On Budgeting

Budgeting is the word I don’t like using very often.

This is the topic I am not well-versed at. I wonder why many people out there love doing this. And they seem to be very good at it.

Don’t get me wrong. Read on first😀

Yes, I also do the budget.

The budgeting that I do though is totally different from how the experts do it. Or, at least based on my readings here.

What’s the common?

Correct me if I am wrong but here’s the list of how to budget, based on articles I have read about it. I hope my memory serves me right.

1. List the amount of money you have for the month. Include all sources of income.

2. List the expenses for the month. Categorise where you need to put your money into.

2.1 Food

2.2 Bills (electricity, water, credit card, house/rent, lot, car)

2.3 Education (allowances, school supplies, tuition fees, miscellaneous expenses like field trip, intrams, girl scout, school projects, materials for classroom activities etc.)

Yes, projects. There was a time Faye had a project in Science (the students needed to make the bulb light just by clapping their hands). I spent nearly P200 ($4) for that one project alone.

Activity materials like apron in cooking classes, sticks for the puzzle, costume for the play, threads for sewing class, fish or meat and other ingredients for the cooking class, cloth for pajama making, shirt for the printing designs, make up, nail polish, and etc.)

2.4 Medicine/Health. It is supposed to be in tact in case of emergency.

2.5. Phones. Laptop. Printer.

If not, then the cost of renting at the computer shop which is on a per hour basis, printing is on a per page basis.

2. 6 Recreation.

2.7 Charity or tithes. I know a friend who is very religiously doing her tithes.

2.8 Savings.

3. In each category, you must have a separate envelope or container with the budget money in it.

4. DO NOT switch fund.

I don’t do this kind of budgeting. I mean even if I want to, I cannot. I don’t know about most mothers if they actually do this. If they are, I salute you. Kudos!

Here are the reasons why I find it difficult to do that kind of budgeting.

First, I am a working mother.

In Manila I used to work in two universities as a professor. In the mornings I taught full time at Adamson University, at 5pm onwards sometimes until 9:30pm, I taught at another University either in Manila or in Makati. On the sides, I co-authored two books, I edited papers, I did researches for the University, I presented some of my papers in other Universities in the Philippines, and one paper I presented in Bali (Indonesia).

Until 2015 I was also studying for my masters and doctoral degrees.

On my way to my part time jobs, I was monitoring my kids. I needed to know if they were already at our apartment which was a 5-minute walk from the University. I reminded them to do their homeworks. That Faye should assist first Fiona on her paper works before working on her own assignments. That they lock the door always. Those kinds of stuff!

I had no time to do such rigid budgeting.

I did not have much money either even if I had lots of work.

For simple families like mine, it is very difficult to set aside any amount of money for one purpose and not to use such money for other purposes!

Something always arises. If not to your immediate family, it could be to your parents, siblings, other relatives or even just your neighbor who need a helping hand.

To some people who belong to another culture I know it’s difficult to understand. You cannot even fathom the situation. But to us Filipinos, or most of us, such situation is common.

We cannot just live a little well off life, if others need our help.

How I did budgeting then? How did I teach my kids budgeting?

Keep tuned for the article to answer those questions.

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