I am about to re-visit our budget. I am curious as to what you use for your budget (i.e. Excel spreadsheet) and what your categories are.
If anyone would like to share their tools, I would really appreciate it!
As far as online tools, there is mint.com and I love the PNC Virtual Wallet
I have too many catagories to post, LOL. I've really broken things down into very specific catagories. For instance, under the FOOD heading I have: Groceries, Bulk Food (CSA, 1/2 cow, bulk fruit in season...), Restaurants, Alcohol. Under HOUSING I have: Mortgage, Extra Mortgage Payments, Short Term Home Repairs, Long Term Home Repairs (Savings), Home Supplies, and Furnishings.
I find that if I can look back on the past few months and know exactly where he money has gone I can spend it more wisely and conciously in the future.
I have my own excel spreadsheet based loosely on Dave Ramsey's plan.
DH doesn't make the same amount of money every check because of overtime so I have the minimum that he makes as our budgeted amount. I have almost every dollar allocated (I think there's like 20 bucks left over) and then checks where he gets more overtime than usual, the extra gets put towards debt or into savings.
Here are our categories:
emergency fund 1
emergency fund 2
real estate taxes
sewer 1 - county
sewer 2 - township
*gas and oil
repairs and tires
license & taxes
*clothing - children
*clothing - adult
medical bills (copays/deductibles)
gifts (including christmas)
*DH's spending cash
*my spending cash
extra vehicle payments
all of the catergories with an * are cash taken out on payday and put in envelopes
some of the categories are "inactive" right now. for instance, our oldest is just going into prek so we are saving for tuition and not school supplies. we aren't saving for college, vehicle replacements, furniture replacaments, etc until our 2 vehicles are paid off.
Hope that helps!