Our budget, after almost a week of tweaking, digging through piles to find past copies of bills, and discovering those couple of credit cards that somehow failed to make the "list", our budget is complete. And to be honest, it's very scary to see how much we were relying on our credit cards to do so much of our purchasing. Now that incomes aren't quite what they used to be, it's caught up with us.
So we're going "cold turkey", as my husband calls it. Cash only! Now, that doesn't mean that the whole paycheck gets cashed (because most of it would go right back into checking to write checks for bills), but the debit card will be our primary purchasing unit. Allowance (for eating out and "fun money") is still in place as cash, and now the grocery purchasing is becoming strictly cash as well. For me, that's a little bit scary (okay, a LOT scary). But it's inspiring me to be much more creative! Our new budget is now set up on www.mint.com, allowing us to track EXACTLY where those funds are going!
It's also requiring me to be a better steward, to be more responsible for my finances. The Bible mentions finances over and over, and it's taken until now to realize that I'm not just doing this for myself, but to improve my finances in the eyes of God. He calls us to be without debt, and that's my goal someday. In order to get from point A to point B, I have to determine what is really necessary in my life, and what has become material or "idolistic".
So I sit here tonight, doing my electronic coupon print for the week! Not needing much of a grocery shop this week, so I may spend a little of my funds at the Wilmington Farmers Market. The heat is killing our tomatoes, but the cayenne peppers are thriving. Thinking I'll invest in the local economy, and purchase somebody else's tomatoes for another batch of salsa!