I can't keep track of what I have blogged about and what I have only facebooked about- and for that matter, what I haven't mentioned at all.
A few months ago we decided to start an informal budget.
We have been married for nearly 13 years and have never really whole heartedly tracked spending. Since I am a frugal person, and Noah is a reasonable person, spending too much (more that we earn) has never been a problem. It also helps that we have two incomes.
But we now have 5 kids, and the oldest 3 are boys. We have food expenses, and homeschooling expenses and recreational expenses. And everything is multiplied with more children. You want to buy that $2 stocking stuffer for your kid? Well, I have to multiply it x5 and suddenly stockings aren't cheap anymore.
Now, I think it is a little ridiculous when people with adequate funds base the amount of children they want to have on how much money it costs to raise a child. The reality is, it doesn't have to cost as much as a lot of people think it does. Not every kid needs to have their own car, their own room, and to have their college education paid for by their parents.
But, all that being said, it still costs something.
We sat down and talked and looked at the numbers. Some more grudgingly than others. We have been saving a lot of money for "bigger projects" (like buying our land), but we (some of us) wanted to challenge ourselves to save at a higher rate.
All that is backstory.
We decided on $100/month for clothing needs for our family. Now, some of you may be thinking that is a very small sum, and some of you may be thinking that it is a lot.
We rarely buy the kids clothes at stores. We get hand-me-downs from friends, or shop at garage sales or thrift shops. We will buy "special" clothes for them for birthdays/Christmas at times, and occasionally there is a piece to their wardrobe that is missing that needs to be purchased, but for the most part we don't spend very much on clothing for the children.
Noah should probably dress up a little more for work, but he doesn't really, so no big expenses there :)
I wear scrubs to work and "play clothes" for the most part. I have been the same size (except for pregnancies) for a long time now, so my clothes are fairly long lasting.
So our clothing expenses are mostly shoes. Those boys can wear out shoes in a hurry, and our boys tennis shoes and sandals are not really pass downable. Noah and I occasionally need new shoes as well, so that is where most of the clothes budget money goes. And there will be months that we spend nothing on clothing- then that money just gets moved to the next month. Eventually there will be a heavy shoe replacement month :)
But this month is my birthday month, and my wardrobe is really, really sad. I got a pair of nice jeans at a thrift store awhile ago, and I have a lot of cute sundresses (that I will wear if the temperature ever warms up!) But I need some shorts or capris and tops that are not race swag.
So I have claimed the June hundred dollars. I am curious to see how far it goes, especially if I hit some thrift shops. I need new socks and at least part of a swimsuit as well as the above mentioned items.
Just for fun I may take the money out in cash. And when I get home I promise that I will throw out the jeans with the massive whole in the seat :) Really.