Yeah, this frugal blogger doesn't have a budget. We live pretty reasonably, and can pay our bills. We invest a decent amount, though not as much as I'd like. Until a few years ago, we were always in the black. Then I quit working, we had a kid, we finished our basement, we tore out all of our upstairs walls, we had another kid, Stewart lost his job, our first kid started at a pricey preschool, and now we've got some debt on our equity line.
I'm not sure how much detail I'm going to feel comfortable sharing on-line yet. Maybe all of it, maybe very little. I'll hash it out in my head in the days to come. Suffice to say the debt's pretty big, though neither of us are worried. Stewart has his main job back, plus side-work. I've got my eBay. Plus July is Nate's last month of pricey preschool, and cheapie preschool starts up in September. That'll help tremendously.
So we've decided to be more careful about our daily purchases and to spend a full month tracking everything we spend. I'm starting June 30th and we'll go through July. I'm going to use the Dave Ramsey Monthly Accounting chart to track everything, but we are not going to be using the envelope system. We put every single thing possible on our credit card which puts 2% into Nate's college fund. It really adds up.
If we look back at what we spend in this month and we're overspending, we'll use a modified envelope system to get us back in check: keep a notebook with us and when we make a purchase, subtract the amount spent from the appropriate category. When the allotted balance reaches zero we stop spending in that category. This will allow us to keep buying on the credit card and getting the benefits and still keep us in check.
Any good budget tips out there? What's worked best for you?