Yes. I hate the budget. I hate most everything that the budget represents, except the part where it helps us to save money. :-) There are several reasons I dislike the word “budget!” so much:
1. I am the spender in our marriage, so it’s HARD for me to stay within a budget. It almost always feels much too confined/restrictive.
2. I am also slightly Type-A. So breaking the budget month after month is very frustrating and feels like I’m constantly failing.
3. I strive for efficiency by nature. Taking the time to outline a budget – just to then break it pains me to no end.
So, where does that leave us? Well, it left us in a state of almost total disfuction for the first 6 years of our marriage. We have never bounced a check or overdrawn an account, and rarely have carried a balance on a credit card. But nonetheless, it’s been a struggle. That is until we attended an FPU class this last winter. Several thing happened during that class for me- only one of which was moving to a cash system. We’re almost a year in and it’s worked GREAT! We have paid down almost all of our van loan and put more into savings than previous years as well. (That’s a small miracle when you keep in mind that my husband recieved what amounted to a 9% paycut last school year.)
In reality at this point our budget looks daily like any other envelope system out there. We virtually spend all of our money on payday and assign it to different areas for that month: Christmas, Car Loan, Savings, Food, Utilities, Gas, Haircuts, Gifts, Household, Entertainment, etc… Some areas empty out to zero each month, others accumulate and then when we need the $ for that area, it’s already there. It’s amazingly simple…and amazingly brilliant. Why don’t they teach this stuff in high school?