I've never really followed a budget before. Seriously. I've just always followed the idea of "spend as little as possible" - it sounds terrible, but it's true. But now that Sean has a job where he's labeled as an independent contractor, we have to make sure we track his income and save for his taxes - as nothing gets taken out of his paycheck.
So what better time than to calculate how much we spend? Our first goal is to just track our expenses. We want to be able to make a realistic budget that we can be following by next year, but without knowing what we spend in the first place, it would be near impossible. And tracking we are.
And it's almost sickening what we spend in some areas.
We've spent $170 eating out this month. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY. Now granted, it was kind of a strange month, but still. We over spent on groceries too, but we also hosted a 30+ person BBQ for the 4th of July. Clearly food is our biggest vice. I started budgeting on the 3rd of the month, and after seeing what we spent on food the first weekend, we've definitely been watching that already. It holds us accountable for what we spend. With Sean working, we have that money to spend, but we shouldn't be, ya know? We could be using that to pay off our car loan, or student loans, or savings for a house. Even if we only saved HALF of that money, we would have $720 in a year. That's 2 car payments (which is almost a mute point, because my car is paid off next month!).
In any case, keeping a budget (or even just a record), is amazing. Never realized how good it would be for us. :)