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#1 of 37 Old 04-01-2011, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't believe it's April already. So many great updates in March, lots of people moving into bs3. If you want to get out of debt and start saving this is the thread for you.  Some of us use Dave Ramsey's method but please join us even if you're following someone else/your own plan. All welcome!

 

Here's DR's plan: Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ again
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances.
0.3 Do a written budget
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions
0.5 Get current on all the basics (Shelter, Food, Utilities, Basic clothing)
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) if they will keep you from completing the snowball within 12 months
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut CATV, Cellphone, Regular phone "extra's", Internet, Eating out, etc) and/or take second job if $1000 EF will take more than 30-90 days.
0.8 Get current on ALL bills

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
1.1 Chop up/freeze CC's (You have an EF now)
1.2 Get Health insurance NOW if in the US (chances of getting sick w/ major medical bills are larger than that of death)
1.3 Get Life insurance NOW if you have considerable debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died.
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months
1.5 Consider raising insurance deductibles to $500 or $1000

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.
2.1 You can take your first vacation since finding Dave if you can pay cash for it (no using the EF !!!)

BS3 Three to six months of expenses in savings
3.1 Start car replacement fund
3.2 Save up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point you can drop PMI.
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement fund

BS4 Invest 15 percent of household income for retirement

BS5 College funding for children

BS6 Pay off home early

BS7 Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate

Here's the link to Dave Ramsey's website: http://www.daveramsey.com or if you want a good DR discussion forum, www.llnoe.com is good but hardcore. Gail vax Oxlade's Til Debt do Us Part is great tv show, very motivating. Her website is: http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog Please join us!

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#2 of 37 Old 04-02-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Wow, April!  Crazy... I guess we are technically somewhere around BS2?  We have 1 CC with a balance (a planned balance, 0% interest on a large appliance purchase, as well as an additional discount for using said store card) that will be paid off in a few months.  We have my student loans but they are on the IBR plan and our current "payment" is 0 dollars a month. Our $1000 dollar EF should be finished in the next few weeks, tho that is kind of dependent on how much we spend during DH's RnR... and I am not going to put a cap on that right now though we obviously won't go crazy. We will be spending a lot on gas visiting family and stuff tho.

 

Anyway... We are moving in a month (ACK) so after that I will reasses finances and make some new goals.

 


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#3 of 37 Old 04-02-2011, 11:35 AM
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Woo hoo! Dh and I are officially on board. Although not exact to DR, we put $500 in EF with $500 to go in next paycheck since rent is due. We also just paid off our first CC!!! (posting from phone or else there would be lots of smiley faces!) As a symbol of our joint responsibility, we chose to pay this card off first since it was only in my name. In other words, we both accrued the debt but only I was taking the hit on my credit report. Now we are both equally sharing all the debt. I figured it was a small deviation for something that was really important to dh.

Also super exciting is that DH now has health insurance for the first time in years!!!! It's such a huge relief!!! It really frees up mental space to focus on reducing debt (instead of hopelessly fearing all the what ifs).

This is the first time in our 15 year relationship where I've really felt we are on the same page. It's amazing what a kid can do for your marriage ;0). Snowball mode in full effect!
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#4 of 37 Old 04-02-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Trying to get out of debt but we are really feeling the pinch now. DH does not have a job yet and things are piling up. I am focussing on the main areas first as per DR since we are in crisis mode. Funnily I am not panicking yet (I would have before). I am realizing how wasteful we were before this financially. It is new for me to not be able to pick up/do little things. My DS's end of year hockey party has been changed to a restaurant and we have been told that what little money is left from fundraising will be divvied up to help offset the cost. Unless it is free we cannot afford it right now. But the person who set it up has spent 10000 dollars on vacations internationally in the last 3 months. Sigh. Just needed to vent. We are keeping up and I have paid off a credit card and closed the account. Yahoo!


