Budgets - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you keep your budget? I have a binder and write it all out by hand, every time I spend something I write it in the binder.


Would anyone care to share their budget? I will be back to post mine after supper!

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#2 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 03:37 PM
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I keep it in a spreadsheet.



mortgage (includes pmi, interest, taxes): 819

house maintenance savings: 120

car insurance: 80 (8 months of the year)


savings1&2: 750

savings3: 300 (if it doesnt go to reno it goes into a mutual fund)


food (includes cleaning supplies, detergent, light bulbs): 500

utilities (heat and electrical): 150 average (more like $80 summer -> 300 winter)


phone: 65

water bill: 40 (quarterly)


extra curricular: approx $150 / month (lessons, camps, sports)


total 2974.


Other budgeted things that do not happen monthly:

daycare: budget $400 but currently not using day care as of yet.

dentist: approx $400 yearly


total 3414


That's about it. I do not pay for cable, cell, netflix etc...


There is 400/month left over that goes to other stuff - car maintenance, vet, higher utilities bills in winter, extra savings, weekend away, clothes, winter gear, household items, pet care / vet (stopped going found free rabies clinics although occasionally they (4 pets) need attention.)

Sara - Mum to C (10/02) ; m/c 10/07; 7/08; 3/09; Lucy Olive Feb 28, 2010 !
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#3 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 04:27 PM
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We keep a spreadsheet for each month in open office, then have a master budget sheet and a sheet for our debt repayment. After savings/bills we have around $800 a month for buying anything extra that we may need or want, whatever is left at the end of the month gets moved to savings or debt repayment. Our cell phone contracts are up next month and we are planning to go to a prepaid cell phone since we don't use them much anymore. We will use Skype or a similar service at home for our calls.


In April we are planning on moving from 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 or more bedroom rental house. We are expecting housing with utilities to go up to about $1300 a month if it ends up being less then that yay! We're just figuring high though because the lower cost houses are really run down. We'd like a nice place that will allow me to have a garden so our food costs go down again. Without the car payment, cell phones and being able to use our washer/dryer again our total bills will be just about the same, leaving us approximately the same extra each month. 



Our budget:


Rent- $790 (includes utilities & management selected cable we don't use but have to pay)

Car- $314 (paid in full April!)

Van- $321.87

Laundry- $80 (we use cloth diapers with 2-3 loads a week and 4 regular loads a week)

Vehicle Insurance- $106.63

Cell phones- $130

Internet- $19.99

Gas- $150

Food- $400

Savings- $600

Credit Card Payments- $431

Total Bills- $3343.49




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#4 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 04:32 PM
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We keep ours in an Excel spreadsheet that tallies up expenditures for the month and compares to what the budgeted amount is (which it pulls from another sheet that I can alter as needed).


I'd post mine, but we're in flux.  We just relocated from the East Coast to the midwest and some of my budget items are not yet firm in this house.  :(  We do spend a LOT on food because we have to eat around multiple food allergens and man, does that kill us.  We have to eat predominantly fresh & homemade foods (which is wonderful health-wise, notsomuch money-wise).  I have yet to find a year-round produce coop here (already tapped the local Holistic Moms chapter) and CSA season is not only over, but while it was still active--it didn't even come close to keeping up with us.

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#5 of 10 Old 11-23-2010, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Back to post my budget! My budget changes almost every month, my income is higher some months and lower others so its just an average. At the end the month just before the next months starts I sit down and low ball everything I will be taking in then budget from there.


Rent: 500 (includes lights/heat)

Bank Fee: 12.95

Car Insurance: 63.50 (going down to 32ish next month)

Tenan:- 43.70 (going down to 22ish next month)

Life Insurance: 48.38

Tax Free Savings: 75

Educational Savings: 25

Internet: 40

Cell: 90

Groceries: 350

Gas: 100

Eating out: 80

Misc: 110 ( Includes gifts, things for dd, unexpected things etc)

Out: 50 (Includes nights out, movies, activities)

Sitter: 20 (incase something comes up and I need to go out for a bit...never really use this though)

Workout: 40

Clothes: 50

Car exps: 40

Extra Savings: 200 (this goes up and down the most never less then 100 but this month i've already added in 430)

Christmas: 230


Then I have a place where I write down all the money that comes in. Any extra money goes into savings or for a bumper in my bank account I don't like to keep less them 200 in it for bills. I pay everything other then bills and gas with cash and all of my change at the end of the days goes into a change jar!


Thank you everyone for sharing, I'm going to start savings for a new computer and possibly switch to a speadsheet

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#6 of 10 Old 11-29-2010, 10:15 AM
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I used to have a really extensive budget in Excel. But it got very time consuming and I just stopped. We never seem to have extra (have been borrowing the past 2 months in fact) so now my "budget" is just a list of bills that I mark through as they're paid. I did take out cash for gas and food this past paycheck so that we wouldn't go over a certain amount. Sadly, DH (and myself to a lesser extent) spend on the debit card when the mood strikes. I try to keep my extra purchases small, though I'm sure they add up, but DH acts like he doesn't care. His attitude stinks a good deal of the time. He sees people he works with just spending, and he thinks he should be able to do the same. When I'm concerned about money he just gets mad. He never seems to wonder where the next dollar is coming from. I think some of it is a defense mechanism since he's the only earner right now. I think maybe he feels it's a reflection on his work that we don't have enough so he just pretends we do. IDK. I also think some of it is just irresponsibility/immaturity.


