Monday, August 10, 2009

An Update on my Jar-Budget Method

I've now been doing the jars for over a month, so I thought it was only fair to update my progress.

In my opinion, I have not done well. Even if I'm extra hard on myself, I know there is room for improvement. I can point to one main reason for this shortcoming thus far - the money needs to go in the jar! It sounds so simple, it's silly!

Seriously, if I do not actually put the cash in the jar, then I find myself saving receipts to keep track of where I'm at. It just doesn't work! The week is over before I know it, I tally the receipts up and I'm over, I've spent the money, and I can't remember what my original budget was. Now, I think I understand why this budget method really works, because even if you think you know your finances, it is a surefire plan.

Why is this so challenging? Beyond a doubt, it's because it requires such a change of habit. I have been accustomed to using plastic (debit and credit) for so long, physically going to the bank for cash is difficult. It takes time! It takes time to plan my needs at the start of the week and time to get the cash. I can't 'carry over' on my credit card until the next pay cheque either as I have foolishly told myself in the past. I have to confess though, I did resort to my credit card for a few 'extraneous' expenses last month. My passport renewal, for example, was one expense I overlooked and could not longer delay.

So, today is Monday and its a new week. I put gas in my car on the weekend, so my only expenses for the week were 'going out' and groceries. The groceries were picked up tonight, and I plan to go to a movie tomorrow night (Julia & Julia looks SO cute!) That will pretty well empty the jars, so I'll be keeping a low profile out on my work trip later this week. Hopefully, I'll be able to give a full report come the end of the month, complete with some numbers!

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