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Why Having An Open Budget Works

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Open BudgetI’m Glad We Have An Open Budget

There was a point that every week there was a bag or a box hitting the front door.  I briefly mentioned to Scott that it is great that we have an open budget so there aren’t questions or concerns about what I’m buying.  Lots of packages have been coming to the front door.  It makes sense, I’m at home all the time with Ava and when I’m not at home I’m at the mall or my parent’s house.

I Needed Clothes:

I didn’t buy many maternity clothes since I didn’t gain that much weight and didn’t really show until I was 7 months.  But my work wardrobe of dresses and jackets/pants from pre-pregnancy isn’t really practical at home.  Even on the weekends before Ava (link) I would wear blouses and tops with jeans.  Now there is a ton of spit up on everything and hanging out in skinny jeans and a blouse doesn’t make a lot of sense with a baby.  I needed to buy some clothes postpartum to wear around the house.

While I don’t have to work and in theory have all the time in the world to head out, getting out an about with a baby isn’t always easy.  I try to go to the mall once a week to see something other than my living room but I can’t really try on things.  It’s too much hassle with the stroller and change rooms so I don’t bother.

I Have a System:

It goes like this. I buy a whole bunch of stuff, try it on at home, see what works and return the rest.  Pretty simple huh? With free shipping most of that is easy.  Even if I have to hit a certain amount to get free shipping.

Getting to a store to return things isn’t a problem it’s trying stuff on that is.

I would like to point out that this is a horrible idea if you can’t be bothered to return things.  I enjoy getting my money back for things I’m not going to wear.  If I had any thought that it would be too much trouble to return something then I would need a new plan.

Planning What I Need:

Part of this is getting a good idea of what you need and what you don’t need.  Right now I’m still looking for a good pair of black jeggings but other than that I’m set.  I’m also starting to do laundry more often so that helps running out of clothes due to spit up.  There is no sense in buying more clothes than I need but if I could do laundry more than once a week I will still have enough clean clothes to support getting dressed every day.  Also since I do leave the house once or twice during the week having decent looking clothes is important to me as well.

(Same reason I do full makeup and hair when I go out, I would like to look like myself and not a very crappy looking version of myself).

I Can Buy What I Want To:

Since we track every amount we spend I know how much money I have to shop with.  I also know I’m not likely to keep everything that I’m buying and when I’m done I’m done.  I also can’t wait to be done because trying on stuff after you had a baby and you feel differently in your skin SUCKS.

Sharing of the Budget:

We have a shared that we have an ours, ours and ours budget so Scott can see exactly what I’m spending on what.  This helps to eliminate any concerns he might have.  When you are off taking care of a baby it is a lonely place for some people.  I go to the mall to walk around and I can see how it is possible to develop a shopping issue.  Even if you never leave the house you can develop a shopping issue.  This keeps lines of communications open.  Having data makes a tough money conversation easier.

Do you share your spending details with your partner even if you don’t share a budget?  If you share a budget how has it helped keep lines of communication open?

Sarah

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2 comments

  1. One of the biggest misconceptions about having a budget is that you never get to spend money on things you want, and that’s just not true. It means you know exactly how much you have to splurge! I’m a big fan of online shopping too…especially if it’s free shipping AND comes with a free return label for returns.
    PS. Have you tried American Eagle for black jeggings? If not you’re probably thinking only teeny-boppers shop at AE but their jeggings are my favourite. They’re a little thicker than most brands so they hold their shape better. Plus, they go on sale all the time. (Des from Half Banked turned me on to them)

    • Couple of Sense says:

      I totally agree. My upcoming Sephora purchase will not be a hit to my spending on diapers and formula because I know how much money I have to spend!
      I have not tried AE for black jeggings! I need a pair so I will look into it. Thanks for the tip Sarah (and Des)!

      Sarah

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