Budgets & Jars

I was cleaning out the pantry a bit last night and noticed that my brother and lindsay had quite a few mason jars that wern't being used. Seeing as buying jars is what stopped me from using Gail's Jar System last time I thought about - I don't really have an exuse now.

I worked through her online budget last night, and customized it quite a bit for my own needs - trying to make sure I hit everything that is in my current budget.

This is what I wind up with using Gail's budget (slightly modified):

I'm pretttty sure that I'm not forgetting anything,
but I kind of feel like I am. Perhaps this is really my heart saying - you promised you would stop mucking about with your budgets and just let them work.

This month has been a little crazy for $ and Jordan and I have done quite a bit of flip flopping back and forth - which has made it challenging to stick to much of anything - with 5 birthdays and a couple of camping trips and I'd say the budget or the system needs to be looked at.

Below, is a summary for each category - You can see that acccording to Gail - I'm over or underspending in some of her s/b columns.

Feel free to chip in and let me know if you think I under or over estimated in any categories

Now - the spreadsheet goes one part further - and tells you how much $$ you should put in the jars each week/month. Here is that break down:

So my variable spending for the month is $635/month, or aabout $150/week.

So - What do you think, should I go for it? Have I left anything out?



  1. Welcome to the wonderfulness of Jars! I love it personally. The numbers seem to be a good starting point. Give it a month and then reshift the dollars if it isn't working as efficiently as possible. Are you leaving enough in Transportation for routine maintenance, oil changes, wiper fluid etc? or will that come out of the 'Everything Else'?

    I envy your food jar. With four of us, two being teens who are never full, I spend a fortune on groceries/dining out. It's my hardest jar to control.

    Have fun with it.

  2. I think it looks good! I would only add a "other" category, but maybe that's what your allowance category is? Things like bank fees, medical expenses?

    You could always use envelopes or something like that as well :P but I think it's funny how you waited for mason jars!

    Hope it goes well for you!! And changing your budget a million times is completely normal. Just need to find balance! GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. Your plan looks good, I gave myself 3 months on the "this is what I think I spend in each category" budget while tracking what I was spending and I found that gave me a much better picture of what I was actually spending and I was able to adjust the budget and jars accordingly.

    BTW, I got this article from a friend on Twitter, I thought you'd like it. "Wave Goodbye to Debt"

    Good luck with the jars! :D

  4. Huh, I like the idea, I'm interested to see how it works out for you.

    I did an envelope system for a while (not quite as intense as this, just separating ALL the money I got to spend that month into 4 different envelopes for each week, not for each category). I found what made me stop was access to ATMs. I switched my banking to an online bank with poor ATM access in my area, so I don't ever have cash on me. Also, when I was doing envelopes I would get annoyed at having one that should be $70, but the ATMs only gave out twenties.

    Regardless, I like the visual aid of the jar idea and the separation of categories. I can't wait to hear how it goes if you choose to do this. =)


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