Friday, July 9, 2010

Budgeting Bites

So I am just a few weeks away from writing my last summer child care check - YAY!!

I've been thinking - some might say obsessing - about these costs for most of this year. I started a budgeting plan back in November, I think; originally to get me through our vacation in NYC, and then in anticipation of the summer months. Yet the stops and starts to this plan have come with nearly every paycheck.

First, there was finding the right budgeting tools. I had been trying something online, in order to be able to access the same info from both home and work, but after it lost my info twice, I said, screw it. I'm going back to good old fashioned Excel spreadsheets.

I crunched the numbers, and started tallying my expenses through the categories. I decreased some expenses, and even made sure to include a savings budget. Yet, every month it seems, something happens to derail all my planning.

There were choir fees and fundraisers, new clothes desperately needed (no, not for fashion's sake - simply for Sylvia to have pants that fit, or Riley's shoes with broken soles that needed replacing), car issues, unexpected gifts to buy, and oh sure, sometimes the complete breakdown of discipline and tickets to In the Heights to be purchased. (Did you watch the results episode of So You Think You Can Dance this week? The cast of In the Heights that we saw at the Pantages last week was on!!)

And just as I'm reaching the end of paying for summer care, I just remembered that I need to start setting aside funds for Riley's 5th grade science camp this fall.

I can't say that I regret a dime of what I've spent. From that magical night at the Pantages, to the wonderful memories Riley will have of her camping trip, to the value that Sylvia is getting out of her dance classes this summer...really, the financial costs seem so little for what we all get in return.

Still, budgeting bites.

5 comments:

The Mama said...

I don't think I'll ever give up Excel for my budget, it's the best!

Danielle said...

Amen to that. I am obsessed with budgeting too. The un seen stuff kills me!

SoloMom said...

I have been actively budgeting for a year now. I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class at a local church. I am not religious and I did not like some of the religious overtones of the class, but the budgeting and getting out of debt tools were fantastic. I like your trem "budgeting bits" - sometimes that is what it feels like. I have months that derail me too, but my spreadsheet is my friend!

BigLittleWolf said...

Yes, budgeting bites. Really bites. Especially when no matter what you do, any sort of budget is unworkable with the reality of what you have (or do not). Ah, the parts of post-divorce parenting life that no one spoke of - when it mattered.

Bravo on your budgeting efforts! It's astonishing how much kids cost, and how many hidden costs there are that hit.

Armando Codina said...

I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class at a local church. I am not religious and I did not like some of the religious overtones of the class, but the budgeting and getting out of debt tools were fantastic, thanx for posting.