I made one and only one new year’s resolution for 2016: to budget using a zero based budget. This was easy to do in January because we had one extra paycheck coming in from my husband’s former job. My husband is in the middle of a career change, and while he is working on freelance jobs at the moment, he hasn’t received any payment for those jobs yet. Here are 5 ways I cheated on our February budget.
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February’s zero based budget wasn’t so much zero based, but more like deficit based spending! Things were going really well for most of the month, but that last week…was challenging. We had a case of budget fatigue personally and as a family.
I was tempted to just “ignore” these little slip ups and not record them in the free EveryDollar Budget app that I’m using. The red letters and line indicating we were over budget were so glaring! I decided to put them in there though because we need to know our patterns and true spending habits in order to course correct, or prevent them in the future.
5 Ways I Cheated on my Budget in February
- the last week we ordered takeout pizza. I thought we had enough surplus in other categories…but we didn’t. I ordered anyway. -$33.64
- We ate out as a couple on our monthly “out of the house without the kids” date. We went hiking at a local state park and then went out to eat. Nothing expensive, but we knew we would be over budget. We did it anyway. -$22.24
- I went through a drive through to get my oldest son a quick meal after some time together. -$8.20
- We’ve started our March budget on February 29 (Leap year). 3 out of 4 years, this wouldn’t technically be cheating…
- I invested in a blogging course. The course only opens up once or twice a year and I knew I didn’t want to wait another 6 months before starting the course. After doing all of the free mini sessions, I knew the Elite Blog Academy would provide the kind of blogging mentorship I need right now.
If you are a newer blogger, I would highly recommend signing up for the Elite Blog Academy waitlist. Ruth frequently posts free mini sessions that I have found extremely valuable. If you sign up for the waitlist you can immediately get her FREE eBook – “7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight”.
Budgeting isn’t easy personally or as a family, but I know it is worth it. My mantra is Progress, Not Perfection in all things habit related, and despite the small set back, we’re making progress in our budgeting habits!
Have you ever cheated on your budget? What did you overspend on? Inquiring minds want to know! 🙂
I’ll be sharing this post at these link ups.
Suzanna @ One Hoolie Mama says
Budgeting is such a challenge for me, but we’re working on it.
Me too Suzanna. All these habits take so much time – but I think it’s going to be very worth it in the long run.
alexandra @ my urban family says
A little cheating here or there on budgets I think helps keep us on track in the long run 🙂
I hope that’s true Alexandra! 🙂
I just have to say that I LOVE your leap year logic! That’s totally something I would say!
Makes sense right!?!
heather @ Simply Save says
Thank you for sharing this side of budgeting! It’s refreshing to see that not all finance bloggers always meet their budget! The blog course sounds like a good investment! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Budgeting is sooo hard for me. Pizza is always a huge temptation for me, especially after a long month of being good about cooking at home. Of course, that’s also when I should be the most careful with our budget, and it often ends up putting us over. On a side note, I started using EveryDollar recently too, and it’s so awesome!
Pizza is such a temptation for me too Savannah! I’m glad you like EveryDollar! So far it’s the only thing working for me.
Sherry Nappa says
Budgeting is such a challenge especially when others live with you. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday.
I agree! It is hard when others are spending…and constantly asking for money!
Rachel O. says
We have a budget but I basically just spend whatever I want and we’re usually where we need to be at the end of the month. With two young kids we don’t go out to eat because its not fun, and I only go to the grocery store because it’s not fun to shop anyplace else anyway! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your link at the #HomeMattersParty ! 🙂
That is so funny Rachel! Looks like being a mom is saving you money! ?
My husband and I have always been pretty terrible at sticking to a budget. We’re hoping that moving to a super rural location where there aren’t many temptations and no one really has or spends much money will help with that!