So we are two months into our budget cycle.
The change, as you may recall, was moving to a regular pay schedule: 24 pay periods (twice a month) rather than every two week pay periods (which wreaks havoc on the ability to create a manage a budget). The Ravishing Mrs. TB put it on a computer and now we are tracking to it.
What have I learned?
Overall, my numbers seem to be close. The two numbers that were the most off were fuel (which kind of surprises me) and groceries (which really was a shot in the dark). To be fair, the fuel was a guess as well and I just guessed incorrectly - I guess we drive a bit more than I had thought. As to the groceries, I will be fair: I am not the one who is responsible for cooking (I am the dish washing element of the meal time team) so perhaps it is not surprising that my grasp of the monthly food budget is a bit "off"...
Some expenses we are handling through the bank account; some, through cash. Honestly I like the cash method better: twice a month I make the appropriate withdrawals for the those categories that we keep in cash, and put them in the envelopes. Spending becomes a breeze: I know exactly how much we have for those categories and can judge what we can spend by what we have in the account. Simple.
Are we making progress? Some. Maybe not so much as we like. But the single biggest victory seems to be that, two months in, we are actually maintaining a budget and basing our spending around it.
And that, my friends, is progress.