I’ve discussed our budget here and there before, but basically we have an Excel spreadsheet that has a bunch of categories and each category is alloted a certain amount of money. We keep our receipts and at the end of the day we “put them in the budget”. That’s how it works in theory. In reality, I keep my receipts in my wallet until it’s so full I can barely close it, and then I hand my husband a big wad of folded up receipts and ask him to figure it all out. And he does.

This month I got a lesson in the fact that budgets really do work. I was especially bad about not putting my receipts in the budget. Because of this I didn’t really know how much I had spent. I thought I was doing so good on groceries. I thought I had hardly spent anything at all. I thought we were going to be way under budget. But then the day of reckoning came when I gave my husband so many receipts it actually made my purse lighter (I kid, it wasn’t that bad). I was over budget on groceries. OVER?! How could that possibly be? Apparently I made a ton of little trips, rather than just a few big ones. Those little trips tricked me because they are easy to forget about. And since I thought I was doing so good I think I splurged on some things I wouldn’t have purchased if I had known how close to the limit I was. That’s how it happened.

So that’s proof that, in this house at least, budgets work. So I’ve been trying to do better this month. So far so good.

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