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When we were working on paying off our credit card debt and car loan we did envelope budgeting to guarantee we were only spending the minimum so we could get the debt paid off.
Now that things are less tight, I keep a table in microsoft word to track our everyday purchases (gas, groceries, clothing, etc) according to category (this way I jot a note with each thing so I can always go back and see what $XYZ was spent on. Then I have an excel spreadhseet that I track the monthly totals in as well as mark in our monthly bills like mortgage, utilities, etc. At the end of the year I can see where every penny went.
I don't really budget for each category anymore, I mostly look at the total spent each week and after doing this for 3 years or so, over the course of the year, it ends up being about the same each year for each of my categories.
Last edited by ~Kris~; January 23rd, 2011 at 03:25 PM.
I just signed up with Mint . com, pretty neat, but I don't have debt, besides my car ... and use a pre-paid debit. So it doesn't seem to work for me. I just need a basic budget.
I have a spread sheet in excel, but unlike most people's ours doesn't account for each and every penny... We tried, but it just didn't work for us. Instead we have a column for each month. At the top is the name of the month. just below is our expected income (hubby's pay is consistent, not hourly, but it works for hourly too), under that we have all our outgoing bills.
At the end of each column is an auto equation that subtracts each of the bill rows from the income row. Then I know how much we have that month for groceries and other non fixed bills. Also this allows us to add things that aren't a monthly expense like car registration and other significant bills.
If you PM me your e-mail address I could send you ours to use as a template if you're interested. Mint didn't work for us either. This was our way of budgeting that has worked pretty well (it also serves as a checklist on each date for me to make sure I pay everything).
"Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live."
Last edited by C&K'sMama; January 26th, 2011 at 01:55 PM.
We have one set up in Excel. We input what each of us made that month via our jobs and then have a line for each expense (life insurance, satellite, phone, HOA, etc) and Excel gives either a red or green number (over or under) so you know what the total is that you've brought in versus spent. Works out well, although doesn't change a whole lot since we don't have any debt but our house...although we have plenty of just regular monthly bills.