Budget????

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Budget????
4
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 8:34am
Ok, so I've never really had a budget but now that we are finally caught up on bills, finally it's been a LONG progess and me now working at night and getting little sleep, we finally are caught up, so now that i know how much debt we have 30k.....YIKES.....I want to have a budget but don't know how to begin. How do I include like the kids doctors appt, medicine things of that nature, or birthday presents....I'm so clueless so would apperciate any ideas, input you can give. Thanks!

Corinna
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
In reply to: moeell2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 8:55am
I have an awful time trying to budget. It always looks so good on paper, then I blow it with compulsive spending.

You might want to check out the Budget Tips and Ideas board. They were helpful to me when I had a question.

I actually have my budget set out in an excel spreadsheet, and also have one on Quicken. I use the 'envelope' method, where I set money aside each paycheck for certain items, like vacations, gift-giving, pets, auto, things like that. My envelopes are electronic, and I use ING Direct.

I know what I'm supposed to do, I just don't seem to do it every month. Hopefully you have more resolve than I do!

Good luck!

Lee Ann

Lee Ann

www.werenotafraid.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
In reply to: moeell2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 9:08am
Ours is quite simple. My fiance doesn't do Quicken or spreadsheets well, but does wonders with a legal pad and calendar.

Each page on his notebook represents one month. Two columns, one for each payday. He lists the bills due in each column, checks them off as they are paid. Money left over after the bills is what we get to live on - groceries, gas, doctor visits, etc. He uses space at the bottom to add notes. That's it.

The key to making this work for us: The simpler the better - we're more likely to stick to it. And, he never lists the exact amount due for a bill on this ledger - always he rounds up to the nearest ten dollars.

This is just one option. Works for us.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: moeell2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 11:18am
Congratulations on getting your bills caught up. Once you get behind getting caught up is an up hill battle.

I've been trying to develop the perfect budget for 25 year. The tool that has helped me more than anything is Budgetmap. My bills and expenses are divided in to 12 categories. I have the bills, groceries/eating out, allowance, savings, misc. Each category has a set amount. I can keep track of spending and expenses for each category. I know if I have left over money or if I'm starting to run short and need to cut back.

1. For groceries/eating out take an average of what you've been spending. Buy groceries before you eat out. Eat out only on special occasions. Try to beat the amount you've budgeted by using coupons, sales, a list, and meal planning.

2. My DH and I each get a cash allowance that we use for gas, lunches, and spending money. I don't track this money. Since it's cash we don't write checks, or use the ATM and debit card. My DH spends all of his money. I usually have left over money and redeposit it for a cc snowflake payment.

3. Right now I'm saving 1/12th of the total of our monthly bills and expenses.

4. The misc category is what's left after bills, groceries/eating out, allowance and savings. Right now I don't need separate categories for everything we spend money on. This category is for doctor co-pays, medicine, things for the house, dog food, yard supplies, haircuts, toiletries, cleaning supplies. When the budget amount gets low I have to cut back.

On payday if any of the categories have left over money I use it for cc snowflake payments.

Developing a budget is an on going job. It will require adjustments.

I hope this helps.

jb

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: moeell2
Tue, 05-13-2003 - 12:16pm
Just wanted to second Lee Ann's suggestion about the Budget Tips and Ideas board - http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mlsavings - it's very helpful!

We have a modified "envelope" system. We pay the bills, and we put money into savings for things that aren't exactly monthly expenses - car repair, medicine, dr. visits, vacations, etc. The trick is to have the money in savings so we're not forced to put something on a card.

HTH!

Danni

All my best,
Danni