It is a word that many people fear.
We shouldn’t though. We should try to embrace it and think of it as freedom rather than submission to a number or slavery to a given amount.
I thought I would share a little bit about out budgeting because it directly impacts our education. And, just as a side note, we have one income. No additional income sources. Budgeting is the reason this is not a problem.
We work from a combination of a zero line budget and an income based budget. We start with the lowest amount possible that will be received as income. We deduct all possible spending, including giving at church, insurance, savings, and all utility/house bills. That leaves us with what lots of people call “disposable income.” This is where we move to a zero line budget.
I don’t know the real name of it but this is what we call it. We assume that we will spend $0. Nothing. From there, if we do need to spend something. We look at the checkbook to see if there is money there for it. We write everything down in the checkbook. Just as if we were writing checks rather than using online bill payments or debit/credit cards. We try not to spend money. It is simple as that.
How this impacts our education is really quite simple. If we need money for something, we spend it. But, since we are working from “only spend what you have” rather than “how much can I spend” or “I have budgeted $550 for curriculum”, I can purchase what we need for unit or a book that will help us out. Honestly, I don’t know what I spent on homeschool needs last school year because it was what we needed. It was not an outrageous amount. It probably was not even $550. But, it benefitted the girls by giving them what they needed to learn what they were interested in.
Education does not have to be a big budget item. Regardless of how it is painted in the world, it does not require tons of money to teach your children what they need to be successful in life. Sure, it is a joy to be able to just go out and purchase whatever big money item you might want like a telescope for astronomy or a microscope for biology. It would be nice to be able to travel the world. Those are definitely things to shoot for and plan for (see the savings comment made in passing above – that is what that savings is for!) but education is about life.
If you are looking for a more specific post about how to lower your costs for education, check out my post on 10 of Our Favorite Ways to Save Money Homeschooling. You could also read about Teacher Discounts.
This post is part of a round-up of budgeting ideas for the homeschool, brought to you by the TOS Review Crew. Click below to see what other budgeting ideas we have for you. (post is live on Friday, August 5, 2016)