I'm going to be (almost) completely transparent here in this post.
Because of a financial situation that is completely out of Rick and my control, we are being forced to make some changes in how we do things. This comes at a really bad time, with three of our four kids having birthdays through the end of the year, and with Christmas coming up. Every hacked off part of my soul wants to tell you specifically in this post why things are tight. But, I'm not going to. Just suffice it to say that money I count on every month to help take care of my family cannot be counted on right now. It is money I will eventually get, in full. But, I can't count on it to be paid when it's been paid in the past. So, I've been called to take drastic measures.
I do things the Dave Ramsey way. Rick takes care of paying our living expenses. I take care of the more "fluid" things. I have a coupon organizer that has categories: groceries, household, school lunches, activities, clothing, allowances, hobbies (this one is tiny). I have a certain amount of cash that goes in those slots twice a month. Part of it is funded by money Rick gives me. Part of it is funded by the other source. With the other source being what it is, I now have about 1/3 of the cash to put in these envelopes. So, what are absolute needs? Groceries and school lunches. For now, there cannot be any money to go into activities, clothing, allowances or hobbies. Even at that, there's not enough to fully fill the groceries slot once school lunches are paid.
Rick told me that this is not ultimately my problem and that he doesn't want me to change my budget at all. He said to use the cash I do have, then put the rest on a card that he will pay off every month. But, he'll be paying that off with money he has planned for other things. You see, all of our income goes somewhere purposefully! And like I said, with birthdays and Christmas some of that money is supposed to go towards that. But, I don't want to mess with the system Rick has set up. He has purpose set out with that money and it's not fair for him to have to change it.
So, I'm determined to make this work the best I can. I won't be successful all the time. It's out of my control. But I can try.
So this month, to keep from tapping in elsewhere, I have $45 to spend on groceries until the end of the month. I don't know if that is achievable, but I'm going to try my hardest. We are not going to starve or do without. But, we are going to be more mindful of needs vs. wants and of not being wasteful of what we do have. And we will not complain!
I love Aldi! It has great products and great prices! I have planned our meals for the next two weeks solely from what I can purchase at Aldi. I don't know if it will be possible to keep my list under $45. But, I am hopeful.
In order to be accountable to someone, I will be posting my results. Be in prayer for me as I tackle this difficult task.