Saturday, March 10, 2018

- Follow the Money - Experiment

In the early 1970’s we had a neighbor across the road who tried to show me how to set up a budget. His idea was to have an envelope for each expense we had, and imagined we would have, and then put certain amounts of cash in each envelope so when it came time to pay, there would be enough for a particular charge. Needless to say, our income was very low, both of us were working more than one job and trying to raise a family of 6 kids. I never could catch on to the budget that he proposed for us to use. Phooey. We made it through without the budget. Granted, we never could save a penny. 

The funny part is that he was a high income earner, his wife a stay-at-home mother with three kids. She did it all, even to making the girl's nylon underwear, nighties, slips, coats, boy's jackets, well…you get the idea. BUT! She had to stay within the budget of cash he would assign to her and then MARK DOWN EVERY expenditure in a book, EVEN IF IT WAS ONLY A SPOOL OF THREAD! No one would ever control me like that!

Money in, money out is how we survived. Also, my girlfriends and I all passed down clothes (not only the kid’s) and swapped stuff through those lean years. It was rare to buy anything at all that was new, We shared our needs, no matter what they were, and we experienced wonders. EVERY time we shared, something came back. Big or small, something always came our way. It was never planned but it happened.

Now back to the budget…I still don’t have one. I’m trying, though to do something I have never done and am 2 1/2 months into it. Can you guess? I wrote down categories of our expenses and we are noting EVERY penny we spend and where it goes on a pad. Then they are combined and  transferred to the monthly list.  Already we’ve learned that in January we spent $233.89 less that our January income. In February we spent $125.08 more than our February income. Won’t it be fun at the end of the year to see if it all balances out? Even the Mister is in the swing of things and it is kind of a fun project! 

Here are my categories, alphabetically of course. I think alphabetically. Always have.

  MONTH  - 2018 PAID  
  1. Accountant-Fed/State Annual Taxes Prep. 0
  2. Alcohol 0
  3. Beer 0
  4. Cable,Telephone, Internet-Bundle 0
  5. Camera & Art Supplies & Printing 0
  6. Car Gasoline 0 
  7. Car Maintenance & Inspection 0
  8. Car Insurance AAA 0
  9. Car Insurance Coll. & Liab. 0
  10. Car Registration 0
  11. Car Repairs 0
  12. Cell Phones (2)  Plain TracFones 0
  13. Christmas Gifts 0
  14. Clothes E 0
  15. Clothes G 0
  16. Computer Supplies 0
  17. Co Pay Med E  0
  18. Co Pay Med G 0
  19. Co Pay Doc E         0
  20. Co Pay Doc G         0
  21. Dentist 0
  22. Donation Minute Men 0
  23. Donation Fire Company 0
  24. Driver's Licenses 0
  25. Electricity    0
  26. Equipment Expenses (blower, mower, quad) 0
  27. Generator Service 0
  28. Golf Car Repairs 0
  29. Groceries 0
  30. Haircuts E 0
  31. Haircuts & Toenails G 0
  32. Health Insurance G Ded. from Co. Pens. 0
  33. Health Insurance E Ded. from Co. Pens. 0
  34. Heater Service 0
  35. Homeowner's Ins. 0
  36. Home Maintenance 0
  37. Home Repairs 0
  38. Home Real EstateTaxes 0
  39. Hunting/ Boat License 0
  40. Lake Assn. Dues 0
  41. Laundromat 0
  42. Lottery Tickets 0
  43. Masonic Dues 0
  44. Medicare Deductible E 0
  45. Medicare Deductible G 0
  46. Misc. Gifts, Cash Donations & Purchases 0
  47. Mowing and Weed Whacking 0
  48. OC Med & Sundries 0
  49. Optometrist 0
  50. Postage & Label Stickers 0
  51. Propane 0
  52. Restaurant Meals 0
  53. Sewer 0
  54. Sirius XM 0
  55. Trash 0

Monthly Income
E 0
G 0  

TOTAL       0

What do you think?


  1. That's way too many categories. I lost you at Accountant.

  2. I like it. You really have it broke down. It will be interesting to see the end of year balances.