Wining and Dining: We’ve come SO far on this since I started budgeting, but we’re still not where I’d like us to be. Rather than planning for one or two lovely, special date nights a month, we’re often still using our “entertainment” budget line for random, last-minute pit stops at the local burger joint and such—mostly when we don’t feel like eating (or cooking) whatever is in the fridge. I’m so aware of the fact that the key to a successful budget is spending deliberately, and this is just one area where spontaneity keeps gnawing at our bottom line. I WILL MASTER YOU, RANDOM DINNERS. Watch me.
Celebrations and Such: Despite the fact that we know when our family’s birthdays are (eeer, most of the time.), when are friends are getting married, when they’re having babies, we just can’t seem to get it together in terms of saving in advance for the necessary gifts, travels, etc, that come with those “precious life moments.” (Remember Precious Moments? Those things were cuh-reeeeepy. Why with the big eyes? WHY?) This year, we’re building weddings, birthdays, and the like into the budget so I’m not having a financial conniption at the last minute, yelling at George when he tries to, you know … buy groceries.
Utilities: The infamous “Polar Vortex” (Better or worse than Snowpocolypse?) destroyed us last year. And by us, I mean our “utilities” budget line. It decimated it. It froze it, and kicked its lifeless body out of the wood chipper. (Get it? Fargo? Come on, guys.) This year, we’re doing everything we can to be super conscientious about our in-home energy usage, and I’m banning myself from “just turning the heat up one more degree.” In fact, I am wearing two sweatshirts right now. (And I look gooooooood.) I’m thisclose to basically purchasing a Little House on the Prairie bed-warmer thing. Try as you might, Northeastern Winter (and impending, humidity fueled Summer), you will not best me this year.
How about you guys? What are your budget goals for 2015?