The Budget Begins

Tuesday is payday and we will attempt to budget for the first time ever.  Maybe.

Originally hubby was on board with budgeting so we could start to actually save and have an emergency fund.  He mentioned throwing his tax return at the credit card we used for our California trip and to purchase his smart phone.  Now, he wants toys.  I guess it’s time to talk budget again!  I really can’t do this alone.  If he wants toys, he’s got to stick with the budget.

I budgeted $100 for him to spend on his online games, $100 for his slush/entertainment fund, $100 for electronics, $100 for his energy drinks.  I get $50 a month for my slush fund.  That includes art supplies, entertainment, hair cuts, clothes, etc.  It kind of frustrates me that he doesn’t seem to want to save or skimp on anything so we could avoid paying lots of interest or maybe one day have an emergency fund or actually own a couch or other luxury items we can’t afford.

For now, our grocery budget stands at $400 a month for two people, which includes toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other home products.  That $400 figure is based on our crappy eating habits of purchasing processed junk.  I have digestive issues and I have an inkling that eating excessive grains and hardly any fruit or vegetables has something to do with it.

I have a follow up appointment with my GI specialist early in May and was supposed to be trying diet changes to see what may have been causing some of my issues.  So with our new budget, I’m going to attempt a week of no grains.  That means lots of fruits and veggies and occasionally some dairy.  Since we usually don’t buy foods that are healthy (and probably more expensive), I have no idea where our grocery budget will end up this month.  Eventually, I’m hoping to cut down our groceries to $200 a month for two people since my husband’s pay deducts anywhere from $250-310 a month for meals on his ship.

It’s kind of ridiculous how much we spend on food and drinks for two people.  $300 meals on his ship, $400 for groceries, $100 for energy drinks.  $800!!!  Not anymore!

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12 thoughts on “The Budget Begins

  1. Hi Kasey
    Oh my goodness, sweetie. Husband sounds like a bit of a handful when it comes to money! Hang in there, change comes in inches.
    On the grocery front, I found that the instant/processed food can actually be more expensive than the fresh or raw ingredients so maybe you’re budget will come in around the same total. I’m not sure how American prices work, but that’s my experience in Canada. Maybe it’ll be better than you think?
    Take care and keep me posted!
    Lindsey

  2. Goodness, $400 of budgeted fun for him?! That’s very generous. With budgeting, try it out and see if it works. If you can do less, do it. If not, ask yourself why? The budget police won’t come after you if you go over, it will just help you realize your habits and what you can do about them. I agree that if you want a bigger EF and pay off debt, you need to work together to lower some of the categories. Also, in regards to your digestive issues, I would recommend going on a 3 day juice fast. Drinking only fresh veggie juice can help clear a lot of those issues up. I am coming to realize I can’t have as much dairy as I really want, but I know when I eat many veggies that things are more balanced. Good luck with everything and keep us posted!

    • I had definitely planned on juicing a lot this coming week. We’re going to talk more about the budget this evening and maybe he’ll finally see how much he gets for fun money compared to what I get and would be willing to compromise a little…I’ve got to hope!

  3. I also agree that you can save money by focusing on fresher, healthier foods. (Plus think of it as an investment in your long-term health!) Are you planning to do your own juicing, or just buy some juices? Do you have a blender? You could experiment with a variety of yummy smoothies. Bananas are very affordable. Even if hubby is not on board, try them for yourself. You can add vegetables like spinach, celery, carrot juice, frozen broccoli — and the flavor still tastes good with the added fruit! I always put in bananas, an apple, and a little bit of frozen fruit. Usually strawberries come in the largest bag size, but pineapple and mango are my favorite for best smoothie taste & texture. If you’re worried about your fresh ingredients going bad before you get to use them all, you can pour smoothies into muffin tins, freeze, and blend up some of the “smoothie-cubes” whenever you want.

    My guy and I also like to make what we call vegetarian “taco-dillas” — put one tortilla on a skillet, sprinkle shredded cheese, then add whatever veggies we have around. Tonight we made them with diced mushrooms, yellow squash, bell pepper, tomato; topped with Sriracha hot sauce & avocado slices. When done cooking, top with fresh greens and fold in half like a taco to eat. If you have more than one pan, you can make 2-4 at a time so you don’t have to stand at the stove as long. (We used to make quesadillas all the time, but evolved to this since we can stuff more toppings per tortilla. Quesadillas used two tortillas, top & bottom, and more cheese too, so not as good for us.) Not sure what grocery stores you have around, but HEB has the best store-made wheat tortillas. I actually don’t eat much dairy or gluten, so often make mine with corn tortillas (= smaller portions!) and hummus instead of cheese tastes good too. I know you have the issue with not being able to open your mouth very far, so maybe you could try baking these in the oven like a Mexican pizza, then cut it up.

    I guess you didn’t ask for food advice, but those are just some ideas that we’ve incorporated into our meals that are easy, affordable and healthy, so thought I’d share. I recently made some big changes toward having a largely fruit and veggie-based diet, so I’d be happy to blab about it some more if you have any interest 🙂 With summer coming up, there will be so much delicious fruit in season! Just remember that your body will need time to adjust to the changes you incorporate into your diet. You might feel a little uncomfortable/bloated dealing with extra fiber at first if your body’s not used to it, but stick with it and after a cleansing & transition period, you should feel soo much better. Also, I believe it’s pretty easy to get tested for gluten or lactose sensitivities, so maybe you could try that. (I think the test may require that you have recently consumed gluten or lactose, and it tests your body’s reaction somehow — not entirely sure, so ask your doctor.)

    Anyway — one step at a time. Try not to get overwhelmed with maintaining lots of changes at once. As always, good luck on your journey 🙂

    • Haha, I’ve been getting that a lot lately. If he had it his way, he’d be spending a lot more on his games and electronics each month. It is frustrating but we’re living entirely off of his income so I can’t have too much control over what he spends.

  4. I’ve been there with digestive issues and though I do eat wheat, I know what I’m asking for when I do. :/ It’s not always a direct correlation so I keep chancing it. But anyway, check out some cooking for one blogs. I’m still searching myself so I don’t have any to share yet. It’s so hard to cook for one or two when recipes are made for 6-8 portions. I don’t eat the leftovers and they go bad, so I have justified eating processed foods myself. I just read The Paleo Diet though and I recommend it for inspiration!
    Re the husband, that’s a tricky situation. My mother dealt with it too. My step-dad now has a serious illness and many toys, but not much to speak of in savings. I think he’s learned but they still spend and if they hadn’t recently gotten a large inheritance from my grandmother, they’d be up a creek. He was the sole income earner so Mom had a hard time keeping purchases under control. As long as he had the MasterCard, he can charge whatever. Keep trying and good luck!

    • Thanks! Luckily my husband doesn’t have any credit cards or I’d really be worried! We’ll see how this month goes with the budget. He only has 10% of his cell phone data allowance to last for another two weeks…I’m scared to see how much the overage fees are going to be!
      I know what you mean about cooking for one. My husband doesn’t usually eat what I cook (he likes his junk food) and I hate wasting food so I end up eating the same leftovers for lunch and dinner the next few days, blech! Not having a working stove/oven at my last apartment made it easy to buy microwaveable processed meals. I really am excited to start eating healthy and cooking. I will check out the Paleo Diet, thanks!

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