In the 21+ years my husband and I have been married, I’ve never been in charge of our bills/budget.
We would decide upon everything together, but my husband has always been the one to sit down and crunch the numbers on paper, keep tally of everything, and whenever I needed to know what was going on with the bills etc. I’d simply ask.
However, when my husband moved away for work back in July, I needed to step in and take over paying the bills and making sure everything was as it should be.
Who knew it was such an undertaking!?
It’s especially tasking because about half our income is through the business. I don’t even know how he kept on top of everything when we were BOTH self employed.
With a lot of prayer perhaps?
Trying to keep on top of everything, when you don’t know what half your income is even going to be, and whether or not it will even be enough to cover it all, has been quite the experience.
However, I can say it’s been quite the LEARNING experience. And, as with 99.9% of things in life, I do love to learn, and I’m almost always up for a challenge!
This week, after handling the bills for the past 6 months (plus the early part of the year, but I won’t bother counting that, we’ll say it was my ‘training’ period) I do believe I may just finally have it down pat! I finally feel on top of it all!
*This is when it will probably all change right? Sell a house perhaps? I promise, I won’t mind reworking a new budget one bit if that happens!
I haven’t exactly figured out everything, but I have been able to ORGANIZE it all, so that I really feel like I’m on TOP OF all the bills getting paid!
Don’t get me wrong, we always pay our bills, but paying your bills in a confident manner, and paying your bills in a harried feeling of frenzy, are two very different things. Sure, the end result is the same, paid bills, but the stress level of the one paying those bills isn’t exactly at the same level! I MUCH prefer skipping past the feeling of frenzy, thankyouverymuch!
For the past years, I’ve been in charge of the business budget, but a lot of that “can” be done on an “as needed” basis. If I’ve got an influx of cash (for example, a large wholesale order) I simply use the extra funds to purchase things I know I’ll need in the next few weeks or months. Bamboo velour, snaps, dyes, fleece, windpro, polymailers, bags, etc.. The business takes care of itself pretty well, and always has. It’s the personal INCOME part of the business that’s trickier. If you’ve ever run your own small business, you know that YOU always get paid last. At least in MY world, that’s the way it goes.
THAT’s the part that’s a little more difficult to “nail in” for the house and home budget.
But now, with my newly organized budget and paperwork in place, I feel much more confident!
What did I change? Basically I began six months ago, simply working from a page that my husband had printed out with all our bills each month, and the dates they needed to be paid. They were all in point form, and the totals were approximate estimates as to how much each bill would be. However, when he created this list for me, we had no clue what his final bottom line would be for his pay each month, so that was not figured in yet. The income portion of the budget is obviously as important as the outgoing, so this, along with my income never being ‘fixed’, made things pretty difficult to manage.
Now that we know his aprox. income every two weeks, I decided to make up a new budget sheet with exact figures (where ever possible!) and rather then working off ONE sheet for forever, printing out a new budget sheet for each and every month with a line for “available balance” next to each bill, and each paycheque. A lot like keeping a chequebook, only more detailed. That old sheet had a LOT of scribbles and notes all over it! It was making me feel as jumbled as it looked!
Since we don’t know exact amounts for my income each week, I still can’t budget down to the last penny until some day in the future when we can get AHEAD, but for now, I feel much better about things. And with that, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief!
The next thing I tackled was the organization of our home! With the help of the kids, of course!