PDA

View Full Version : Do You Have A Budget?


stacyk9
05-09-2008, 02:25 PM
DH and I currently don't work on a budget, just kind of pay attention to what's coming in and what's going out and it works pretty good for us. We usually don't buy much and the most we spend our money on is eating out, which lately has become a little too much. We have recently decided we would like to move closer to town, but the houses we like are probably about $30,000 above our price range. Again, nothing fancy, just something a little bigger than we have now and not in the country! The biggest pull for me is to give our DS somewhere he can play basketball or ride a bike because out in the country everything is gravel. Plus, all the people in our neighborhood are either retirement age or the kids are in high school or college. Not so exciting for a 2-year-old!! At any rate, I have decided it's time to go on a budget and save some money for a bigger down payment so we could hopefully buy a house by this time next year. Do any of you have a budget and how does it work? I somewhat know the Dave Ramsey one, but haven't studied it thoroughly. I know he works off of envelopes. Anyway, any information would be great as I really, really want to move!!!

Karina
05-09-2008, 02:39 PM
We are currently looking at our finances with a financial adviser to make sure our life insurance and pension etc is adequate.

The financial adviser suggested a particular Software that you can buy, that he himself are using to keep track of his money all that he spends even when he buys a bar of chocolate goes in there and he said it is amazing what you spend money on without even realizing it.

I can't remember the name but if you are interested I will ask DH when he comes home.

He just had a meeting with this financial Adviser and they went through some of the things he spend money on. Never gave it a thought that DH buys lunch everyday at work and maybe a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Turns out that we spend nearly 200 a month on that alone. that's nearly $400.
DH now wants me to make him sandwiches to take to work.

auburnchick
05-09-2008, 02:57 PM
We used to do the envelope system. We had (and still have) all of our bills written down, along with our checks. We list which bills come out of which check, along with other expenses, such as groceries, miscellaneous, fuel, etc.

When we did envelopes, we got cash out for groceries, Walmart (my monthly trip), and gas. We only paid cash for those things.

One of the things on our list was savings, and we tried very hard to stick the amount in there each month.

It is very eye-opening. You see hard numbers when you lay it all out on paper.

evona
05-09-2008, 03:17 PM
Yes - I have a budget and I go over it and over it constantly, but it is always changing and there is always some emergency to make me broke anyway :rofl:

Ivy19
05-09-2008, 04:51 PM
We don't have a formal budget. And I like the envelope idea. One thing I've recently started doing is carrying cash and no cards, not even my atm. I find I am much more likely to hesitate before making a purchase, and really think it out, if I'm laying out hard money. Plastic is just too easy for me.

Karina
05-09-2008, 05:02 PM
The computer software my husband was recommended is Microsoft Money. Apparently it is even better if you get the American version. It can be syncronised with your bank accounts etc. There is a 14 day free download trial. So you could try before you buy.

auburnchick
05-09-2008, 08:10 PM
The computer software my husband was recommended is Microsoft Money. Apparently it is even better if you get the American version. It can be syncronised with your bank accounts etc. There is a 14 day free download trial. So you could try before you buy.


There are lots of programs out there. I used to use Quicken.

saracidaltendencies
05-09-2008, 10:19 PM
Not currently on a budget, no money to budget with...lol...Our checks go to bills and groceries. However, I used to do the envelope system and it worked well for me. Just listed all the utility bills on the front of the envelopes and would take some cash out of each check and split it up among the envelopes. Good luck!

Inis
05-10-2008, 09:25 AM
I've been unemployed for a year and half, and starting a business with half a shoe string :teehee: It's growing very, VERY slowly as I figured out what the heck I'm doing.

So, yeah, we're on the don't-spend-a-freaking-dime-that-isn't-absolutely-necessary budget :)

Plantgoddess+
05-10-2008, 11:20 AM
I think Microsoft Money or Quicken would let you know where your money is going and help you plan monthly expenses. I use Money to keep track of investments for retirement.
Hubby and I figured out what our monthly expenses average and how much was left to save. We picked an amount we felt we could save every month and the rest pays bills and for our entertainment and little luxuries. We have been married 37 years and don't have a mortgage anymore or debt so it is a lot easier.
Early in our marriage we took every increase in income and put it in savings. It saved us every time hubby was laid off work.

kbagel
05-10-2008, 02:45 PM
I tried having a budget but found that I'm not anal enough to keep track of everything in that much detail. So what I do, is have a certain amount of every pay check put in a saving account at HSBC, their online savings account, and the rest goes to my checking. I can't easily get to the HSBC account and because it comes out of my paycheck before it goes to my checking, I don't even think about it. The rest in my regular checking is fair game.

