To Spend or Not Spend – Sticking To Your Budget

stick to your budget

How Do You Stick to Your Budget

Sometimes sticking to your budget means you have to say no – to your kids, to your friends, even to yourself.  Of course, it doesn’t have to be a permanent no.  But many times we find ourselves blowing our budget because we overcommit without realizing it – from saying yes to too many fundraisers, to signing our kids up for too many activities – either because they want to – or we think it’s the right thing.

Sometimes sticking to a budget is about deciding between soccer, ballet, art, swimming and even between kids.  So from the real world of the RichMama – here’s how some budget decisions got made  – in real time.

Some Months Cost More Than Others

September is shaping up to be an expensive month.

– Nursery school tuition is due – and she’s going for longer – so it cost more than last year – a little detail I forgot.

  • In hindsight perhaps I should have skipped the optional Friday…  and saved a $100 a month – but I have committed and I won’t get the money back
  • School fundraisers are back – $20 here and there starts to add up – but for various reasons, this is $60 bucks I can’t get out of spending
  • Activities – one’s already signed up for soccer, the other for scouting, but there’s more
  • One gets asked to join a new ballet class
  • The other refuses soccer or other physical activity except for perhaps swimming. In fact, he’d probably be better doing art class, but shouldn’t I be promoting exercise?
  • If I do swimming for one,  I have to do it for the other…

Social Pressure vs. Budget

I also found myself socially committed – to a gym/ballet class – before I knew I felt bad pulling out – the whole class would have been canceled.  But here’s the thing – the  budget is tight – I should be doing soccer, ballet, double swimming and art class – I need to pick and choose.

Right now, one child is getting more of the activity dollars than the other – is that fair?  Or since one is more “interested” in all of these things than the other, is it justifiable.  Should I just say what the heck and squeeze everything – perhaps bridging some it on credit until next month to make the numbers work.

Or do I just say no.  Well what I should have done is – cut the extra day of school and/or the ballet class – but my social obligations kicked in.  I said no to swimming figuring there are sessions all year long – and neither one really wants to do it anyway – not mention the hassle.  My husband and I both promised to work on getting my son outside – running, playing, bike riding after school and on the weekends.  Soccer is already paid for, so that’s done.

As for art – I’d still like to fit that into the budget – but classes run all fall and winter long – so I can easily hold that off until later in the season – when I’ve had time to plan for it.

As for the fundraisers and other social obligations – I’m going into hermitude in October.