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#5 of 37 Old 04-04-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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Hello!  We are on baby step 3.  We're hoping to have close to five months of expenses saved by the end of the year, though I'd really really love to have it done before then.  I feel like we've lost some of our gas, and it's hard finding it again, you know?  Anyone else experience this?

 

Here are our goals for the next year or two:

 

1.  Get as much 3 - 6 months worth of expenses as the rest of this year will allow.

2.  Assuming there is a 2011 raise at the end of the year, bump our 401k up to 10% from 8%.

3.  At beginning of 2012, pay down mortgage to get rid of PMI.  Cannot wait to do this.

4.  Spend rest of the year saving for vehicle.

5.  Max out 401k

 

Lots of things to be spending our money on in the next couple of years.  I'm praying that we can remain focused.  Assuming nothing major changes in our finances, I am confident we will be in a much better place financially in a couple of years.  Looking forward to it. :)

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#6 of 37 Old 04-04-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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I'm loving small-apartment living!! It's so simple in so many ways (financially, materialistically, and it's nice to be busy doing your own thing, but still be together). We've cut our living expenses in half. Once I start working full time permanently in the fall (with DH going to school) we'll be spending 25% of our income on housing (which is the best ratio we've ever had- we've always stretched ourselves thin)

 


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#7 of 37 Old 04-04-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Happy April to y'all!  Our house hunt continues.  We have a sizeable down payment and are excited to stop paying rent and get back out on our own ( we rent one of my mil's homes, and yes, we pay rent with no break).  I am thinking since our debt is dh's student loans, and they are quite large, I may consider us in a different baby step.  When we get the house, we will get that paid off before the student loans because we live in a low COL area and we want to make sure our housing is secure.  I am going to start our 3-6 mos. FFEF and we have our vacation for the summer funded already!  Anyways, input on our bs??? would you move on?  I just think since the loans are more than what our mortgage would be and will take longer, might as well.  I hate the thought of being stuck on a step for a really long time, and I am not strict dr anyways. 

 

I am really looking forward to getting out of this house though.  We looked at a house sat. that comes with 4 acres!! The house is in great shape and comes with a wood furnace and we have our fuel on the property, which would save us so much in heating costs.  I am hoping to get an offer in this week!  With our down payment, our mo. mortgage would only be around $300/mo!!!  For a family of 8 that is really awesome! 

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#8 of 37 Old 04-04-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Hello, I'm Amber SAHM to 4. I'd like to jump on board this month. I'm excited to be making progress to become debt free! For the first time ever I earned interest in my savings account last month! Yay!!! I figure I'll just let that $0.50 keep on growing! In addition to funding my EF last month, I started sinking funds for all the major upcoming events I can think of for the year. It's not much, but I'm really glad to be making progress.

 

BS0: We already live very frugally, and all the bills are on time/paid ahead!

BS1: $1000 EF : Complete!

BS2: I have two old credit card debts, in collections (For what it's worth, I used them to pay for basic necessities after my ex-husband moved in with another woman, leaving me with a 6 week old and two preschoolers about 3.5 years ago). I've been trying to settle/negotiate these debts as the collection costs have just about doubled both of them. They are currently at 1800 and 1500. I was able to negotiate and settle other debts, but I'm not having luck here. Until these companies will work with me, I'm concentrating on paying down my student loans (4,800 and 2,200). I'd like to get the smaller loan paid this year. It's not fast progress, but I have a very limited income to work with.

 

Good Luck Everyone!


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#9 of 37 Old 04-05-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Happy April!

 

chely - Enjoy your husband's RnR!  When does it start?  Good luck on the upcoming move.

 

Sfcmama - Welcome, some folks here follow DR strictly and some do a modified plan.  Support towards meeting our financial goals is the common theme, though, so welcome!  Yay for your DH getting insurance and being on the same financial page.

 

Mamatowill - Good luck to your DH in the job search.  How long has he been out of work? Is he receiving unemployment?  

