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Budgeting


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  #1  
July 26th, 2011, 12:12 PM
SoCalJB's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 176
My husband and I both suck at it. Him because he's so busy and me because I don't believe in math. We don't really live beyond our means, but we never plan out our spending, and apparently we have no ability to save. With the baby on the way I figure this should probably change. Does anyone have any books, internet tools, tips or tricks to recommend to the budget impaired? I'd really appreciate it.
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  #2  
July 26th, 2011, 12:18 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,062
Dave Ramsey is good common sense advice, I could do without the religion but to each their own. Your local library might have his books
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  #3  
July 26th, 2011, 12:20 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,364
I don't know of any books, but what I've always done is taken out a part of our paychecks immediately before we spend a dime. Then we have to learn to live with what is left. We started small and have increased the amount as we could.
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  #4  
July 26th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Desiree McD's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gulf Coast, Florida
Posts: 1,255
My DH is a budget master. Before he gets his check, he writes down everything that needs to be paid and we figure out what is left over. Then we decide what to do with that. Sadly, we have NO savings since I was laid off a couple months ago.. but anyway -- thank goodness for KMART/SEARS layaway and thrift stores!!!
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  #5  
July 26th, 2011, 12:40 PM
mcfly's Avatar Lil' Old Lady In Training
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,994
Dave Ramsey is supposedly good, but I don't trust any money management system that recommends that you spend money on the system! I recommend buying or borrowing a copy of The Weathy Barber. It's a classic.

The #1 thing that's helped me is keeping a money diary. Write down EVERY purchase in a little notebook (and I mean EVERYTHING - gas, groceries, bills, etc obviously, but also a pack of gum at the corner store or a new pair of socks) and track that for at least a month, ideally 2-3 months. You can use that to see where your money is currently going (and don't try to guess at this, because you'll probably be way off) and make your budget based on that.

The #2 thing is from The Wealthy Barber: PAY YOURSELF FIRST! If you got a 10% pay cut, would you die? Would you go totally bankrupt? Probably not. (If so, maybe start with a little less.) So start taking that amount off your income FIRST before doing anything else, every month and putting it into savings.
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  #6  
July 26th, 2011, 01:27 PM
BobbityBoo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Left Coast
Posts: 816
We just use spread sheets. One has our monthly budget with all the bills, expenses and also income on it. So the general budget. Then I have another sheet that has the bills broken up into two periods that DH gets, so I know what bills can get paid when.

My dad gave me a better spread sheet (he is a finance guy for a living) that is really cool, tracks the whole year and you can have to roll over form year to year. If you over spend then it makes things go red the rest of the year so you know that either you need to be savings more for future big purchases or NOT buy the thing you want to. But it requires some planning and sitting down to enter everything you are going to spend for the next year. Like you have to enter things like car registration and estimates for when you need oil changes... EVERYTHING. I am in charge of the bills and budget, I barely have time to sit down to figure out the bi-monthly bills... The kids interrupt me a million times so I haven't quite made it to the better spread sheet. Maybe I'll start Jan 1, 2012.
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  #7  
July 26th, 2011, 05:35 PM
anybodyinthere's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,286
There are free budget worksheets at the Dave Ramsey site.

Also, I am very quick to call BS on anything I don't like, so take my word for it. IT WORKS. If it sucked, I'd yell it from the mountaintops. It's actually wonderful! I paid off my car early, paid off a large credit card, paid off all my student loans early, saved, etc. And this was 1) after a divorce and 2) on a teacher's salary!
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  #8  
July 26th, 2011, 05:51 PM
Regular
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 83
I too follow Dave Ramsey. His system is very easy to follow and really works.
For us, DH gets paid twice a month. So I just take our bills and split them up between the pay periods. Then I decide how much money we need for groceries for that pay period, gas, and fun money. The rest goes into savings. The hard part is sticking to that, but with practice and a little discipline it's defiantly doable.
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  #9  
July 26th, 2011, 05:52 PM
mom 2 Caden & Jordynn
Join Date: May 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by anybodyinthere View Post
There are free budget worksheets at the Dave Ramsey site.

Also, I am very quick to call BS on anything I don't like, so take my word for it. IT WORKS. If it sucked, I'd yell it from the mountaintops. It's actually wonderful! I paid off my car early, paid off a large credit card, paid off all my student loans early, saved, etc. And this was 1) after a divorce and 2) on a teacher's salary!
WOW! double WOW! I'm sold! And I never even heard of Dave Ramsey!
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  #10  
July 26th, 2011, 05:57 PM
littlebeansmommy's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcfly View Post
Dave Ramsey is supposedly good, but I don't trust any money management system that recommends that you spend money on the system! I recommend buying or borrowing a copy of The Weathy Barber. It's a classic.
Actually, Dave Ramsey would be the first person to recommend that you check out your local library for his books instead of purchasing them. I've heard him say it many times on his TV and radio shows. That's actually how we got started with him, DH checked out a few of his books at the local library.

We used Dave's program and got ourselves out of debt after our first DS was born. Could kick ourselves now that we realized how much we could have been saving while I was still working. If you stick with the plan, follow the budget, get out of debt, it becomes part of who you are and really works.
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  #11  
July 26th, 2011, 05:57 PM
MamaRed's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 472
My husband uses spreadsheets, but I LOVE mint.com. It's free and allows you to to see all of your accounts (credit, loans, checking, savings, investments, etc. In one view and you can set budgets, goals for saving and it'll send you alerts when you go over budget in a particular category, etc. It's a great place to start so you can figure out where your money actually goes and where you can make changes to meet your savings goals.
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  #12  
July 26th, 2011, 05:59 PM
AnnaandRyansMommy's Avatar Sarah
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,135
My DH is an accountant so he does most of the budgeting. I agree that it's important to start now paying everything off. We went on a crazy debt diet when I found out I was pregnant with my first and we ended up paying off both our cars, our credit cards, all we have left is school loans and the mortgage. It was such a relief to get those things paid off and it got us in the habit of shelling out the extra couple hundred a month.. which is now our daycare expenses. So we are still living on next to nothing, but we haven't acquired more debt. Thank goodness for yard sales and thrift stores for baby clothes. Except for jammies and a handful or special outfits I don't think I've spent more than $1 on any of her clothes. And I've discovered the "joys" of coupons.
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  #13  
July 26th, 2011, 06:35 PM
SoCalJB's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 176
Thanks for the advice, guys. I really need to get on the ball.
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  #14  
July 26th, 2011, 07:27 PM
swade66's Avatar My friends call me HIRB.
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sewickley, PA
Posts: 39,230
I'm glad everyone else had good advice because I suck at budgeting and no matter how bad I want to it just never happens.

I will say I have never heard a bad thing about Dave Ramsey.
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