My husband and I sat down and looked at the budget last weekend. That is a rare event. Usually I am the lone person responsible for the budget.

We both agree that it is important for me to stay home with the kids after my leave of absence is up. The tricky part is finding out where the several hundred dollars we are short each month without my paycheck will come from without us dipping into savings.

We have been very spoiled in that the budget did not have to be as tightly controlled as it did early in our marriage. Now, we are trying to get back to managing finances like we did when we were struggling as newlyweds.

Here are the changes we are implementing:

-Have the budget cycle run from the 16th of the month through the 15th of the next month (follows my husband’s pay cycle)

-Use cash only

-Keep all cash in the budget envelope system

-Write down all money spent for the month in a notebook at the front of the budget envelope system.

-Keep a print out of our monthly budget next to my checkbook and bills so I can check off each item as I pay it (so I make sure not to miss any bills as I have done a few times since the 3rd baby has been born)

-Clear all money that is extra beyond our budget out of the checking account and into savings so we don’t have the luxury of over spending.

What do you do to keep your budget on track?

I’ll report back next month on the 15th.

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