 

Imamomx2 - I like the goals you've laid out, this should help keep you on track and prevent that running out of gas feeling again.  We're new to BS3 so I still feel like we're charging forward.  

 

eirual - Great to hear that the transition to the smaller place is going so well!!  Amazing that you were able to cut your expenses in half - woo!!

 

Stanleymama - Good luck on your house hunt!  I see people move student loans to DR's Baby Step 6 - of course the die-hard followers don't but many people consider student loans to be like a mortgage so continue on to BS3 while still paying minimums on the student loans.  If you kept the student loans in BS2, how long would it take to pay off?  It sounds like it would be many years so I'd probably consider myself in BS3+.  

 

ArtsyMomma - Welcome!  Good luck getting those two old companies to settle - sounds like you know what you're doing with regards to negotiations, hopefully they will come around soon!

 

This is our first month without BS2 debt and it was fun to make the budget, yes I said making a budget was fun.  LOL  I'm still trying to figure out what amount I want to have in my FFEF.  Once I figure that out, I'll start tracking it monthly with percentage towards goal, etc.  I know the recommendation is 3-6 months of expenses - I just need to figure out what I'm comfortable with.  Right now we have almost 3 months of expenses because I paused the snowball in late 2010 to pile up some cash (security gland issue).

 

I'm also looking forward to BS4.  My husband contributes 6% to his 401k already but I'm not sure how to progress towards the Dave Ramsey recommendation of 15%.  If he maxes out his 401k and then maxes out an individual IRA account then we still don't reach the 15% mark.  That means we'd need to put the remaining 3-4% into a non tax-preferred account and just call it "retirement" savings.  I don't know how to do this, though.  II think I need to consult with a professional so I don't mess it up.  

 
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#10 of 37 Old 04-05-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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MytwoAs-- it would take a long time to pay off all the loans.  they equal around $150k ( law school and masters degree).  We have one on IBR that is $0 and are looking to put another one on IBR which would make it $0 also.  We are currenlty paying on the private loans and if we didn't buy a house, we could pay them off in 5 years.  BUT I do not want to rent my mil's house for the next 5 years where, I can not make it my home.  I can't even turn a bedroom into a room for my boys.  She won't let me move any of her stuff.. so frustrating.  We have a large down payment and could buy a house and have it paid off in a few years.  I would like to do that and then pay down the private loans after we have the FFEF in place.  I think this is best for us because if we ever went through another hardship, those student loans could be put on hold, but our mortgage couldn't.  So consider me BS3+ and our ffef is around 30% funded.  This will be a slow haul because we may have to dip into it and I will focus more on paying off the mortgage than fully funding it.  But hey, we are getting somewhere :D 

 

OH and house hunting is oh so frustrating!!!  The home we found on the 4 acres.. well, they showed us the wrong map and the 4 acres are not the nicely wooded ones that we saw, but ones that are prone to flooding... So now we need to find out if this house has a history of flooding and if so, how bad.  We found a short sale, but it needs a new well.  We may wait for that to go into foreclosure and see if it goes for cheap.  Decisions, decisions. UGH!

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#11 of 37 Old 04-05-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Oh and Chely...emjoy your RnR with your hubby!!!

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#12 of 37 Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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Stanleymama - That's right, I remember discussing this before.  Yes that is mortgage-sized debt IMO and if it were me I'd put it in BS6.  Frustrating about the house situation - at least you learned about the flooding acres vs. wooded acres before you'd closed on the deal.

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#13 of 37 Old 04-06-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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Hi!

I posted at the very end of March.  I've been looking, trying to find a copy of Total Money Makeover, with no luck.  It is checked out of all the area libraries, the book store only had the workbook (and I'd rather not pay full price either), and the two I tried to buy through half.com got canceled due to not actually having the book in stock.  Geez.  We're on a hold list at the library, so who knows how long it will take to actually get a book.

