Well, don't worry. I'm still doing meals. We had a few nights of going out, a few where we had cereal, we've eaten at parents, and so on and so forth. So I haven't actually made a meal in a while. Now the picture isn't exactly appetizing, but I promise it was good. It's a Three Cheese Pasta Bake and I got the recipe here. It was really good, and both Justin and I would like to have it again. I noticed after we'd eaten and everything, I hadn't put the full amount of alfredo in. I only put in half. But it didn't seem to make a difference... Maybe when I make it next I'll put the whole amount and see what is better.... Either way. Meal #4 - success.
Okay, on to part two of my post. We've started a budget.
Once upon a time, I used to get on the computer every single day. I was messing around in Google Documents (Gmail really is the best thing ever), and decided to start a budget and share it with Justin. So together, Justin and I wrote out a budget. It was nice and pretty, and done fancily in Excel with formulas. It got to the point where I wasn't sure what was going on, and often changed something without knowing how I changed it, and then would have to have Justin fix it for me. Haha. Either way, we had a budget. All the money was accounted for - savings, groceries, bills, etc.
Then I quit my job. And my time in front of a computer went down about 99%. No joke. So the budget was lost on me. We had just moved in to a new house, so I was trying to get things set up and furnished and put all together. And then we had a baby. And then I had to buy new clothes to accomodate my awesome mom body. Needless to say, the budget was doing no good. We had talked before about trying the envelope system and using cash instead of cards, so this weekend, we decided it was time. Because SOMEONE couldn't stop buying adorable clothes that were just so cute to say no to... I have no self control.
That brings me to this! TA DA!
This is our envelope system! I originally got this little file folder thing from my sister to use for coupons, but it fits the money perfectly, and there are plenty of slots. I think there is only one that isn't in use. BUT! I went to the bank, and took out the amount that we had decided upon. I'm going to be doing this after every paycheck. I'll take the money out, and it goes straight into this folder. I feel so good about this! Here are the categories, in case anyone is interested-
Groceries (I read somewhere that your grocery budget should be at least $100 per person, even babies)
Birthdays (we have a lot of family that we have to buy presents for throughout the whole year)
I think that's it... The folder is downstairs, and I'm upstairs, and lazy....
But I wrote out how much each category gets (remember, this is done twice a month, so the totals you see are half of the monthly budget amount) and I wrote out what I need to withdraw from the bank. Since there are a few categories that have $25 or something like that, I have to specify how I want the money. I just wrote it on a post it, and sent it through the sucky tube thing to the guy. We made sure to add ourselves in to the categories though. We all have things that we'll end up needing that don't fall under groceries, or date night... clothes, make up, sports stuff, jammies for baby keek. So we planned for those as well. Which makes the budget a little more bearable.
I'm feeling really good about this! I love being organized, and having it work.
The real test is to see if it's still working in another month or so...