I cannot believe it has only been one week since our new budget plan started. It feels like it should be a lot longer. I think one reason budgeting is so hard is because it takes a long time. Everything looks so good on paper. The numbers do what they're supposed to do and you think, okay, in 4 months, we'll be where we need to be. And you smile and want it to be 4 months later right now! But you still have to live every day and make many financial decisions every day. And the decisions you make affect the final outcome. It might end up taking longer than 4 months. It might end up taking less. The numbers from your budget might change.
So far, after one week, things are going well. The numbers still look right and I have told myself "no" countless times. I'm hoping it gets easier.
I have not made a meal plan yet but still plan to. I think Sam's Club will have to wait until the next pay day - it's not going to fit into the budget this time. I might not be ready for Sam's Club yet, anyways. There are a lot of temptations there. A lot of "good deals", even if they're not in the budget. I might have to plan to go right at the end of the pay period and only use what is left. Either way, it will be good for me to practice more self-control before going there.
We have certainly not suffered in any way this week by not spending more. We have actually done more as a family. After creating this budget, I immediately thought of all the things we wouldn't be able to do and then stopped thinking like that and started coming up with what we could do. There is a playground about 6 blocks from us so we've been biking over there after supper this past week. Today we drove a couple hours to a beach and had a cook-out over there. Hot dogs on a grill at a beach taste way better than a hamburger at a fast-food restaurant. All in all, it's been a great week and I'm ready for week 2!