Lately, as you know, I’ve been concentrating on the food budget-trying to maximize the healthfulness, convenience, and local-ness of the groceries we buy-with some measure of success. Meanwhile, our actual living expenses-you know, for everything else-have spiraled way out of line with our income. We’ve gone through a shocking amount of student loan money, which we’ll have to pay back for years to come, and I’m not entirely sure what we have to show for it. So, I’m taking time this week (and likely next) to conduct an audit of our family spending for the last 3 months to find out where it all went; after that, we’re going to come up with a proper budget that truly reflects our economic reality.
This will be interesting. I know it’s a wee bit off-topic, but it’s part of the larger picture of how we are living as a low-income family. Are we living within our actual means, or leveraging our future to get through the present? As Carfree blogger Paul Cooley put it, it is a question of whether we are using capital or debt-and since debt has costs and implications, it is an important question to answer. I will let you all know what I find out when I have more answers.