Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM | Summer on a Budget
This was the first summer I decided to put summer and on a budget in the same sentence. I decided how much I was going to spend on the children (actually DH set the maximum we should spend on each child). While setting up the Excel spreadsheet I also decided to set a budget for myself and general home needs. To be honest part of the reason I set up the budget was to show DH with facts how unrealistic the amount he set in place to spend on the children really was.
So summer started and I decided that after every shopping trip, I would get onto my spreadsheet to track and list each item I had bought. Along with the cost. As a result, I was able to calculate running totals for each child (and myself).
Interestingly I found that it helped me to stick to what we really needed. It helped me to keep track of what I had already bought and therefore limit buying more than we really needed. In the past by the end of the summer, I could typically have forgotten that I had already bought white teeshirts for the children.
The biggest advantage was that listing and tracking everything helped me to realize when I was buying too much. Previously I was guilty of buying things and forgetting I had bought them! Now I was keeping track along the way. No more black pants are needed!
For the children, I noticed that spending on their “needs” was actually very close to what DH had suggested. I cut down on buying excess underwear for the children by buying only what we need. This is also thanks to the fact we now have (affordable) stores in Lagos that I can pop into if we need more socks (thinking Max at the Mall).
After trying this once I will definitely recommend a “Summer Budget” It did help me save money and buy smartly. It reduced the occurrence of wondering why I bought so much unnecessary stuff for the children that we end up giving away.
On a last note, I became a smarter shopper and also was able to keep outfits in mind, so I didn’t just buy a lovely blue dress without thinking of the accessories or what other items we had that would go with it.
However, I should mention that budget control and tracking were perfect for the children for their needs. But managing the budget and spending on wants, was not soo successful. Maybe I’ll master this next summer? Amen.