The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 26

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

Stretch that budget!

The last week of January’s budget! I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten the hang of how to stretch my money through the month.

I remember the days of having too much month and not enough money. I was so excited, thinking of how budgeting would fix that problem.
But it didn’t…at least, not right away.

Why? Because I hadn’t been paying enough attention to really understand my spending patterns – or maybe I just wasn’t ready to be honest about them!

For example, I would budget all my eating out money for the month into one category – one pile. On payday, I had all the money in the world to eat out! But before the month was over – usually at least two weeks before the month was over – that money was gone! Now what? Either wait until my next pay period or steal the money from another category. Guess which one usually happened?

But I finally wised up and realized I needed to break that money down even further, so I could essentially trick myself into not spending too much too fast. So I created 4 eating out categories in my budget – one for each week of the month (and a 5th for those months with an extra week).

Now, I’m not looking at a higher amount than what I have for one week, plus I’m not always trying to do the math to figure out if I left enough for the rest of the month.

It’s simple and it works…for me. But it works for me, because I know who I am and how I spend. This is why a budget has to be customized, because different things work for different people.

What tricks help with your budget? Email me: and let’s learn from each other!