Wednesday, January 13, 2010

budgeting 101

One of our goals for 2010 is to create and stick to a budget. Sub-goals include giving more to church and charities, saving more in our 403b/IRA, and saving for a big trip we're planning with Tera and Brett. I love Excel so I made a kick-@$$ (why did that create a link? I don't know. where does it link to? Please don't blame me if it's something dirty...I was trying to keep it clean!) spreadsheet to track our expenditures. It's on google documents, allowing me to update whenever, wherever, we'll always be together. I'll be there and you'll be here -- oh sorry, Shakira took hold of me there for a minute!

Anyway, back on track! I've still got a ton to learn about money management and budgeting, but I feel like we're on a really good start after a couple very expensive years of getting married, buying and renovating a house, and generally living a carefree newlywed lifestyle. It is SO much easier to say no to impulse purchases if you know you have to go home, enter it into that spreadsheet, and watch the balance for that category decline. It's really been making me re-consider my choices and only purchase things I love. And I get to use Kyle's favorite phrase of the post-Pike ladies "I don't love it", which of course conveys a feeling only slightly better than indifference.

Now, onto the GO DO THIS RIGHT NOW part of the post. I just got off the phone with Comcast and had our monthly cable/internet bill reduced from $109.25 pre-tax to $84.95 pre-tax, and ended up with 20+ more channels, including HBO! Oh, Larry, Brett and Jemaine, how I've missed you! I had put off calling for several weeks since I'd heard that my sweet-as-pie sister-in-law Lesley did this, because I really hate confrontation and asking for things, even when it's over the phone and I know I could just hang up the minute things get awkward if it bothers me enough! But I worked up the courage and got a really nice girl on the phone, whom I told that I was considering switching providers because I just couldn't justify spending more when others were offering the same service for much less. Without question, she offered me the current promotions being offered to new Comcast subscribers.

Off I went to my budget spreadsheet and changed the cable category from $120/month to $95/month (just in case we are too lazy to go to the redbox and fall victim to the temptation of pay-per-view). That extra $25/month will be going toward paying off my new bike and our other athletic pursuits. What would you use it for?
I heart


JuneBug said...

heck yeah! another sucessful "reduce your cable bill" story. i'm proud of you! i hope i can muster the same courage when i get there (whenever our "new customer" promo ends...)

and, what an amazing "New years resolution" way to spend the extra money... on fitness!

okay, so i have enough "quotes" in my comment, huh?

eyeheartorange said...

Uh, when I clicked on your link it made my email open and prompted me to email KickA$$.

I like June's comment about the quotes! I heart my budget. Maybe you guys will get really bold and start using the envelope system!