We are not great with budgeting. We are not bad either but we can do better.
We have no debt (minus a mortgage), a decent amount of savings but we over-spend every single month. I don't know if it's that our budget is unreasonable or we just don't care. I think it's the latter. We never spend more than we make but we also don't put that much into savings each month.
I am now officially off maternity leave, no more EI for me. My job at the church came in at the perfect time because we only had about a 2 week gap of just one income but the job is only 15-20 hour/week, not 40. That does make a big difference. Not having to pay child care helps but it is still a reduce in my income. We spent the last year surviving on my EI which is pretty similar to what I make now, but now that we know this is a permanent situation, we cannot just survive and put nothing away into savings.
I think our biggest expense is groceries, we don't eat out a lot (maybe twice a month) but I also am horrible at meal planning which means we all to often run out and buy just what we need for a single meal which is definitely not the most economical.
My goal for October is to meal plan EVERY SINGLE MEAL for the month. I'm going to go with 5 meals a week, one for going out or going to my parents and one being leftovers. I also want to plan breakfasts and lunches so my kids don't eat PB&J 4 days a week (it happens all too often!).
I also want to try to keep my grocery budget at $75/week. That's $300/month. This is strictly food.
I know some people put cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, etc under the grocery budget but I know we overspend on food not toilet paper so I am going to focus solely on cutting my food costs.
Every Sunday night I am going to make the meal plan and every Monday I am going to go grocery shopping. I will then post my menu and grocery receipts here to keep me accountable! Wish me luck!