How we/I budget – the 4 categories I budget and why

At the end of the beginning of every year Benjamin and I sit down and go through our shared excel and we write down our expenses. This is a great thing because we also know the bills that are being charged to our accounts in addition to the cost.

The point of this is just to know how much life costs us, including my hair, eyelash extensions, facials, clothing and parties. I am pretty generous with the number estimation. This isn’t necessarily a budget, this is an idea of just what it costs for us to live, and be comfortable.

Then we make sure it’s significantly under the income. Like 1/3 or 1/2, or whatever you want it to be. Then this allows you (or, us) to decide what additional big projects we can do.

I use EveryDollar (a Dave Ramsey product) which is a free online and app and keep track of 4 things, because I NEED to control my spending in these areas:

  1.  Clothing
  2. Gifts/things for myself also gifts haha
  3. My parties
  4. Gardening — plants
The rest like eating out with friends, trips, etc. I’m not blowing it crazy and I’m pretty smart about it and also what can you really do about it?  We figure if we are spending significantly below what is coming in, then we have enough cushioning to do whatever else we want in those other areas where control isn’t needed. Like groceries and gas, what’s the point in watching that? We can’t NOT get gas or groceries.

So I thought maybe this might help. When we went through it we did cut back on subscriptions and saw things we didn’t need anymore so that helped. 

This year I’m purging again (it happens ALL the time) and I am looking the things I’m letting go and thinking gosh, I need to be more careful about what I bring in. Take inventory of what I actually need or don’t need, and is storing that actually worth it? Out goes a lot of Christmas decor too.

Anyway, I hope you are having a wonderful new year so far. We are getting ready for crown molding soon, I’ll have to share that with you soon!


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Diana Elizabeth Steffen setting the table for her annual garden party


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Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next creative themed party. She continues to blog weekly.


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