Friday, October 19, 2007

Fudge-It (the Budget)

Recently, I have been fudging our budget. I "borrow" money from other categories so I stay under budget in all aspects. The most common instance of this is borrowing from my grocery budget.

When we get take-out or go out to eat in a restaurant, our system is to split that down the middle and take it out of our fun money, or pay with the cash fun money we have on us. We've been caught a few times without the cash to cover it, so we payed with the debit card. When I download the transaction into Quicken, I will sometimes put it under groceries instead of fun money, thus leaving us with more fun money for other expenditures.

We only get $100 fun money a month (each) and if we go out to eat, it uses quite a bit. The other night we went to a concert in Boston. Tickets were $52 total and dinner was $46. If I counted all of that as fun money, it's be $49 each! Almost half of the month's budget gone in one night!

Instead, I filed the $46 dinner tab under groceries. We had a little extra room in the grocery budget due to my husband being away on business. We'll still be under budget with the groceries, so our total money flowing out will be within budget, and our total money spent will be the same.

I feel kinda bad about fudging it, but at the same time, it helps keep me sane. I choose to sacrifice some nice dinners for a night out on the town, and that's OK. As long as I don't go crazy doing this, and I keep the total spent under the total budgeted, I'll keep on going.


beth said...

In my opinion, for what it's worth, is that as long as you're coming at or under budget in all categories, you're still doing okay. If your grocery budget goes over because you used it to eat out, and your fun money is all spent, then you're starting to have problems.

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