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#1 of 18 Old 05-05-2002, 05:35 PM - Thead Starter
 
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Do you have an itemized budget that you go by each month? If so, how do you do it? What do you do when you go over budget in one area?
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#2 of 18 Old 05-05-2002, 05:42 PM
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I am in the process of trying to make a budget for my family! I'm glad you posted this...hopefully I'll get some good ideas on how to do it!
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#3 of 18 Old 05-05-2002, 05:47 PM - Thead Starter
 
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Oh .. me too Michelle ... it's getting the best of me! This is hard work!!
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#4 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 01:20 AM
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I do have a budget, but it isn't perfect. My computer came with Microsoft Money. I went thru and estimated how much I spent in each area.. Bills, groceries, gas etc... Then my computer gives me a little red warning sign when I go over. Watch out for gifts and clothing a lot of people forget them. As to what I do when I go over, that isn't really an issue right now. I am tracking my spending on the computer for three months, then I will compare it to what I budgeted and see where my problem areas are. At that point I will re-evaluate it, and fix it as needed.

The library is also a great source of info on budgeting. The one here has a whole section on personal finance...
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#5 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 09:56 AM - Thead Starter
 
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Thanks Heather .. I'm going to the library today!!

We have Microsoft Money too and I have used it for 4 years .. but I have never used the budget part. on me!! I'm going to print out all the totals fo rlast year and start a new budget at the beginning on next month. I think it'll be pretty easy! When I go under budget one month, I plan on putting that extra oney into savings ... I think this will give me motivation to save more!
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#6 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 01:09 PM
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Yes, we have a budget and have faithfully used one for almost 9 years. We set it up using guidelines from Larry Burkett. We do go over quite frequently. You really shouldn't though. Our food budget is too small, but there is no money to add to it. We have enough savings that we add it to make up the overspending. This obviously is not a long-term solution, but...

A word of caution about moving leftover money from categories to your savings. For things like cars, medical expenses, clothing, etc. your spending is very erratic. The purpose of a monthly budget is to build up money for those events like auto repairs that are unexpected. It's still saving money, just earmarked for something specific.
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#7 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 01:56 PM
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Yes, I have a budget and I try very hard to stick to it. If I don't, well we don't want to think about it. Here are my catagories:

Rent
Car pymt.
Car ins.
gas - us
gas - carpooling
cell phones
cable/cable modem
student loan
groceries
cigarettes
haircuts
clothes
entertainment
allowance
nails
misc.

I have an envelope for groceries, ciggies, haircuts, nails, allowance, entertainment and misc. I put cash in the envelope every pay period. At the end of the month, if there is anything left in the envelopes, I put it in another envelope in our bedroom to use for emergencies, eating out, etc... I only leave enough cash in the bank to cover the bills I have to write checks for. This works well for us. It keeps me from going over budget too often and when I do I have my "stash" to fall back on.

~*~Brenda~*~
mom to Drew (16) High School At Last!
mom to Ally (10) 4th Grade, Baby! WooHoo!

Parenthood:  That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.  ~Marcelene Cox  Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland
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#8 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 02:01 PM
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I too have been using Microsoft money.....but bad me I didn't back anything up and when my puter crashed I lost 5 months of budgeting info I could have used.....so nowI am starting it all over again, and backing it all up once a week
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#9 of 18 Old 05-06-2002, 03:00 PM
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This isn't very scientific and it won't work for everyone but it works for us. Hopefully it'll make sense to you guys.

I have a set amount of mine and Billy's paychecks that always gets deposited into checking and a set amount that always goes into savings. The extra that doesn't get deposited anywhere is what we use for gas, eating out, extras we might need before the next payday at the grocery store (milk, bread, etc.).

Out of our checking, we pay the bills and have a set amount that gets spent at the grocery store. Because these vary (although the bills are pretty stable, things like electric and phone and groceries vary from month to month) after a few months, the extra we have we put into savings. If something comes along that we weren't expecting, we just transfer it back into checking. We also, when we're running low on meat and frozen vegetables, use the extra to stock up our freezer.

We also look ahead at birthdays, holidays, doctor appointments etc. and plan accordingly. We either use the extra money from previous months for these or plan our grocery shopping for that week so that we'll have extra to spend on gifts, clothes, etc.

