Budgeting Tools - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > Budgeting Tools
Three~Little~Birds's Avatar Three~Little~Birds 05:06 PM 03-24-2011

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!



mama to B's Avatar mama to B 06:16 PM 03-24-2011
I use paper and pen way easier for me. My categories are: online bills(bank fee, car insurance, tenant, life, cell/Internet, and automated savings) misc expenses, out/sitter (for a break) clothes, misc savings, snow removal, groceries, gas, eating out, working out, car maintance, extra savings, Christmas, hair, dd activities and rent. This pretty much covers everything for me.
GirlBoyGirl's Avatar GirlBoyGirl 06:08 AM 03-25-2011
After pulling my hair out at multiple Excel spreadsheets, I also just use paper and pen! So much easier for me. I keep the notebook right in my desk so I see it often and can use it easily, whereas my Excel spreadsheets I began to just ignore.

As far as online tools, there is mint.com and I love the PNC Virtual Wallet
tinuviel_k's Avatar tinuviel_k 08:05 AM 03-25-2011
I use a program called YNAB (you need a buget). It had about a one month learning curve for me but now I LOVE it! i've been able to keep track of my finances to a degree that seemed impossible with my excel spreadsheet or Linux finance programs.

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.
kristandthekids's Avatar kristandthekids 10:42 AM 03-26-2011
danaf617's Avatar danaf617 07:21 PM 03-27-2011

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

college fund



real estate taxes

homeowner's insurance


replace furniture





sewer 1 - county

sewer 2 - township

cable/phone/internet bundle

cell phones



*dining out




*gas and oil

repairs and tires

car insurance

license & taxes

ez pass

car replacement


*clothing - children

*clothing - adult


disability insurance

health insurance

medical bills (copays/deductibles)



life insurance

school tuition

school supplies


organization dues

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!