Well, it is the end of the week and I saved the best for last…BUDGETING…aaaahhh! It is a horrid task, I admit, but one I feel deeply passionate about! So, to go with my theme of the week, here is…
My Typical “Friday To Do List”:
1. Banking and Budgeting
We may as well jump right in – and I will say up front that I DO NOT enjoy this chore, it gives me a headache and I try and do it when I am alone as I have a tendency to get snappy (my kids will attest to that), but I believe that no matter how dreaded this task, it is one of the most important things to do every week and to do well!
We live on a tight budget, as do many, and I am determined to make that tight budget work. One of the ways that I do this is by KNOWING WHERE MY MONEY IS GOING. I diligently record all incoming and outgoing monies in the appropriate column and so I have totals every month on what I spent on food, gas, dog care, and so on. For each month of the year I have a separate spreadsheet with a column outlining all my fixed expenses (e.g., mortgage, property taxes, insurance, etc), bills (electric, gas, water, etc) and variable expenses (food, gas, etc). The next column outlines the monthly budgeted amount and then there is column is for the actual amount spent/paid.
Every Friday I update my spreadsheet, filling in what was bought, paying bills and recording them and generally making sure that we have a balanced budget each month. If a new expense comes up, I need to find a way to fit it in the budget and still have it balance every month.
There are also some other things that I will do a couple times a year to insure that I am getting the best rates and services I can. I will randomly call my credit card companies and ask for a better interest rate, I have gotten my rates lowered on several occasions by doing this. I will also phone my services like my phone company to make sure that I am on a plan that best suits what I am using and what I need. Sometimes I will also ask what specials they are offering to new customers and then request the same offer for being a loyal customer. Sometimes I get laughed at, but often times I have gotten a couple of months at a cheaper rate. I also make sure that I “bundle” whatever I can, it saved me money by bundling my cable, internet and land phone line through the same company.
Since I have the lead role in finances in our home and I am the one who does the majority of the shopping, it is sometimes easy to forget to involve my hubby (I can be a pretty “take charge” type of gal), so at the end of every month I send him a copy of the monthly budget so he too knows where all the money is going. He especially likes it when I highlight all the purchases he made that I don’t approve of (like McDonalds) and then give him a nice little total (please hear the total sarcasm dripping ;) ). Well, maybe he doesn’t love it, but he admits that I am good at taking care of this chore and he wouldn’t want to do it, so I guess he will take my highlights in good humor, appreciating my hard work.
On Fridays I wash the bedding. So the kids strip their beds and I wash sheets and blankets and so on. Not everyone gets their bed done every week, I do mine once a week, but the kids take turns and get theirs done about every other week or so. Blankets get done about once a month – there is only so much time in the day after all and prioritizing is key.
On Fridays I try and plan something special for my husband and kids, after all they have had a long hard work and deserve a little treat. I prepare fun foods that everyone enjoys like lasagna, hamburgers, tacos, or pizza and try and make a special desert, something deliciously sinful like cheesecake or lava cakes to simple pleasures like ice cream with bananas and fudge sauce. Fridays are definitely time to unwind from a busy week.
I am always thankful for Fridays, I feel accomplished by getting through a week full of tasks and activities and look forward to some quieter times with the kids.
More posts like this:
Freeing Your Finances From Being Self-Controlled to God Controlled
50 Money Saving Tips
For more budgeting tips check out Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom!
Have a blessed Friday,