Monday, August 31, 2009

Budget: Steadfast or Rolling?

More and more people are having to learn to live on a budget but are struggling because they have never needed to live on a budget before. I know several people who have recently begun to realize the value in stockpiling but are having problems doing this within their grocery budget.

I have a weekly and a monthly budget for groceries. My weekly budget is simply the monthly number broken down into weeks. If I see a great sale on several items I need, I am not afraid to go over budget that week as long as I make up for it down the road. My goal is to be at or under budget by the end of the month. I call this weekly budget number a rolling budget. For instance, my weekly grocery budget is $50. Last week I went over by $13 because there was a huge sale. This week, I only spent $27 so I'm still under budget for the month.

This concept can be applied to other areas of the budget, as long as the money is available at the time it is needed. I know several people who use the envelope system so that their budget is always a rolling budget. If the money is in the envelope, they can buy something but if there is no money, they must wait until another day. If they have money left over, it is left in the envelope for those times they need to spend a little extra money.

So, do you have a steadfast monthly budget or are some categories on a rolling budget? I urge you to find what works best for you so that you can stay on track each month.


Anonymous said...

What are you eating for $27 a week???

Julie said...

On weeks like that, I'm utilizing my stockpile. Last week, I bought milk, fresh produce, and only a few deeply discounted sale items. I have plenty of meat, cheese, bread, and frozen veggies in my freezer and my pantry has a ton of canned goods, condiments and snacky type items.

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