Getting Down to Budget

To be honest, I've always been pretty smart with my money. I've always had money in my savings and I do not run up my credit cards, but lately by the end of the month I have been putting only about $50-$75 away in saving, and I wasn't really paying too much attention to where my spending was going. With the birth of our first child approaching and as I anticipate maternity leave, I know money will be tight(er), so never have I been more motivated to save. Nathan has always been an awesome saver putting $400-$600 away each month, so I decided I want to do my part and try to save as much him. You might be thinking at this point, but you're married, isn't his money your money and vise-versa? Well, actually no. Nathan and I have separate bank accounts! I know so alternative, but it works for us. I pay for certain bills, he pays for others and then we take care of ourselves from there out while splitting a few other expenditures. So the other day I made a spreadsheet of my bills: mortgage, car payment, gym payment, life insurance, student loan etc. All these bills are on direct withdraw from my account. But then there are a bunch of things I paid for with my debt card and this is where I lost track of my spending. I decided to list these things on my spreadsheet as well and allot certain amounts of money to each and that is what I am allowed to spend on that expenditure for the month. It looked something like this (dollar amounts omitted):
  • Food: eating out socially at work or with friends
  • Groceries: Nathan and I both contribute equal amounts each month
  • Misc. Spending: includes those little random things that come up (make-up, hair appointments, goodies for the dogs etc.)
  • Shopping: shoes, clothes and accessories (my favorite)
  • Gas: for uh, gas...
As I need to buy these things, I will use cash. I hope that by the months end , I will be able to put Nathan's saving to shame. And no I will not be carrying around loads of cash with me on a daily basis, so please don't mug me if you see me out around town. My hope is to save as much money as possible before the little one arrives.

BTW, I corrected my obvious spelling error from the title of my last post, just in case you were wondering...