Budget Busted

It didn’t take long for the euphoria and excitement of leaving my job to fade a little, replaced with a little, nagging, kernel of doubt.

“How are we going to afford to maintain our lifestyle without my salary?”

Sure, I will have my redundancy package and my small pension to draw on, eventually. However, it may be another month or more before I see any sign of these amounts in my account. And, yes, I have grand plans for my business and for the blogs – after all I am now a self-employed business-person 😉

But as of today, right at this moment, I have no income coming to me. And that is a scary realisation.

I have shared before that budgeting is the one topic, pretty much without fail, that will draw Nathan and I into an argument. I hate budgeting. I dislike feeling under scrutiny for my purchasing decisions. I am uncomfortable acknowledging that I am not as in control of the finances as I think I should be. And, let’s be honest, it really is one big yawnfest.

Unfortunately budgeting can’t be ignored or swept under the carpet forever.

On Sunday, still recovering from the hangover from my work farewell (that can be my only excuse, surely?) I suggested we have a look at our finances so we could plan for some upcoming expenses. Like the ghastly gas and electricity bills and the car rego that are all due in October. Together with Matilda’s birthday (her gift list is ginormous AND she wants a party….)

Nathan agreed. So, in preparation for the big discussion, we had a cuppa and browsed the internet for all the things we would like to buy with all the money we don’t have right now. Hours passed in this very satisfactory manner. We then decided to take the tribe to Bunnings to bribe them with afternoon tea so we could have a good look around. Because that’s the very place to go to do your budget, isn’t it?

Unsurprisingly, we came away with unexpected and unbudgeted purchases. Unbudgeted as we still had no budget.

Bunnings, after all, is one giant black hole as far as the wallet goes. And although they claim to have everything under one roof, they certainly don’t have an accountant available or a DIY class on making a budget. Take it from me, it is not the place to go when you are in need of reining in your expenditure!

Now, the shopping trip wasn’t completely wasted. We did get the mother of all bargains:

2014-09-28 23.19.43

Yes, we paid $10 for this gorgeous chrome pendant that should finally resolve our light issues above the dining table. I especially love the original price:

2014-09-28 23.19.20

It’s hard to read but it was originally $99! That’s a discount of nearly 90% – bargain!!!!

So the upshot is, we still have no budget but we got the bargain of all bargains. Which was more dumb luck than anything, but I’ll take it.

Unfortunately we still have the budget discussion to survive, now with less money to go around, after our blithe spending spree. It’s the discussion we will have to have, sooner rather than later.

Oh well…

2014-09-28 23.21.06

On the bright side I am currently reading a great book Ausperity by Lucy Tobin. Hoping to get some useful budgeting tips there and find a way to maintain elements of our lifestyle on a smaller and less expensive scale.

Do you have a budget? Is it a source of tension for you? Do you have any tips for me?

Seeking help via the amazing #IBOT community led by the good captain Jess!

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28 Responses

  1. Me says:

    LOL – we go through stages where we ban ourselves from going to Bunnings or IKEA because we always land up buying stuff we didn’t know we needed but just can’t leave the shop without it !!!
    We have a budget – and I control it. Not because I’m mean and controlling but because A has absolutely no interest or idea about our finances. He doesn’t know how much he earns – he wouldn’t know how much our mortgage costs or what any of our expenses are – so long as he has $20 in his pocket – he’s happy. Occasionally I have to tell him to stop buying stuff we don’t need with money that could be better spent on other things but other than that – he is happy with how things work.
    I allocate money each paycheck (weekly for him and monthly for me) for rego, insurance, medical aid, food, petrol, austart, rates, electricity, savings etc so that when the bills come, there is money in the account to pay them. It’s all done on a spreadsheet it and it works really well for us. If you ever want a hand setting it up – I’m more than happy to help you.
    Good luck with your ‘retirement’ – I wish you every success as a self-employed business person – I know how difficult it can be sometimes but the freedom is often worth it.
    Me xox
    Me recently posted..Back Running ………….. Sort Of

