Monday, March 10, 2008

Reasonable or Rationalized

When doing a budget, I find myself constantly pondering this question: is my plan truly reasonable, or am I rationalizing what I want? Am I making reasonable plans for expenditure, saving, and investing that will be what is best, or am I rationalizing how important it is to have certain creature comforts in my budget to actually tolerate living by it? Round and round it goes, what I decide, only I know. Well, my wife and I know, and we decide together. I am sure we have a heavy dose of both reasonable and rationalized.

So today, if anyone is willing (and I am fine with anonymous responses if it promotes honesty without concern of anyone knowing), I would love to know typical spending on food, clothing, and anything else tracked in a family budget (preferably with an explanation of family size and income). I have ideas on what we spend, but I would love to compare it to other people's budgets to establish better guidelines for my own budgets. This post is probably the most vague I have done, so I want to clarify: I am asking anyone willing to share their budgets to do so in the comments section. Any budgeting advice is obviously welcome, too. Anyone else looking for help can find it here, too, if enough people share.

-- Robert


le35 said...

My comments won't be very useful to you since my budget is the same as yours. But some things I think are creature comforts and some things you think are creature comforts are needs to the other. Therefore, there may be some things that would be rationalized to some people that really are reasonable.

Robert said...

I agree, but I asked for suggestions in the hope of getting some supporting comments or numbers. And no comments have come... such is the way of things.

Julie Pippert said...

It's because you are a T. I've been trying to catch up with my blogroll, and you are near the end, so near the end of the day. Okay I'm lying...I'm not able right now to do the whole blog roll; frustratingly.

I don't know...sharing a budget is tough. It's so personal. Also, it's hard to get the whole context.

I could say how much we spend on all grocery items. my medicine cost monthly, etc. and it might sound crazy expensive. People might think I am lying that we are poor LOL. But, we don't take vacations, go out to pricey events or restaurants, etc. I will pay more for better quality food because it's important to me, so we scrimp elsewhere.

I admit it: I'm not willing to open myself up to criticism or scrutiny (not pointing fingers at you or anyone, but you, me and le35 aren't the only ones here, even we are are the commenters).

Robert said...


That's why I invited anonymous comments, so people could feel free to say "I make X take home and spend Y on food, Z on whatever" and so on. I'm seriously just looking for something to analyze my numbers against. I got a good benchmark last night from one source, followed by one roughly double that, so it's hard to know which is reliable. The first seems impossible to live by, the second perhaps too easy. I'm just looking for more to compare things to. I know we manage, and I know we've done so rather well for some time, but I'd like to do better than just "manage". I'd like to excel, not survive. Thanks for the comment, though, truly. I am sure yours explains the lack of others quite well.