The Tough Part of Budgeting – Sticking With It

Making a budget is the (relatively) easy part. Sticking with it, well, that can be a lot tougher. Here’s the latest example from our house and what we ended up doing: Husband wanted to go out to dinner (I didn’t think it sounded like a bad idea, either), but we’ve already spent our entertainment budget for the month.  We’re going to end up under-spending in our gas category this month (how did that happen?!), so it’s not like we don’t have money for it somewhere.  So we had to decide – do we stick with our budget, or do we say ‘Oh, well, we’ll find the money somewhere.  Let’s just go out to dinner’?  We’re both in favor of sticking to our budget, but sometimes life affects our dedication to being disciplined.


The typical scenario is that Husband wants to go out to dinner and then I look at the budget and tell him I don’t think we should go.  I hate being the one to say ‘no’ all the time, though.  And it’s really hard for me to turn down a chance to get out of the house with Hubby.  We get so little time together as-is and if we stay home, we tend to spend time on the computer instead of together (which we need to work on).  Going out to dinner means we A) get out of the house and B) get some good one-on-one time.


We have a tight month coming up in August, though, and starting in September, our budget is going to be tighter because we’ll be moving to a place with higher rent.  That means we need to do better at sticking to our budgeted amounts for each thing instead of saying, ‘Oh, well, the money will be there’.  This is where it gets tough to stay on-track with a budget.


So what did we decide to do?  Stay home.  We ate leftover spaghetti and garlic bread (yum!) and watched an episode of “House”.  We’re going to go out for ice cream, but it will get paid for out of my spending money (I still have some left and offered to use a bit for ice cream tonight).


Do you find it hard to stick to your budget?  How do you keep yourself on track?

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