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks so much for this – we really need to do something similar so we can get used to living on less. And thanks for your words of support – I know it’s going to be hard but I’m willing to give it a shot and see where it takes me 🙂

  2. I find when we track all our spending we tend to stay on budget. We’ve had to be fairly strict because we have some huge expenses coming up next year ($26k for Miss 16’s braces and operation) and we are wanting to purchase a property here in Perth now that it looks like we are staying. We also lose our tenants soon and haven’t secured a purchaser for our NSW property which will but a huge stress on the budget. Although, with my birthday on Thursday and my tax refund now in my account, I’ve been having a little and rather unusual (for me) splurge and have purchased a couple of my wish list items.
    Raych aka Mystery Case recently posted..A Mystery Case Confession | Agent Mystery Case & The Business of not Blogging

  3. Kathy says:

    This is often a thorny issue in my house, not because either partner or I are big spenders (we’re both quite conservative with money) but because I find not having enough to cover things incredibly stressful, so I would rather finance to make sure we can pay for what’s needed, whereas he is more in the “save up and sweat it out” camp. At the moment we have two full-time incomes so the issue doesn’t often arise, but like Raych, we have big expenses coming up (also of the dental persuasion!) and I think we are going to have to sit down an do a proper, tight budget for the next 6 months very soon. This will probably also include finally cracking on our views about healthcare and getting private health insurance, because hello, three children with orthodontia and at least two surgeries lie in our next five year stretch. I’m not looking forward to it much 🙁
    Kathy recently posted..A random observation about character age and continuity

    • Kirsty says:

      I recently had to take my middle daughter to the dentist after she broke a front tooth. Got away with it a lot cheaper than I expected but I’m not looking forward to the work that is likely to be needed down the track…

  4. Ms_MotorbikeNut says:

    Sweetie what we do with rego for the car & that is we take so much out each pay so for example hubby gets paid fortnightly & say our car rego is $1,000 for a year we work it out like this

    Fortnightly pay is 26 pays a year so $1,000 divided by 26 equals $38 & so many cents a fortnight so we put $39.00 a fortnight away into a high interest savings account like ING or that so by time car rego rolls around next year we have it covered.

    Every year when we do our car rego we add an extra $200 onto what it cost us the year before in case it goes up by the time we need to pay it again and that covers as well.

    Hope this helps you in some small way

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

  5. I hate budgeting as well. Which is why I don’t really have one, however I set up a few little safeguards to ensure that our bills and other expenses are always taken care of. Such as working out how much our bills are over an entire year, and then dividing that by 52, as Dave gets paid weekly. I then have that amount go in to our bill account the second Dave’s pay goes in, and all of the bills come out of that automatically. I set it up when I went back to work after having Punky and it’s been a godsend since having Zee and now that I too have no set weekly income to rely on. I also have set amounts go in to a savings account each week for the girls to cover any expenses for them (like the new car seat we need to buy) when they arise, so we aren’t scrambling to find money. It’s hard to adjust, but I know you’ll get there.
    (Visiting on behalf of #teamIBOT today x)
    Kylie Purtell – A Study in Contradictions recently posted..Top 5, no wait! Top 10 Favourite 90s Movies // Entertainment

    • Kirsty says:

      Great ideas Kylie – up until now we have had a dedicated bill account too with a dedicated fortnightly amount going. We’ll have to reassess everything now as less money will be going in and we will need to adjust and stick to a stricter budget. I think we are still in denial about that… 😉

  6. Danielle L says:

    I recently called my bank and got better interest rates on our mortgage – it was definitely worth the phone call! Bunnings and Spotlight are two places I go and always feel like find something I need to buy, the light sounds like an absolute winner!
    Danielle L recently posted..A trio of cupcakes and chocolate celebration mudcake.

