I have instigated a quarterly budget “check” — at that point we decide if there are areas in the budget that just aren’t realistic – or are giving us too much lea-way. For instance Quicken can show all the past few month’s expenditures on fuel — our prior budget was 200, but lately we’ve only been spending 150, and the other money for that just gets sucked into something else — however — you just don’t know how much gas you’ll need, etc. so we changed it to 175… and we’ll re-check in another 3 months and see where we’re at then.
Also, at this time is a great time to re-commit yourself to the budget. Budgets are a great tool, but only if you utilize them. Lately we’ve gone a few dollars over and I’ve just covered it with my checks but I really want to stick to it this month. I can do it, yes I can.
Our budget does have a few “stop-gap” mechanisms. We have a clothing/household budget that can help when we’re caught in small emergencies. Like school pictures. I get the tiniest package, but it’s still 30 bucks when you get one for each child. Add to that a school T-shirt and instantly I’m 41 bucks behind in the budget. I smoothed it out between the household and the clothing areas so that we’d be OK. Prior to the stop gap mechamism I’d just throw my hands in the air and give-up. Our weekly budget is only 80 bucks, so if you minus 41 out of that, you’re moderately screwed.
In good deals this week, there are a couple:
- Through today, for every 3 boxes of Kleenex you buy you get a 3$ Catalina towards your next purchase (Catalinas are those things that print out with your receipt). There’s Kleenex priced at 99 cents, so if you buy 3 you’re only spending 2.97, plus there were coupons in last week’s paper and it brings your total (with tax) to $2.74. Then, you get 3 bucks to spend on your next order.
- The fancier Kleenex are on sale for 1.50 when you buy 4, plus there’s a 2$ off coupon in the add. The math goes like this 6 bucks for 4 boxes, minus the 2 dollar off coupon makes it 4 bucks. Plus a 3 OYNO (on your next order), making it like only a dollar for 4 boxes (minus any coupons you had – you can always combine manufactuer coupons with store coupons). Needless to say we’re STOCKED (and so our my kids teachers). I even got a bunch of the soft kind, which makes my nose so happy during cold and flu season.
- String cheese and 16 oz balls of Mozzarella at Lucky/Savemart is only 2.50. There are coupons for 1.50 off your purchase (they are peelis on the product, they are bright green, but small). This makes them only ONE DOLLAR. Sa–weet. I am also stocked-up on string cheese through the end of November. I may even go back and see if they have some later-dated string cheese. It’s a staple in our lunch area.
So, there you go — some ideas to help you stay on budget for the week. You can do it, yes you can!