Family Living 4 Less

Saving Money Without the Sacrifice!

The New Frontier: Living on a Budget

Posted by flsquared on September 27, 2009

A lot of you will laugh, but I have always thought that there are two categories of people :  spenders and savers.  I was raised to be a saver and always find a way to save a good bit of my paycheck every month no matter what.  My husband also falls under that category.  I knew that living in New York City would be expensive, but I had no idea.

I repeat, I had no idea.

The first month I thought we were doing okay, but New York seems to be a “cash town” and I tend to rely on credit card statements to tell me what we’ve spent for the month.  So hubby and I sat down and did a budget.  Nothing fancy, just an excel spreadsheet that we found on Vertex42 and customized.  I highly recommend it if you are just looking for a high level “quick and dirty” view of your spending.

Well, that was one painful evening, but we got it done.  Our only constraints were not to include my husband’s signing bonus (we wouldn’t get that next year) and not to dip into our savings.  Ideally, we would like to save 10%, but it wasn’t necessary this year.

At the end of August I plugged in the numbers.  We barely squeaked by on budget (saving 9.7%–not bad!), but we hadn’t spent a dime on childcare or “date nights” and we did not go out to eat once.  However, somehow, we managed to spend just under $500 in groceries???  ouch!

Next weekend I will again plug in the numbers for September.  Stick around and I’ll let you know how we do.

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