  7. I saved $70 a month by shopping around for new health insurance. I find one of the important things when doing a budget is to be realistic, and include a certain amount each week/month as discretionary spending ie a small amount each for you to spend on what ever you feel like without feeling guilty. Eg $30 a week or even $5. It means if you see something you like you can get it without feeling guilty. The same goes with clothing. I have a budget each year for clothing, so when I see something I like, I know whether I can afford it or not, and don’t need to feel guilty about buying it.

    Having said that, I’m not a big shopper – we try to live quite simply, and living so far from the shops means that I don’t get there very often!
    Jo @Countrylifeexperiment recently posted..DIY-ing

    • Kirsty says:

      Health insurance can be expensive – what a great deal you got there. Awesome tips too – we used to have what we called “sanity” money which we could spend on anything we wanted. I think we will be revisiting that again once we bring ourselves to actually do our budget!

  8. ann says:

    We sat down once and went through weekly, monthly, yearly budget.
    Never again!! I wing it week by week!! Highly responsible and helpful!!
    ann recently posted..Even more positive motivationals!!

    • Kirsty says:

      I know – it’s absolutely painful, isn’t it? I’m not looking forward to it but I think we’re going to have to sit down and get it over and done with…

  9. I like the sound of that book “Ausperity” – off to check it out now!
    Janet @ Middle Aged Mama recently posted..Hitting a Plateau

    • Kirsty says:

      It’s a great book. It’s by a UK author but most of the tips still apply here. I’ll be sharing some of the more useful tips I’ve found in a future post – there are lots of websites I need to explore first!

  10. Kathy says:

    I also hate budgeting and would really like to be in a position to leave work for freelance work next year. Hubby also puts head in sand and is actually worse than me. I think it comes from having two government jobs (he is a firefighter – unfortunately rather low paid, and I’m working a ‘good’ job that is becoming increasingly frustrating). I did laugh at your ‘procrastination’ trip to Bunnings. Yesterday we visited IKEA to buy a chair (which we really shouldn’t have) and of course walked away with another $200 worth of stuff!
    Kathy recently posted..Shoo black dog, Ocsober

    • Kirsty says:

      I was so scared to leave my government job (the security!) but so far I don’t regret the decision at all. I hope you can do the same next year Kathy 🙂

      BTW Bunnings and IKEA are the devil!!!

  11. We always “look at the budget” and it always shows we should have more money each week than we do. But we don’t. So I wouldn’t take any advice from us! HA! I do know that if either of our incomes stopped incoming, we’d be screwed. Hope you guys sort something out 🙂 x Aroha
    Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted..10 Reasons to STAYcation instead of VAYcation

    • Kirsty says:

      Thanks Aroha – that’s us as well – until know, that is 😉 We did finally sit down and do our budget (on our wedding anniversary – how romantic!) and I’m feeling a little better now. Just need to learn to not be so impulsive while out at the shops…!

  12. Hugzilla says:

    We don’t have a budget but we tend to live fairly modestly. I’m an op-shop/second hand freak so we buy lots of things cheap. I wish I could stop my husband from going to Bunnings though! We’d be rich.
    Hugzilla recently posted..We Need To Talk About Kids’ Parties: They’ve Jumped the Shark

    • Kirsty says:

      Yep – Bunnings is evil. I’m looking forward to checking out our local second hand stores. We have several of them in our main street and I have picked up some real bargains there before. I need to update my casual wardrobe now all my office attire is not needed so hoping to pick up some gems in the coming weeks 🙂

      • Ms_MotorbikeNut says:

        If you don’t want to keep your office attire you maybe be able to sell it privately online or at a consignment shop to get some more money behind you

        (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

  13. Michelle says:

    Haha, love the budget black hole that is bunnings! Feel free to pop by my site as I write a lot about budgeting and I’ll even be doing an DIY online budgeting course in preparation for the new year!
    Michelle recently posted..7 Ways to entertain the kids when you are sick

  14. Robyn says:

    I had to laugh at the Bunnings budget hole!! So true. I am terrible at budgeting and it drives Mr D crazy. If only someone could just do it for me x

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