 

Anyway.  We are down to paying off our last cc with a balance of $900, from having a total of 7 with balances averaging around $2000 each last year.  I expect to have our EF, finish off the CC and start working increasing our savings by August, but hopefully sooner depending on how dh's variable income works out.  We should also be able to drop our PMI just as soon as we finish up some DIY projects so we can get a new appraisal on our home done.  Mostly it is drywall finishing, trimwork and painting, with some flooring in the kitchen.  It will be DH's second job this summer, while he is off school.  We do have one school loan (just under $6000) and a second mortgage that I haven't quite decided when to tackle.  I think we need to save up for a new (to us) van purchase next year, as ours is 16 yo and slowly expiring, and our roof needs to be done before worrying about these rather small monthly payments.  

 

So, we are very close to BS3.  I'm excited to get there, as I like to save money but we have never been in the position to be able to do so in our whole marriage until now.


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#14 of 37 Old 04-08-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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Well... our finishing the baby EF plans have come to a halt as we are only getting paid half a pay check because the powers that be can not agree on a budget.  Hopefully they figure it out in the next week and a half so we get paid the first... if not we are SO screwed.


 


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#15 of 37 Old 04-13-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post

Well... our finishing the baby EF plans have come to a halt as we are only getting paid half a pay check because the powers that be can not agree on a budget.  Hopefully they figure it out in the next week and a half so we get paid the first... if not we are SO screwed.


 


Do y'all work for the federal government?  wink1.gif  Seriously, I'm sorry you've been thrown this curve ball.  Let us know if you need any help getting through the "so screwed" part.  greensad.gif

 


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#16 of 37 Old 04-13-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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I'm starting BS4 and have been lagging.  I don't have a first clue about shopping for a Roth IRA.  In my mind, a good IRA means as few fees as possible, but obviously I also want to get one that's reputable and without any other "hitches."

 

The other thing I struggle with is the investing angle.  I can be really critical of a lot of corporations and their practices.  I know from various anecdotes that "ethical," "green," and "socially conscious" investing hasn't yielded good returns.  (For example, I'd love to invest in wind power, but for all of the high-sounding optimism about it, it hasn't really taken off in the past few decades).  I have heard that sometimes investing in the crappier corporations can be a good thing because as a shareholder, you can call for change.  Something like this, maybe? 

 

Anyway, it seems that most of our posters are in BS 1-3, but I thought I'd ramble a little.  lol.gif


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#17 of 37 Old 04-13-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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Thankfully it sounds like we *should* be getting our full paycheck on the 15th.. And as long as they approve the budget that is on the table we are good for now.  My husband is Army and he is our sole paycheck so... yeah, him not getting paid would be really problematic!!  Still not sure if we will be adding anything to savings this pay period due to some extra RnR expenses but at least nothing is going on a CC!!


 


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#18 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm assuming no news is good news with everyone.

 

Not much going on here. We're spending like crazy as we settle in, but thankfully it's also been a month with lots of extra income coming in. I'm certain things will slow down in May (April saw a move, a change in weather, and a new job!).


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#19 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I just joined last month, but wanted to say that I sent in the last car payment last week, so we officially own our 2 cars free and clear! Moving on to the last debt in the snowball, before the big one (student loan). Yippee! Another positive note is that we have saved enough at the same time for our summer activities, including a road trip. I know you're not supposed to do stuff like that in the DR plan, but we've modified it to suit our needs/wants.


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#20 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post

Thankfully it sounds like we *should* be getting our full paycheck on the 15th.. And as long as they approve the budget that is on the table we are good for now.  My husband is Army and he is our sole paycheck so... yeah, him not getting paid would be really problematic!!  Still not sure if we will be adding anything to savings this pay period due to some extra RnR expenses but at least nothing is going on a CC!!


 



Glad to hear this! My bro is NG & was concerned about this due to the many families he knows that would be affected.


