I have known for a few months that our income would be dropping when OH started university. I knew that he would be starting university in September. Unfortunately, us being us, we were a little hazy on the details of just how a drop in income of a few hundred pounds a month would effect us. Now here we are, finding out just what it means. We are not in dire straits, but the budget will certainly be leaner over the next few months. It is a little daunting to return to budgeting after a few months of belt loosening. Which was all good fun whilst it lasted. However, all that hard work and frugality will have been for nothing if we end up right back where we started.
I am trying to recapture that feeling of excitement I had at the end of last year when began to make serious inroads into our debts. Luckily in my mind, autumn and winter are a time for retiring a little from the world; and despite the gift giving frenzy that is December, plus a few birthdays, I don't tend to have as many hedonistic money splurging urges as I do in the warmer months.
Still, to get myself in the mood for belt tightening, I have been looking over some of the resources I found so useful the first time around:
Rhonda Jean at Down to Earth has written many inspiring posts about managing the household budget and making more from less.
Money Saving Expert, both the main site and the forums, are a treasure trove of budgeting, debt busting and consumer advice.
The Simple Dollar is a beautifully simple personal finance blog that focuses on the basics - 'Trent's money rules' and '31 days to fix your finances' ofter practical advice and a financial carrot (and sometimes stick) to keep you on the straight and narrow. It was here that I first learnt to think about my money in terms of hours worked; which put me on the road (eventually, after working through my stubborness...) to simpler living.
As it doesn't always come naturally, what inspires you to manage your finances? Do you need a carrot, or a stick? Do you budget, or do you just go with the flow every month? I need some inspiration, please!