Back at the end of May the wife and I did our very first spending plan with our new found intensity to get out of debt. I go through putting the initial estimates into the spending plan, this is because I’m the nerd and getting the numbers going is fine with me. Don’t think my wife doesn’t do anything because what she does is very very important in the process.
Even though I’ve been keeping track of utilities on my Where the Money Goes spreadsheet it is different trying to spend the money before we see it. I can guess the amounts using past bills and paying attention to what we’ve been doing for the past month but trying to actually forecast close to what the actual bill will be is harder than I thought it would be. Of course bills come before the first of the month so that helps get some concrete numbers in place instead of just guessing.
The hardest part is trying to get all the expenses that come up each month into the plan. School supplies, vehicle expenses, music needs, clothing, etc.
I input everything into the plan the way I think it needs to input and allocated, and then print it out to go visit with the wife. She gets handed the spending plan on a piece of paper to review and make changes to. She can make any and all changes she wants so long as she makes the ending numbers result in all money being spent. I try to insist she makes at least one change because she can’t really agree with me on everything. Can she? Maybe I’m just totally awesome if she does :). Anyway I keep quiet and say nothing because I’ve already gone over it.
With the monthly spending plan in place we both agree that nothing gets spent outside these categories without first talking to each other. Another reason we will talk later is that say we spend all of our grocery money; we’ll need to find where to take money from to cover the shortage.
I’ve enjoyed working together with my wife on this spending plan a LOT!