In the first few panicky months following our divorce, I discovered personal finance blogs and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It helped me so much- same bills on half the income, realized I couldn't depend on credit cards, building my emergency fun- much easier than you'd think!
After a few years practice, our monthly spending is planned to the dollar. I know how much we can spend in each category and usually don't go over. If we do, no biggy, just try again tomorrow.
I'd also been following Michelle Singletary for several years. First, because we have the same name (middle name, Michele, maiden name, Singletary :) Second, I loved her show Singletary Says. Third, I discovered her book The 21 Day Financial Fast and participated in the fast during April. Again, learned so much!
I'd planned to start the fast again today. I had a no-spend day :) and put $1 of my weekly spending money in each of my savings envelopes:
1. Colton's allowance
2. Debt repayment
3. my savings- usually add this to debt repayment each week
4. Missions/ giveaway- in case I come across a worthy cause
5. mowing- went up to $45 a week this summer :( but still better than doing it myself
6. Rudolph Club go see! I've already put away $138 for Christmas shopping this year.
But...I found a new group starting the fast on Monday. We'll just count today as a bonus :) Planning to post my progress each day.