Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Out Of Budget Experience

We sometimes spend money that's not in the budget. *Gasp*

In May, we had a trip to the mall, shoe shopping. It's a 90 minute drive from home-- so for us, it's an all-day affair-- we packed some snacks and lunch for the kids, went shopping found some shoes (Yay!), and then went to Costco. We got gas, then went inside and wandered around, snacked on samples, browsed the aisles, and then Mrs. Fund and I ordered hot dogs for lunch/dinner.

The gas came out of the gasoline budget, the shoes came out of the clothing budget, and the hot dogs....didn't come out of any budget. At least, not exactly. We rarely eat out, and for the rare times that we do, we'll often use what we call "The Eating Out Fund" (though we could legitimately use the Activity budget category). Occasionally, I'll make a pie or cookies for a co-worker-- I usually charge $10 for a pie and $6-8 for a baker's dozen of large cookies. This money goes into the Eating Out Fund, for times when we want to splurge on eating out or some specialty/expensive/frivolous food. It is cash only, it's not in the bank, and if it's gone, it's gone; there's no real easy way to overspend it. It also doesn't get any very regular contributions-- if I make pies/cookies then it has money, and if not, then...nothing.

When we bought a new car-- while [i]technically[/i] I think this would/should come out of the auto maintenance budget category... it's such a large purchase, and much more like an investment or a capital expenditure than an expense, that it comes out of non-budget money (i.e., savings).

I ordered a CD player for the new car. Normally, this would be auto maintenance, except that I'm too cheap and if it actually had to come out of the budget, I'd just forgo the stereo. But when I first started delivering pizza, we ended up with a funky quarter-month's worth of tips. I wanted to start accounting for the new job and income situation with a whole month. So for a while, there was just an envelope with about $75 in it, hiding in the desk with no purpose. When I was told that I needed a cell phone as a delivery driver, I figured I'd designate that envelope for stuff that I should have for working at Domino's. So I bought a $10 Tracfone, and finally (6 months later...) found a CD player for the car-- a cost that came out of that envelope rather than any of the real budget. It's kind of like the eating out fund, in that when it's gone, it'll be gone. I'm hoping to stretch it out to pick up a nice car flashlight/spotlight, a good pair of sunglasses, and possibly a fuel economy gauge....

Sometimes, for our birthdays, we are given money-- this also doesn't normally go in the budget. We've been using it as "date night" money that we can spend on just Mr. & Mrs. Fund. When the Fund Kiddos receive money for their birthdays, it goes in their savings accounts.

What do you spend that isn't in the budget? How do you keep it from getting out of control?

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