So I am currently working on organizing our finances. I'm trying to get a good idea of what we are spending and on what. I have been using Microsoft Money for quite some time now, so I have a good tracking of expenses for the past several years.
However - what I've found is the largest part of our spending is unavoidable at this time. The mortgage, which I will work on paying off once I've paid off other "consumer debt" and student loans, and daycare. I wish our daycare situation could be different - but right now we are paying a big amount of money for the quality care that our son is getting while we are working. It is not feasible for me to stay home, since I have the benefits, etc, and my husband is not a stay-at-home kind of guy. I have come to terms with paying the daycare - but that is why we have held off on having a second child for so long.... two in daycare would just kill us.
So right now, I'm working on getting our financial paperwork in order and organizing things around the house. To me, getting the house organized is part of my financial plan because it will help us spend less. I'd like for us as a family to appreciate the things we have instead of chasing that next big thing. We have so much here for entertainment, such as board games, books, and movies, but we are usually renting or buying something new. Also being organized will keep us from buying duplicates of something, or buying something that I've already had stockpiled.
Those of you who know me personally know that I have "Giant Eagle" in my basement. I've stockpiled various food, household and beauty products, etc. When I was growing up we had a small stock in the basement, as my mom was a smart shopper and taught me her couponing ways.
The big debate we're having is how much "allowance" we will be allowed to have. I'm afraid that being too stringent on ourselves will cause us to binge, much like when you diet and don't allow yourself any treats. I am good at packing my lunches for work, but I go out on Fridays for the social aspect of it, to see my work friends and leave the office for a short time. I would like to continue to do this, and have a little bit of money to save for something for myself, or whatever.