My husband and I used to fly by the seat of our pants where our budget was concerned. We didn't put much thought into where our money was going once our bills were paid. After seeing just much money we were wasting, which could reach as much as $1000 a month, I sat down and developed a budget for the different aspects of our financial life. Now that we've purchased a house, and the cost of our bills have gone up, I've had to re-think our budgets. These are some of the ways I've adjusted our budget since buying a home.
Before we had a set budget we could easily spend $300 or more a month on entertainment activities alone. When we let ourselves get that out of control we really struggled to recover financially. After putting our budget in place, we set a $200 a month budget for entertainment; however, that has changed now. In order to help cover our new water bill, we have reduced our entertainment budget from $200 a month to just $150. We expect to pay about $40 a month or $80 bi-monthly for water. Cutting back on entertainment will allow us to easily cover that bill.
Eating out has always been an issue for us. My husband works second shift, so our dinnertime is around midnight. Cooking between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. can be a pain, which leaves me wanting to grab fast food instead. Eating fast food usually costs us about $20, and our old budget allowed us to eat out once a week. For the new budget, I reduced eating out from four times a month to just three. This will save is $20 a month. Our new trash bill is $51 every three months, which means the savings will pay that bill plus save us an additional $9.
Money for luxuries is usually stored away for bigger purchases. Our budget calls for $200 a month for luxuries, but we don't spend that every month. Now that we have a mortgage payment we will no longer be allocating money for luxuries. That money will now go toward our monthly mortgage payment.
Cutting back on things you enjoy isn't easy. I for one, didn't want to have to make cuts to things like eating out and luxuries, but I had to. We will still be able to do most of the things we did before buying a house, we'll just have to do them on a smaller scale. These slight tweaks will make our everyday home life better because we will not have to stress about money.
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More from this contributor:
- Banking & Budgeting
- Personal Budgeting