Budgeting isn't something that is always easy with children around. When the nephews and niece first came to live with us we tried to redo the budget as part of a park play trip. Supposedly the two older children would watch the baby and play with each other while we worked the budget. What actually happened was the two older children mostly ignored their baby brother and our budgeting was interrupted more or less continuously by making sure he didn't wander off the park and get lost and I think even (if I recall which day this was when it happened) by a prolonged search for a shoe which was thrown backwards into the underbrush of someone else's back yard as part of a game of catch. So the finances were never reworked the entire time they lived with us. Between me finishing off my first degree, both of us working, and taking care of our nephew even after the older children left we never had a chance to sit down and look at things.
When we took the leap to Bonnie Jean not working, we did so based on a financial analysis that was incomplete. Basically, we made sure there was going to be enough money for day to day living expenses. Since then we have redone the budget to include all those once a year expenditures like buying Christmas presents and found we were lacking. Since Bonnie Jean not working has been an important improvement in our relationship health we have kept trying to figure out a way to make sure we had more money coming in than going out. Some of the things we've done I don't think we ever expected to do. Diapers and other disposable hygiene products including napkins have been replaced with cloth reusable. We've changed cell carriers (lower rates), replaced my bike (avoid using gas), purchased a second freezer (to allow us to store frozen foods when they go on good sales), and aggressively purchased foods when they were on sale. Assuming the interest rates from out bank accounts say similar to what they are now, we can finally say that including all of our yearly predictable expenses and meeting the savings targets we have planned for (which aren't as high as we'd like but they're something) we now have a predictable $15 excess cash per month. And that's assuming we spend every penny we have budgeted and Bonnie Jean has been so aggressive on keeping food expenses low we're an entire week ahead in grocery costs. We also have our crisis savings fund 3/5ths funded, which I think is the highest its ever been considering our 3 months living expenses prediction and all insurance deductibles goals are also the highest they ever have been because of having a baby. Last I checked, our retirement investments are worth about 19k and Taliesin's college trust even has $90 in it. It's taken a lot of effort to get to this point and honestly I'm thrilled. Bonnie Jean is very relieved to finally see the numbers saying that even with all the money we were saving that there is enough money coming in to pay for what is going out. Feels like we've finally done it.
1 month ago