Mom "D" to DD1 "Z" (14) and DD2 "I" (11) DH "M"

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#21 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 05:44 PM
 
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I would like to live debt free and have read the total money makeover.

thumb.gif

 

 

I am having trouble with baby step number one. If you're totally overextended how do you come up with a thousand dollar emergency fund? I mean if we all had an extra thousand, would we need a money makeover? It's been a few weeks and I have managed to put $117 towards the $1000. It would have been $494 but I had to give $377 to the IRS.

 

My other question is, how do you make a budget? In his book he says make a budget but doesn't tell you how to do that. I asked my DH for help with that but he's just as clueless as me. I feel like our success in becoming debt free depends on a solid budget but I just don't even know where to start.

 

Help!  help.gif


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#22 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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double post


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#23 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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I would like help with this, too.  I'm still waiting to get a copy of TMM.  I've looked everywhere locally and can't get it.  I don't want to buy it new+shipping online, but when I tried to buy it at half.com, the three I tried to order were actually not available.  Dh just got paid, so I should look again.  But, I'm really disappointed to hear it doesn't help with the budgeting.  I thought it would.  Should we create a new thread?  I wonder if more people would see and comment?

 

Last year when I started working on our debt, I was able to use our tax refund to get going.  Sounds like you don't have that advantage.  If you would have had almost $500 for your savings this month, will you be able to accumulate that again next month?  That will go a significant way toward it.  So much of this process comes down to patience and persistence.


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#24 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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If I recall correctly, there are budget forms in the back of My TMMO - which should help give you a framework for what goes on your budget.  There are also a lot of free resources on daveramsey.com - here are some links to get you started:

 

Here's a copy of his Gazelle Budget Lite - Gazelle Budget Lite

 

Read through the New to Dave? and Budgeting sections on this link: http://www.daveramsey.com/category/tools/

 

trekkingirl - for many, BS1 is more difficult than BS2.  The idea is to sell anything you can, cut your budget down to the bare minimums etc and just build it as quickly as you can.  To answer your question yes if we all had an extra thousand we'd need a money makeover - the idea is to have an extra several thousand in sinking funds, in a fully funded emergency fund, etc.  

 

After reading through the links, please ask if you still have budget questions.  The main idea is that you tell your money to go before the month begins, by writing everything down, instead of looking back and seeing where it went.  So for May you'd budget $400 for food and groceries instead of looking at your account on May 31st and realizing you spent $450.  You give every dollar of your income a name and follow it.  It takes several months to nail it down but once you do, things get so much easier!  

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#25 of 37 Old 04-18-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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thanks for the links mytwoas

 

I guess I'm still lost about making the budget. I can write a list of all my bills and the totals fine. But what about everything else? How do I know how much to budget for gas, food, little things that come up like holidays, and everything inbetween? For example if I budget $400 for food but run out of meals and have to shop again? Do all these variable categories have their own checking account? If not, wouldn't they dip into eachother? Also I get paid every other thurs and DH gets paid every thurs so in the beginning of the month we don't even have the funds yet. Does that matter?

 

I did see the budget form in the back of the book but it didn't make any sense to me or DH.

 

if you budget x amount for fuel how do you know if you've met that number? Since I haven't been able to work out a budget I have really only bought gas and food and paid my bills. Anything left in the bank when the next check comes I dumped into emergency fund. Is that a bad idea?


living with alopecia universalis (google it), learning alongside my children DD 2003blahblah.gif DS 2007fencing.gifDD 2011jog.gif

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#26 of 37 Old 04-19-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

thanks for the links mytwoas

 

I guess I'm still lost about making the budget. I can write a list of all my bills and the totals fine. But what about everything else? How do I know how much to budget for gas, food, little things that come up like holidays, and everything inbetween? For example if I budget $400 for food but run out of meals and have to shop again? Do all these variable categories have their own checking account? If not, wouldn't they dip into eachother? Also I get paid every other thurs and DH gets paid every thurs so in the beginning of the month we don't even have the funds yet. Does that matter?