This works really well for me because, like I said, I can't keep track of all the tiny details and I've saved quite a bit since the beginning of the year.

Good Luck!

annomalley
05-10-2008, 07:02 PM
We don't have a formal budget. We did, not long ago, kept track of every penny we spent and what for to see where our money is going after the bills were paid. We did this for about a month and it was quite the eye opener. Especially when fees come into play. :noway:

When we decided to cut back on certain things, after the obvious "waste" type stuff (and I use that term loosely), we decided to do smaller things to save money here and there. For instance, I make my own laundry soap and other household cleaners, and it's not as difficult or as time consuming as one might think.

DH and I have a joint account and our own separate checking and savings accounts. We also have a set amount automatically deposited into our personal accounts. Half of what goes into mine goes into savings and the other half goes into the checking, which is my "spending" money. We also have a Christmas Club. We can put whatever amount we want in it, but if we touch it before it pays out, then we have to pay a penalty. We both decided that we would have more put in that what we plan on spending for Christmas, and then when the Christmas Club paid out, we'd roll the extra into some other account. We may look into getting an ING or HSBC account for this money, too.

lelvsdgs
05-12-2008, 05:36 PM
I used to have a budget until I got divorced. Now it's just juggle, juggle, juggle and try to pay everyone something each month. It's slowly getting easier but when you loose 2/3 of your income and your bills don't change, it's tough. It's about to get even tighter because I'll be without child support starting this month. I just plan as much ahead as I can and try to have a little fun money at least once a month. (If I'm lucky, I can squeeze about $20 for fun once a month or so.)

Budgets are really useful and will help you to keep your eye on the prize, that's for sure.

Sunshine's Mom
05-13-2008, 10:19 AM
We don't have a formal budget. And I like the envelope idea. One thing I've recently started doing is carrying cash and no cards, not even my atm. I find I am much more likely to hesitate before making a purchase, and really think it out, if I'm laying out hard money. Plastic is just too easy for me.

I did the same thing, sort of. I have a debit/atm card which is really convenient for places that won't take a check so I can give the exact amount instead of taking cash out and never putting the extra back. I have been "all cash" as I call it, since November of last year and I couldn't be happier. I even had an all cash Christmas (thanks to knitting). It's actually really liberating not to have credit cards. Don't get me wrong - I consolidated and still have a payment to pay off credit debt each month, but having done that it freed (is that a word?) up a lot of money for me each month and I can now manage things much easier. I even have extra money to put into savings.

If you're trying to save money, the best thing to do is to consolidate old debt, if you can, in order to have a consistent payment on each of your bills every month, and go to cash. I was really amazed at the amount of money I save each month.

An interesting tid-bit: Many years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were buying a house (just before they got married). Each of them lived at home with their parents prior to getting married so, even though they had credit cards, the payments were made in full each month. When they applied for their mortgage, the bank told them that although their credit was stellar they needed to charge something on their account and NOT pay it off. The bank wanted to see a history of making payments on time and consistently. Apparently, paying off the amounts in full each month didn't show their ability to manage finances? How crazy is that?

annomalley
05-13-2008, 06:27 PM
An interesting tid-bit: Many years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were buying a house (just before they got married). Each of them lived at home with their parents prior to getting married so, even though they had credit cards, the payments were made in full each month. When they applied for their mortgage, the bank told them that although their credit was stellar they needed to charge something on their account and NOT pay it off. The bank wanted to see a history of making payments on time and consistently. Apparently, paying off the amounts in full each month didn't show their ability to manage finances? How crazy is that?

That's messed up. :noway:

Koehnae
05-13-2008, 06:49 PM
I've been unemployed for a year and half, and starting a business with half a shoe string :teehee: It's growing very, VERY slowly as I figured out what the heck I'm doing.

So, yeah, we're on the don't-spend-a-freaking-dime-that-isn't-absolutely-necessary budget :)

Wow... amazingly similar situations (only make mine 3 years)... and that budget plan sure sounds familiar!

Seriously though, since buying a house and moving in with my boyfriend, we've worked to develop a budget plan together. We pool our money each payday and it gets divvied up in percentages. This percentage to gas, this percentage to food, etc. Any leftover from each category goes into savings at the end of the month. He uses Microsoft Money to keep it all straight.