Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rainy REST Day

The weather finally decided to cooperate with my running schedule! It is a nice rainy REST day here in the Nation's Capital and I don't mind it one bit, as long as it clears up by Saturday.

Since Jay has a hectic test week coming up, I spent the evening looking at flights to Orlando for New Years and eating a healthy but fast dinner.

Dinner included a Black Bean Burger on an English Muffin with Avocado, Chickpeas and Tomatoes, more Avocado and Tortilla Chips.

It was delicious! And an evening well spent, minus the fact that I have yet to buy plane tickets!

Do you know what you are doing for New Years yet?

As I mentioned in Spend, Spend, Spend, Jay and I budget very differently when it comes to spending money (our living budgets are almost identical). I prefer the category method because it helps me focus on where my money goes.

Jay, on the other hand, is a grad student and your average 20's something male, who could care less about clothing and more about Beer and Football. The biggest problem with going to undergrad or grad school is that most people spend a lot of money on junk (Beer, Starbucks, Resses, Coke, French Fries, Pot Belly's...) especially when you are stressed. Jay is no exception.

After tracking Jay's spending on junk food and soda for a month, we both agreed that he would function better with a weekly budget.

Jay is allowed to spend $25 during the week and $75 during the weekend. This means he has about $5 a day to spend on whatever his heart desires Monday through Friday and $25 a day for Friday through Sunday. The smarty-pants of the group may notice that he actually gets $30 on Friday, if he lives by his daily allotment. He prefers to look at the weekly budget, so I like to think of that extra $5 as his wiggle room.

This system is working pretty well. Obviously, some days he spends more or less than his average daily allotment, but it has really helped him to determine what he can afford. The great thing for me, is to hear him vocalize that he got got a tea at Starbucks ($1 and change) so that he would have enough money to go to Pot Belly's (closer to $7) later in the week.

Another issue we had when I first approached him about his spending was tracking his budget.

At first I offered to keep track for him, as long as he kept his receipts. Well... let's just say that didn't go as planned. He would occasionally "lose" receipts if he even got them at all. So, once he felt more secure about his spending, I charged him with the responsibility of self tracking. And now, he is successfully tracking his own spending, but I have access to his spreadsheet through Gmail. :)

How do you budget? Do you and your husband, boyfriend, family budget differently?

Check back later this month for a post about why Cash is King, how to start your own Google budget and the importance of REST.