Having a budget is the only way I know how to live; I am a micro control freak when it comes to money. Sometimes I ask myself why I am so controlling about the money I allow myself in certain areas and I think if I didn’t take so much control it could be tempting to rack up debt.
The offer for credit is everywhere, the payday loan adverts bombard you constantly on the TV, and if I wasn’t as strong as I am to not accumulate any debt, then I can see how easy it is to become trapped in the cycle of paying off debt, and yet have very little to show for it.
I couldn’t sleep at night if I thought I owed people any money; it can make me feel sick at the thought. The way I cope with this is managing my money to the penny. I know that I need to make sure that every penny has a job and not to go beyond those to ensure that I have money for the things that we need as a family. If I haven’t the money then there is no option other than the item isn’t bought and this includes my grocery shopping.
I regularly change how I split the money and how the shopping gets done, and at present I have changed back from monthly shopping to a weekly shop, but what is important to note is that I don’t spend any more money with the change, it is just a choice that I have made in this last month.
My budget £50
For my £50 budget each week, I need to ensure that we have food to eat, toiletries to last the week. This is difficult because the cost of food has increased over the last year. I have noticed that where before, there was more wiggle room in the budget, it has become tighter. I think meat is the commodity that has seen the most increase and this is the area that I am most fussy in, I won’t buy cheap frozen chicken breasts because the chicken is often horrid. But this is expensive so I make choices as to the meals we as a family can eat to spread out the cost of the food.
This is why creating meal plans even on a weekly basis is important, it can save you time, money and arguments as to the choice of food that you are going to cook.
It is possible to feed your family a good balanced diet on a small budget if you sacrifice the odd treat knowing that you have budgeted carefully and planned the food that you are going to eat.
The most important part of my shopping trip is to take a list of the food that I need; this stops over spending and creating problems with the budget for the rest of the month. For me this is a challenge that I might not always love, wouldn’t it be nice to spend and not have to worry about the budget, but unfortunately life isn’t like that and I choose not to go into debt, it is my life’s choice and I work hard to keep my finances in perspective with the way I choose to live.