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Personal budgeting - Share your methods

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popquizkid95
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Personal budgeting - Share your methods  Reply with quote  

Hello. I'm popquiz95, and I need budgeting advice. Everyone all together now - "Hi popquizkid95'. Wink

I"m a parent of 4. My spouse recently became unemployed, so it's time to start tight budgeting. I make good money. But with 4 kids, a house, two cars, and student loan debt, things are going to get tight in a hurry.

With the technology today, there must be something out there to help us balance our budget without over spending. What about an iPhone app? Spreadsheet? Other software?

Please share your methods. Thanks!
Post Thu Dec 03, 2015 1:43 pm
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littleroc02us
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MInt.com

I don't use it because I make my own Excel spreadsheets, but it's one of the best. They will need your bank account numbers, your cc numbers and other important data, but to their credit, their databases haven't never been hacked like Target and Home Depot's were. So they are very safe. It is a wonderful tool that shows you pie charts, graphs and gives you an honest look at your income vs payments. Give it a try.

Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing. (Warren Buffet)
Post Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:23 pm
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Diana787
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Hello! You're in a complicated situation but still, there ways out. First of all, make sure you are not making popular money mistakes and manage your income wisely, Secondly, try to focus on 2 ways: cut your spending as much as possible and consider additional sources of income. There are mobile apps that help you to make more money, just check the Internet, there are many of them!
Post Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:50 pm
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optionwarriors
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Using Quicken (an automated computer program) to manage my finances was probably the biggest change I have made in controlling my spending and setting budgets.

Makes it pretty easy to control when all of your accounts are linked in one place and you know where your money is going every month,
Post Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:11 pm
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redflag
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Mint.com is a great app. It's by far the safest and most user-friendly budgeting app in my experience.

True that a budgeting app can help you with your current situation; however, it's not entirely the way out. Yes, it's a start but you might consider getting new sources of income to get out of debt faster and to establish a set budget.
Post Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:48 am
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ygrey
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There is a iOS app called Spending that helps you understand where you spending and decide where to stop spending. The only drawback, it is not attached to any of your bank accounts that could should you live data of your bank balance.
Post Fri May 20, 2016 6:39 am
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plush
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Rather than downloading an app or getting a fancy doo-dad, my suggestion would be that you move quickly to a cash system for miscellaneous household, grocery expenses, clothing, non-essentials, and entertainment. Mint is great and all--if your bank/credit union talks with it (ours doesn't), if it updates consistently, and if it categorizes your expenditures accurately, but it occasionally does not. Entering manually in an app takes a lot of discipline and is easy to forget, too--I'd rather sit down at the first of each month with my office door closed, a big cup of coffee and Excel opened, and figure out exactly where everything went. From there, my wife and I meet to discuss our budget categories--where we did good, what we need to improve on, and how we're going to approach the next month. It has helped greatly with transparency, goal-setting and being on the same page.

Your car/student loan/mortgage payments do not change, but the aforementioned categories are highly variable and also the most controllable. Have everything else set on auto-pay and make once monthly withdrawals for the aforementioned categories. Keep the budget allotments in corresponding envelopes and do not commingle. Take your debit/credit cards entirely out of the equation. Once you sit down (and you should each month) to go through your checking account spending, it'll be much easier to see where your money went, rather than trying to figure out if that $50 to Home Depot was for home improvement, a fix-it item, or a gift for Dad's birthday.

When my wife and I are not tracking (occasionally we fall off the bandwagon), our entertainment budget shoots to $300+ per month when it should really be just $200. Our grocery budget also climbs significantly when we're not using cash--it becomes easier to, say, pick up a six pack because "We've been good with our money," only to find out we were $100 over at the time we decided to buy it. When we're on cash, we say "when the money's gone, it's gone." Imagine you're living paycheck to paycheck--if the money doesn't exist, it can't be spent!
Post Mon May 23, 2016 6:27 pm
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lucre
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budget-I hate that term-I prefer spending plan  Reply with quote  

I'm no expert but I'm on a pretty tight pension, and here's how I cope:

I have 3 bank accounts:

1. Income account- For income only, no eftpos/debit card for this account, All mandatory payments are automated from this account.

2. Savings account. No card for this one either, Savings get paid into this account automatically from Income account

3. Transactional Account-debit/eftpos card for this one, money from income account, goes into this one automatically. I draw cash from this account for haircuts, sundries, grocery items, toiletries, pocket money, clothing, etc.,[/u] Hope this is of some help.
Post Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:02 am
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ken-do-nim
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I utilize a more complex system of automatic withdrawals into savings buckets so that I always have money available to handle non-monthly expenses, which is the biggest killer in most people's budgeting systems.

My buckets are:

  1. General Savings - computers/clothes/furniture, and an overflow for any other bucket
  2. Home Improvement Downpayment
  3. Vacation
  4. Charity
  5. Camp (for my daughter)
  6. Lawn Maintenance
  7. Home Maintenance
  8. Memberships
  9. Car Downpayment
  10. Celebrations
  11. Emergencies
  12. Kid's savings account for my daughter


So as an example of how this is used, when the bill comes for my AAA membership in August, I just pay it out of my checking account, and refund my checking account the same amount out of the Memberships savings account. For each account, I total up how much I expect to be spent each year, divide that by 12, and save that much each month. I used to have a Car Maintenance account, but I stopped doing that because that comes out of the Emergency Fund if the monthly budget can't cover it. Savings buckets are for electable expenses; for instance I can choose to skip my AAA membership or not repair the crack in the ceiling. But the car's gotta get fixed. The Emergency Fund has a ceiling of $15,000. If it gets dipped into, it gets paid back each month as a priority until it returns to that amount.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Post Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:26 pm
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