Jason and I have been lucky in our first years of marriage not to have to worry about budgeting too much. This is mainly because we were dual-income and we're both fairly frugal and responsible with saving and searching for good deals on just about everything we buy.
And so we've started to look at developing a budget. How much money should we save? How much should we pay on our mortgage? Should we stop making extra mortgage payments? How much should we expect to spend on food each month? Should we cut back on the money that we give to the church, charities and missionaries? Should we cut back on our utilities and other recurring costs? How should we budget for unexpected bigger expenses like having the cars fixed or plane tickets to visit family during the holidays (which is going to be something like $1200 or more per trip once the kids are over 2 years old!!)?
This is certainly going to mean some changes, and much more tracking of our expenses. It will be easier to actually figure out what our real expenses are after I stop traveling for work and putting all of my reimbursed work expenses on my credit card. (Was that a work Pei Wei meal or a personal Pei Wei meal??)
And this makes me wonder how much we really need. Do we really need this house? Would I be just as happy in a smaller house? Do we really need DVR cable (*gasp*)? Could I survive in this wilderness without my iPhone? I think we could probably live on much, much less and still be very happy. It's not the stuff that brings joy to my life, it's the people. And I can't wait to meet these two new people who are growing inside me.
We're starting to use some online tools for this. If anyone else has any nifty suggestions on saving money or budgeting, please send them our way!