Starting a family budget...so confused! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 4 Old 09-01-2005, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've never had a budget : . We've never had a lot of money with which to make a budget, and still don't, but perhaps thats when a person needs one most. ?

Obviously our rent, bills, loans, etc. are easy to figure in. Groceries and gas hard to pin down, but we can work on that. What we cannot figure out is how to do any extra spendings or "entertainment" funds in a fair manner.

Do household purchases, anything from a picture frame to a new desk, come from a "spending money" account? Do I get more spending money that dh since I am home all the time and have dd to entertain? When friends call and say they'll be in town and want to go out to eat, how do we figure that in? Plane tickets? Oil changes? I have no idea how to attemept to budget for these things? But we definitely need to decrease our random spending.

Help! Any suggestions? Can you tell me what works for your family? Thanks
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#2 of 4 Old 09-02-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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I would recommend Dave Ramsey's book Financial Peace - He recommends an envelope system where you might have an envelope for household furnishings and one for entertainment. Each month you put the amount budgeted into the envelope.

It's a pretty simple book with basic information - see if your library has it.

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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#3 of 4 Old 09-02-2005, 06:12 PM
 
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The book that has really changed our financial lives is Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki something. It is really an amazing book about how to free yourself from debt, set goals, etc. The most effective thing it suggested to do was write down every penny you spend or make, and then you creat a monthy "budget" based on those figures after a month of keeping track. To learn more about it, you can go to simpleliving.net
Best of luck to you and your family as you budget-it is a can be a really frustrating process, good for you for trying to tackle it!
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#4 of 4 Old 09-02-2005, 10:21 PM
 
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In the past, my husband and I each got a monthly "allowance" we could spend on whatever we wanted, and there was a "miscellaneous" category that pretty much contained most of the stuff you're talking about. Basically to spend the "misc." money we just had to come to an agreement- if we both wanted new towels, we could use money from that category; if only I did, I'd have to buy them myself from my personal allowance.

As for whether you should get more for your daughter's entertainment- you might want to set up a category solely for her that you all agree to.
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