THoughtful Thursday

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2008
THoughtful Thursday
4
Thu, 10-22-2009 - 1:22pm

Hi folks! I can't believe it's Thursday already! This week has flown by me.

Here's what I'm thinking about: what kind of tracking/ budgeting system do you use and how often do you review it?

I like old fashioned paper and pen. Not sure why, but I love graph paper. Funny, isn't it? And I sit down probably on a weekly basis right now because things are so tight. Now that I'm working again I anticipate it getting a lot better over the next couple months as my paycheck starts coming in and business picks up for the holidays. :)

Amanda

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2006
Thu, 10-22-2009 - 6:54pm

Here's what I'm thinking about: what kind of tracking/ budgeting system do you use and how often do you review it?

I currently use an excel spreadsheet that I update every week. My income changes from week to week so I have to at least check the budget to make sure everything is right.
I find excel great for the actual budgeting, but would like to be able to run reports etc to see where the money is going and how much I spending on things like books. I know that Moneydance is a good option for this (I tried it after Colleen recommended it last year), but I'm struggling to keep the money aside for the licence key purchase. It's US$40, so depending on what the exchange rate is doing could be as high as NZ$80.

I still like pen and paper for documenting the budget for the week once I've checked that it can work on that weeks wages - but excel allows me to fiddle with the numbers without lots of erasing and re-writing.

Lyn

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Lyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Thu, 10-22-2009 - 7:51pm

Lyn, I think it might have been Vanessa who recommended MoneyDance. I don't think I ever used it. I don't know how much longer I can keep up tracking like I am now - it's tedious -so maybe I'll check out MoneyDance.


The BEST method I ever had for keeping track of bills was when I found this spiral bound folder that had six pockets. I made a table of all my monthly bills with a few extra rows. I had two months per page. I printed 6 copies and tucked them in the front pocket. When my bills came in, I'd slip them in the front pocket, too. As I paid them, I'd write the amount in the table and move the paid bill to the next pocket. It was so handy and portable. It really kept me on track. I used the other pockets for things like insurance info and 401K statements.


These days, I pay bills online either as they come in or on payday, then file the paper bills away in my old folder.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2006
Fri, 10-23-2009 - 5:59am
Colleen - you are right, it was Vanessa who recommended it. I don't know why I thought it was you.
Lyn

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Lyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2005
Fri, 10-23-2009 - 9:55am

Sorry I'm a day late but I'm home with a sick toddler and have a little time while she watches her favorite show :)

So far as a budgeting system being in place, I have a mac computer and I use the stickies function on it to write our bills on and if there's a variance (which is rare) I mark it on the sticky. If I didn't have this function I would use regular stickies.

Each sticky has the name/company on the bill, the amount due/minimum payment and the due date. In case of car loans, student loan and credit cards I also have the APR, the balance on the card and the available credit. The stickies are also color coded green for cash expenses (food, fun, daycare and gas), pink for credit cards and blue for other bills.

I have those down for a quick add and subtract each payday. Our paychecks don't really vary so I have an "ideal" budget saved into our Numbers program. I review it quarterly to adjust for holiday savings and emergency expenses. I also review it when we pay a card off to re-allocate money.

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