So I was looking over my NYR to see what I've neglected thus far and saw "Make a Budget and stick to it!" still listed. I was ready to cross it off as a lost cause- our situation is no different from any other year and it's not about to change before Christmas, so what's the point, right? Then I was reading one of my new blog obsessions and one of the sub-topics was budgeting and money. Someone commented that despite having a small budget, they still squirrel money away for vacations etc. And that, basically, if the money was out, they stopped spending. As the commenter put it, "I do not like jeopardizing those future trips, or how soon we can get into our own home." And that struck a chord with me. Worse than hurting how much we can save, we've also had to dip into our savings. I thought it would have leveled out by now and it hasn't.
Despite all of the adjustments we have made, the red numbers are still super high every month. I was prepared to accept it as unavoidable due to several facts: our income is unreasonably small, our little girls are growing and eating more and more every day, Jon and I are both students, which is expensive for tuition and materials, we've had bad luck- particularly with car trouble this year, and I'm building a business which continues to require money. But that commenter made a good point and I'm ready to try again.
Part of the problem has been discipline, but more often it's been the unexpected. Until Jon finishes his degree in December, we have a very small income to stretch a long way. This leaves little to no room for surprises, so when they happen (all too often!) it breaks my motivation to keep the budget going. But one of the nice things about having a blog is that it can help keep you accountable if you're honest. So I'm hoping that with renewed effort, plus a light at the end of the tunnel (4 months down, only 8 left!), plus something to strive for (I will be home-hunting again as soon as Jon starts his new job, although this time I will keep my priorities in the right order) will be the right combination to keep this budget afloat. Wish me luck!