Something that helped me was that I knew I had to do this or I would lose my home and my kids were going to be hungry and cold.It did help that we had a very small income coming in but it was a very steady income. 20,000 a year.That was one third the income we were used to.
When we started budgeting it was for necessities only ….Birthdays and anniversaries were homemade and small…as well as Christmas too!Dh and I spent almost nothing on our selves for birthday’s,anniversaries,and Christmas…about 10.00 for each event …when our debt was paid off we then went to a new budget in which we added things like Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries for the immediate family.
At the same time I began saving for Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving dinner each month so when they came around I had the money already saved for the food. We used to just buy the holiday food anyway and go hungry the next week because we didn’t have enough food money to cover the month.And inevitably it was is a 5 week month on top of it all.Pet food was also an area I began to include budgeting for…we have a dog,cats,chickens and goats so I put them into my budget.
I also came to realize that being paid once a month was a problem because we have 5 week months..So I started budgeting an extra portion of money for 5 week months in which I save something extra for food,gas for the car .When I budget each new year I try to think of what snagged me last year and add it to the budget.One of those things that snagged us in the beginning was car and house insurance so that was the first thing that went on our budget.I dilike crise living including financially.
My budget changes yearly sometimes bi yearly.When oil and gas went up I about died.We dealt with the oil problem this year by buying and installing a woodstove.It has almost paid for itself in one season.To deal with gas we decided to buy for 1500 dollars a used car that gets much higher miles per gallon then our van..That also has paid for itself quickly.Everything is at least a half hour drive each way. so we save a lot on gas.We saved for these things and then bought them.When we were in debt though this would not have been a possibility.
Another idea is to find a food cupboard. We would not have survived without it.