Matt and I spent a very long time monitoring every last penny that we had and how we spent it. There was a time when I was on maternity leave and a time when I was only working part-time, so that I could volunteer to get Montessori For All up and running. We were also trying to send Henry to Montessori school and save up money to build a house. It was a stressful period. Once we got through it, we both had full-time jobs, our mortgage was just a little more than our rent, and both our children were at a public school.
Now that we have more money, it's easy to spend more money. Matt eats out for lunch all the time. I order stuff off Amazon. Matt goes to Target. We still have money for vacations, but we aren't saving money the way we could be.
If we keep spending our money without intention and purpose, we aren't going to maximize our savings potential. We could be investing our money rather than just piddling it away.
I'm noticing a trend in my posts this week. It feels like I'm turning over a new leaf! I really want to get this aspect of our lives back under control and move forward really intentionally and purposefully. How should I do that?
Step One: Evaluate Where We Currently Are
- I need to go back to our budget and update it based on our current reality. I also need to go through our credit card statements with a fine-tooth comb to see 1) if we have any unnecessary recurring expenses that we are not even aware of and 2) if there are places we can cut back.
Step Two: Revise Our Budget
- Once we take stock of where we are, we can set goals for ourselves. We have to be honest about the fact that if we go on vacation several times a year, we will need to spend less in other areas in order to end up saving money.
- I love Mint.com's capacity to let us track our spending according to our budgets on a daily basis. We need to get back into using it religiously. Maybe I'll get into the habit of using the app before I let myself go on Facebook.