks ago, Chris and I sat down and made a budget for the first time since we’ve been married.  I know that’s shocking for some folks, but for the most part, we’ve been responsible spenders and always lived within our means.  Don’t get me wrong.  There’s been a month or two that we’ve had to tighten up our spending, but we’ve never had a set budget.  Last week was our first official budgeted week.  How did it go?  I FAILED.

It should be noted that I’m in charge of paying the bills and doing all the shopping.  Chris does a wonderful job supporting our family, but he’s not so good at checking the mail.  Before we were together, he only checked his mailbox when his mailman refused to attempt to stuff it with any more bills, letters, and magazines.  Needless to say, I do the mail checking and bill paying.  Of course, bills aren’t really the problem; it’s the shopping.  I have a really hard time keeping that in check.  Of course, it doesn’t help that my laptop was on it’s last leg and finally bit the dust last week.  That’s definitely pushed us over.

That brings me to the point of my post.  What do you do to keep your shopping in check (including all non-grocery purchases)?  I’m pretty good at keeping within my food budget, but I need help in other areas!


  1. Lisa Sivley

    Well, we carry no debt at all and have zero credit cards,so if the money is not there for a purchase I just don’t make it. We did Dave Ramsey course 2 years ago and it did give us a wake up call. Now we are in much better shape and spend more wisely. I think we may still have the CDs and books somewhere if you’re interested

  2. Lori (Vess) Cantabery

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very very very hard for me just as it is for you but I do have a method that’s helped me. I do all the shopping too (my husband bought himself a belt last night by himself and I almost fell over!). In our budget, I figured out how much money was allowed for “shopping” (i.e. eating out, grocery shopping, all other shopping, gas, gifts, haircuts, anything “optional”) and took that money out in cash each week. I then leave all of my cars at home with my husband. I keep the checkbook for “emergencies”, but since I HATE writing checks, this method works well for me because it’s a visual reminder of how much more I have in the budget each week for variable purchases.

  3. Lori (Vess) Cantabery

    I meant cards, not cars

  4. Anonymous

    Use envelopes/cash if you have a consistent inflow of $$$. Make a list of necessary non grocery items and a buffer for things that come up (new socks, etc). Better to be under budget than over. Cheesy but it works–ask yourself if you really NEED it. I find myself going to check out and before this stage I sift through my cart, one, two, three times and put away what I do not need–keep it simple, this helps us.

  5. Liz

    I have a similar problem. My gluttonous purchases fall into one of three categories: home organization, junk store finds, and anything that’s considerably on sale (i.e., the magnetism of a good bargain, however useless, slays me).

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