Luckily we don't go over our budget - we really couldn't afford to if we wanted to!! But the way we have our budget set up, it's pretty flexible to make sure we can buy what we need and still save some.
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#10 of 18 Old 06-06-2002, 12:05 AM
 
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Nope no budget that I am aware of. Court pays all the bills. There is no money left over at the end of the month....we use everything we have to cover all of our bills. And when extra money comes along we use it to pay something off..like with our tax check this past spring, we paid off $3000 in bills.
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#11 of 18 Old 07-16-2002, 06:47 PM
 
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My Grandfather used to use the envelope system for his bills. Keeping money in the checking account for what he had to send off, then pay cash for the rest. I've think I should give that a try. I also think I will stop using my debit card and checks when I go grocery shopping as it will be easier to control my spending. Who wants to give away all their cash?
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#12 of 18 Old 07-16-2002, 07:41 PM
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I like using the envelope system. And if I run over budget in one area (like gas), I can usually borrow from another area (like food) without dipping into the checking account. I am finding though, that I need to set more aside for medical bills. Ally seems to get sick more often than Drew ever did and we have come up short a few times.

~*~Brenda~*~
mom to Drew (16) High School At Last!
mom to Ally (10) 4th Grade, Baby! WooHoo!

Parenthood:  That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.  ~Marcelene Cox  Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland
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#13 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 12:05 PM - Thead Starter
 
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Don't you have carring around all that cash with you????
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#14 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 12:30 PM
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No, I don't like carrying around large amounts of cash. Makes me nervous.

Rick gets paid at midnight Thursday night and Friday morning I am usually at the store doing my shopping. By the time I fill up the van and do all the shopping, there really isn't alot of cash to carry around. But if for some reason I'm not going to make it to the store on Friday, I leave the money in the bank until I am ready to go shopping. After shopping, I leave the money at home unless I think I might need it.

~*~Brenda~*~
mom to Drew (16) High School At Last!
mom to Ally (10) 4th Grade, Baby! WooHoo!

Parenthood:  That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.  ~Marcelene Cox  Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland
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#15 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 12:32 PM
 
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We have our budget on the computer and we'll go over it every few months to see how we are actually spending our money compared to how we've budgeted it and change things as needed.

I think this was said before but I strongly suggest making sure to include incidentals such as spending money, birthday presents and unexpected repairs - it's better to put a bit back for these things because they're bound to come up, you just don't know when. We always save back a little extra in each paycheck "just in case" and it's helped us out a lot of times.
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#16 of 18 Old 07-17-2002, 12:59 PM
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No but need to! I will keep checking here to see others ideas, because we spend way to much!!
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#17 of 18 Old 08-09-2002, 03:36 PM
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I haven't had the chance to read all the great ideas on budgeting, so forgive me if I repeat anything already posted!
My husband and I have read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. He printed up our budget on the computer, I am in charge of the cash envelope system. Dave suggests that in his book. It has been super the last few months. Its sad to look in an envelope and see it empty, but at least I know there is nothing else we can spend that month. No check writing is done except for our monthly bills. I have the envelopes labled with haircuts, Walmart, grocery, eating out, family outtings, snacks, sunday lunch....and whenever that money is gone, its gone. This is the very first month in 8 years that my bank statement has matched my checkbook. The feeling of accomplishment was awesome. We allow ourselves $550 for envelopes and the rest is deposited into our checking. Dave Ramsey also suggests that you put $500-$1000 into a savings acct in the very beginning of budgeting.
I also only grocery shop and go to Walmart once a month...so after 3 months of the envelope system I know about how much I need to alot myself in my envelopes. I make out my menu for the month, and make my grocery list according to my menu. Walmart is the same way. I know every month I'll need 2 bags of diapers, wipes, toiletry items, and detergents, the rest of the list is made by checking around the house for empty shampoo bottles etc...Sometimes I don't use all my money and that is sooo exciting to see I've gone under budget! It takes several months to master this, but its a great feeling!
Thanks for all the tips!
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#18 of 18 Old 08-09-2002, 10:11 PM
 
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I've been meditating on my budget for a couple of weeks now, and I printed some calendarsheets - from www.womansday.com calendar corner - and I'm usind diferent colour pens to write down expenses, payday - here is once a month - etc. I did it this month, and I'm amazed that I finally know where I stand when it comes to my money! ...and do I feel good about it!!

Bye for now, take care,

Fatima
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