general budget questions...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2006
general budget questions...
6
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 1:34pm

I had a few questions on mind and instead of dedicating a discussion to each of them, I put them all here :)


Do you find that you use the same budget for a great length of time? It seems every time I get a budget routine - something comes up!


If something arises that you really want to do, do you just say "no" if the money is not in that specific category?

"I know God will not give me more than I can handle, I just wish he wouldn't trust me so much!" Mother Theresa

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2006
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 5:34pm

Do you find that you use the same budget for a great length of time? It seems every time I get a budget routine - something comes up!
I tend to use the same base of my budget for an extended period of time, but the numbers tend to change from week to week. This is partly a result of being on a fluctuating income. In my opinion, how you handle those things that come up is a reflection of where you are in budgeting and how good your budget is. Sometimes those things that come up are items that should be in the budget but we forgot about when creating the budget.

If something arises that you really want to do, do you just say "no" if the money is not in that specific category? Do you borrow the money from another place?
If something arises that I really want to do, I look at whether my bills have been paid and whether I can afford it. If I can't afford it then I don't do it - its not worth struggling later on. Personally I disagree with shifting money from the food budget to cover wants - your wants don't keep you nutritionally healthy.

How do you keep from just blowing your money? I really try to focus on balancing my "needs" and "wants", but sometimes I get so annoyed that I have to watch my money so closely - that my $30.00 allotted evening turns into a $60.00 evening, because I just don't care - until something is due!
I keep from blowing my money by allocating myself an allowance each pay period. If there is something I want over and above the allowance, I ask myself several questions: Are the bills paid? (If the answer is no, then there's no chance of me going for the want.) Will I regret the purchase later? (If there's a chance of regretting the purchase, then I leave it for a while) Can I leave the purchase for a while? - Even when things are on special if I wait then another deal will come around when I'm in a better position to take advantage of it.
In terms of an evening turning into a more expensive evening, the best suggestion I can offer is know what you can afford for the evening, take that in cash and leave the cards at home - you can't spend what you don't have. I do this regularly if I'm having a night out with friends since I know alcohol makes me inclined to spend money that isn't truly available.

Lyn

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Lyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Thu, 10-01-2009 - 7:01pm

Hi. These are great questions!


DH and I set up a budget with categories (check out my form in the Getting Started thread) when we first got married and review it every month. When we

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2008
Fri, 10-02-2009 - 1:20pm

A budget is more of a guide, really - your numbers will fluctuate from month to month on a lot of things, ie, the electric bill. And I know what you mean about having to watch money so close - I don't like it either! It is ok to juggle money from one category into another, as long as your budget balances at the end of the month. So maybe one month your electric bill is low, you can funnel that money over into something else, or save it in a special account for things that 'come up'.

Maybe you need to reevaluate your budget a bit. Track your spending for a month and see where your money goes - maybe you're not giving yourself enough room in certain categories. Or maybe you need to have fewer nights out so you can spend more when you do have them, make sense? Make sure you save up for those quarterly and yearly expenses. I have a knack for leaving those out and then we get into trouble that way.

Hope this helps! I think you deserve a great pat on the back for all the effort and improvements you are making. You are doing a great job!!! Thank you for asking those questions -I'm sure you'll get a lot of different and terrific advice to try. You'll find the answer that suits you and your situation. GL!

Amanda

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2006
Fri, 10-02-2009 - 3:17pm

Thank you all for your input.

"I know God will not give me more than I can handle, I just wish he wouldn't trust me so much!" Mother Theresa

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Fri, 10-02-2009 - 4:39pm

Do you find that you use the same budget for a great length of time? It seems every time I get a budget routine - something comes up!


I have a variable income so I do not tend to keep a budget more than a couple of months at a time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2005
Sat, 10-03-2009 - 3:52pm

Good questions!

Do you find that you use the same budget for a great length of time? It seems every time I get a budget routine - something comes up!
- I change the budget when we get a change in pay. In January DH gets a cost of living raise and I get one in July so I adjust numbers for that. I'm working it into the budget for emergencies and other stuff right now.

If something arises that you really want to do, do you just say "no" if the money is not in that specific category? Do you borrow the money from another place? My mom told me that her and my dad when use the food budget to supplement if need be. If they had a great opportunity come up, they would eat oatmeal for a week instead of missing out and said chance.
- Depends on which one of us it is. If it's me then I turn down the activity, not worth the number juggling. If it's DH then he'll just do the activity and leave the number crunching to me afterwards.

How do you keep from just blowing your money? I really try to focus on balancing my "needs" and "wants", but sometimes I get so annoyed that I have to watch my money so closely - that my $30.00 allotted evening turns into a $60.00 evening, because I just don't care - until something is due!
- Just avoiding the temptation. We go out maybe once a month and I try to budget for it ahead of time but it doesn't always happen. Or we scale it back, if we want to see a movie we usually wait for it to come out on DVD to avoid the $9 movie tickets and $50 dinner before. My budget buster is buying things for my daughter so I decide ahead of time what I want to get her and then we go from there. :)

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