Quick Fix for a Budget Breakdown

Each season brings its own set of expenses, and recently I had to give my budget a serious summer tune-up.

Soon I’ll be fretting about holiday gifts and heating bills. Right now—with guests and picnics and parties and potlucks—my issue is food.

Sometime last month, my grocery bill blew through the fence and hit the next county. Maybe you saw the headlines:

At first, I didn’t know what the culprit was. I just knew that money was tight, we were transferring cash from savings, and at one point (in the grocery store) my card was declined.

(They only had dial-up, and my account did have cash in it, but I took it as A Sign.)

So I did the steps:

Get Real—How much were we really spending? Gulp, $813.59 for June!

Get Smart—I needed to rein in the food budget back to about $500.

Get Going—We took a freelance check of my husband’s for $440 and put it in a separate account. We each have a debit card attached to that account—now it’s our grocery card: a modification of the envelope system.

Sometimes a spot repair is all a busted budget needs.

Fix it. How’s your summer budget?

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