So here's our "budget" for November:


rent: $1188 (this includes a storage unit)

water: $37.63 (this usually runs in the low $20s - not sure why it was so high in Nov)

electric: $122.89 (three bedroom apartment - this has been steadily dropping but I bet it will slowly start to rise again as it gets colder)

life insurance: $82.49

car insurance: $95.97

legal services: $25 (this is a fee to a pre-paid legal service so we can make our will; we've been putting it off and this is a big wasted expense; we really need to get it done so this money can be put elsewhere)

internet: $41.69

cell phone: $77

satellite: $83.26 ($50 of this comes from the rent amount my sister pays us; it will go down once she moves b/c we'll cancel the second receiver)

student loan: $44.51 (this will increase dramatically once I graduate; this particular loan is a private loan that can't be deferred; I have many, many more that are in deferment right now)

Capital One: $55 (this is the last month of a payment plan I set up; I'm going to try to extend it a few more months then pay it off in a lump sum after I start working; hoping they'll take a reduced amount )

doctor bill from my c-section: $10

DD's dance: $45 (my mother and grandmother pay this sometimes)


food: $300 for the month (pretty sure DH spent all of the cash I sent him to the store with plus put some on the card; I am sick or I wouldn't have let him go b/c he's a terrible shopper - always spends more than he should b/c he gets more than what's on the list/doesn't pay attention to sales)

gas: $200 for the month (thanks to driving for the holidays I think we're going to go over this amount, too)


**DH makes an average of $750 every 2 weeks and my student loans ran out last month, so you can see why we have had to borrow. My sister pays $175 for rent/satellite (she helps watch the kids while I'm in school). Things should get better next year. I graduate in Dec. and start my new RN job on Jan. 10.

Amanda praying.gif (31), RN, BSN
Catholic wife to guitar.gif (DH 28); mommy to blahblah.gif (DD 9), jog.gif (DS 6), angel2.gif (DS 11/09), angel1.gif (3/10), angel1.gif (6/10), our rainbow1284.gif (DS 1), and a surprise baby.gif (DD)

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#7 of 10 Old 11-29-2010, 10:43 AM
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We keep our budget in excel.  This is what ours looks like:


Mortgage: 772 (includes taxes, pmi)

Food: 400

Tithe: 350

Gasoline: 200

Spending: 200

Utilities: 150 (heat/electric average)

Student Loan (hopefully paid off in March!): 150

Life/Car insurance: 150

Cell: 80

Cable/Internet: 65

Gifts: 50

Clothing: 50

Personal: 50

House Maintenance: 100

Car Maintenance: 100

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#8 of 10 Old 12-04-2010, 07:34 AM
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I used to use Excel(well the OpenOffice free version) now I use Mint.com- it is quicker and easier to do and automatically syncs with my bank acct so I don't have to individually input everyone

Happily Married to my : 11 yrs- Mama to wild-eyed monkey boy 7-04, fiery little girl 4-07, and the happy smiley baby that sleeps 11-09!
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#9 of 10 Old 12-04-2010, 08:02 AM
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I set up a mint.com account, but I think it will get too complicated/time-consuming for me.


I sat down and worked out a budget last night for after I start getting paychecks (just before February). It's not exact (I based it off of my night pay and a base 36 hours - will probably work more than that). I also don't know how much my health insurance will be, so it's not figured in at all. I'm hoping that any hours worked over the base 36 will cover it so I don't have to totally refigure everything. Also, I don't know how much my student loan repayments will be so I just put in what I'm hoping is a high estimate.


I used my debt sheet and made it as current as possible. I know this is a low estimate, though, because I didn't look up all of my government loans. The total I have in my spreadsheet for now is just over $124,000. This is really sad, especially since I know we really owe more than that. That does include money owed to family members.


I want to share my budget so you guys can help me tweak.


check 1)



 any amount over can be put toward something


 food (take out in cash)




gas (take out in cash)




car/renter's insurance




cell phone




?? Student loans












 bill payment




 100 ea. for me and DH (take out in cash)


 rollover to add to second check


check 2)



rollover from first check


any amount over can be put toward something


rent + storage




water - if less, put elsewhere




electric - if less, put elsewhere




life insurance - leave in account for auto-debit




prepaid legal - add this to bill payment category once completed




 dance for DD










add to funds



Some of the utilities fluctuate, so I put in an average. If there is extra, I'll put it to our emergency fund. The pre-paid legal fee will go away if DH and I ever sit down and write out our will. The only place I see to cut is our blow money. I can cut that down a little, but if I don't give us some in cash, I know one or both of us will just use the card. I'm trying to be realistic. Oh, and our satellite bill will go down a little once my sister moves out.


I'm really discouraged b/c I have other monthly goals that I can't meet (like tithing!!). I really want to tithe 10%, but I'm thinking of maybe just giving $100 or so (the amount I would cut down our blow money). I also need to be paying off family members. Now all of this is based on just my income, so hopefully DH will be able to get a flexible part-time job (he's going to have to quit his current job b/c we'll need someone to be home with the kids) that he can work around my schedule. That will help fulfill some of those other monthly things and really get our savings going. Plus we should get a good tax return b/c we didn't make much this year.


* a note on the tithing - In a perfect world, I would cut down satellite and blow money until I was consistently tithing. I know this is the right thing to do. But DH is not under that same conviction. It's all I can do to get him to attend church with me. I seriously doubt he'd be ok with cutting our fun stuff in order to tithe.

Amanda praying.gif (31), RN, BSN
Catholic wife to guitar.gif (DH 28); mommy to blahblah.gif (DD 9), jog.gif (DS 6), angel2.gif (DS 11/09), angel1.gif (3/10), angel1.gif (6/10), our rainbow1284.gif (DS 1), and a surprise baby.gif (DD)

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#10 of 10 Old 12-04-2010, 08:43 AM
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My budget is also in a spreadsheet.  I then use Quicken to track my spending, etc.  

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