I'm new to this forum though not new to MDC.
I've never been able to create a budget and stick to it. Budget seems like a vague concept of money going in and out that doesn't affect me from day to day. However, we now have a baby and I feel like I really need to get it together financially.
I think one of the big hurdles is getting DH on board. Budget to him is a four-letter word, it means you're not financially successful etc. etc. So I know getting him to see the success part of budgeting is necessary.
Neither of us like the idea of the cash envelope system though it seems like a very effective way of controlling your spending. Currently we put everything on the credit card and then pay it off every month so we can get the points which we use once a year to buy airline tickets.
I have years worth of data on our spending habits, I track every penny meticulously in Quicken, and I have no clue what to do with this information. How did you decide on reasonable amounts to spend on groceries, clothing etc. for your family? I can take the average of what we've been spending but I think we may have been overspending in certain categories. On the other hand I know DH doesn't want to feel like he's sacrificing anything. We don't live in extreme luxury but we are able to buy what we want when we want to.
Where do I start? What is a system that has worked for you where you previously struggled? Any input is greatly appreciated!