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Old 05-10-2008, 02:45 PM   #11
kbagel
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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!
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:02 PM   #12
annomalley
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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.

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.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:36 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:19 AM   #14
Sunshine's Mom
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Originally Posted by Ivy19 View Post
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?
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Sunshine's Mom View Post
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.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:49 PM   #16
Koehnae
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Originally Posted by Inis View Post
I've been unemployed for a year and half, and starting a business with half a shoe string 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.
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