After perusing Simple Mom's blog and reading about how she uses Pear budgeting software, I decided to give it a try. I was trying to set up a spreadsheet on Excel myself, but this was soooo easy that I gave up on the Excel spreadsheet. Pear gives you a 30 day free trial, but I can already tell I am going to pay the $3 a month to continue using this. It really is worth every penny to not have to set up the tables. You just plug in the info into the categories determined by you and it is ready to go. I love it that it tells me how much I need to put aside each month for expenses that just happen once a year!
The only uncomfortable thing about this software is the fact it lets me see exactly how much I have spent so far on things like yarn,books and stuff I thought I was doing better on(I made a category on my chart just for these). Let's just say all the little "couple dollar" receipts added up to quite a large sum. Much larger than what I had imagined and definitely more than what I would have budgeted. It definitely explains why we have a lot more month left at the end of the money!!
I must say, when it is sitting right there staring you in the face, it is pretty uncomfortable! However, I now know where the leaks are and will spend the rest of the month getting back on track. I really don't think it would have been so apparent on any other method I could have created. I am not being payed to hawk this program, really! I like it that much!!!
All said, the rest of the month, the focus is going to be catching up, cooking at home, being careful with car mileage (gas was another big expense, no surprise), and trying to keep the balance in mind before I whip out my debit card.
I am going to be thumbing through one of my once a month cookbooks and putting together a shopping list so I can start using some of the recipes. One of my kids is a picky eater, but a lot of the recipes I am going to try will probably pass his "high standards".