 

I did see the budget form in the back of the book but it didn't make any sense to me or DH.

 

if you budget x amount for fuel how do you know if you've met that number? Since I haven't been able to work out a budget I have really only bought gas and food and paid my bills. Anything left in the bank when the next check comes I dumped into emergency fund. Is that a bad idea?


The first step to budgeting is actually just tracking. Some people, who don't have an urgent need to restrain their spending, merely go about their lives for a month and just track every dime they spend. Then they can examine it and say "wow, I can't believe how much we spend on ____, we can definitely improve that."

 

But if you have an urgent need to restrain spending immediately, you can also draw up a budget the best you can, and adjust it from there. If you find that you simply can't keep your groceries within $400, then you will just have to adjust it - but you would want to at least try to keep spending down. After a month or two you can get a pretty good feel for your usual needs for gas, food, etc., and see where your holes are. Obviously gasoline to commute to work, for example, is not really negotiable; but by virtue of tracking and budgeting your fuel you may start combining shopping trips or thinking twice before driving 30 minutes to a restaurant, etc. Awareness goes a long way all by itself.

 

Categories - you have some options. I'm sure some people have separate checking accounts, but that seems excessive to me. Another option is the cash envelope method - take out the amount you need for a category for a month (or week, or pay period, whatever) and put it in an envelope. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you can put the envelopes in your wallet or purse, or you can keep them at home and just pull them out as needed. You will know exactly what you have at all times. Another option is to record your spending in some manner - the old "keeping the books" method. So all the money is in one account but you write down that $400 is allocated to food. You spend $75, write it down, and note that you have $325 remaining.

 

A very convenient method is www.mint.com. It's a free budget application, and it's a godsend for me because I don't have to go crazy recording everything, and my husband can spend money without reporting it to me. If you set up your accounts (checking, savings, credit cards, mortgage, whatever) then the system will record all your transactions. You cannot MAKE any transactions whatsoever from mint (so nobody can hack your accoutn and move money around) - you can only SEE them. So when DH goes to the grocery store and spends $41.02 with the debit card, as soon as it posts (within hours in most cases, sometimes within minutes) I see the transaction. I have a Groceries budget category and this transaction will automatically go into it. I'll see a bar graph showing how much I have allocated for the month vs how much I've spent. So I know exactly where we are every single day. There's even a line showing how much money would be spent as a percentage of how far into the month we are (so if we're halfway through the month, we should be about halfway through the budget for the groceries category).

 

As for your method of how to save (at the end of the month, save whatever is left over), a lot of people say you should pay yourself first. And there is real merit to that advice, but it assumes you have a decent amount of disposable income. So if you're blowing $200 on lattes (this is the standard example for things people throw their money away on) then you should really just save that and forget the latte habit. Some people indeed look at a bank account and think "hey, we have enough, let's just go out to dinner tonight." It's better to just save the amount right off the bat so that it's not tempting you. For me, this isn't the case; we don't spend our money on any extras. So I do indeed just get through the month and whatever is left over gets put into our sinking funds and emergency fund.

 


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#27 of 37 Old 04-19-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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Budgeting really is trial and error (for me anyways). Track, draw up a plan, and hold on to your socks. Somewhere in TMM Dave states that having a budget is like having a path to follow. Even if you stray from the path, you're still typically heading in the right direction instead of wandering aimlessly.

 

Even if you blow your budget, knowing that you're straying gets you WAY further than paying no attention to where it's all going.

 

I get paid monthly and DH gets paid bi-weekly. This was a pain in the butt until we pulled up our socks and got a month ahead. It wasn't easy, but now we take out everything for the month coming up, while whatever comes in sits in the acct until needed next month.


Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#28 of 37 Old 04-19-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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thanks guys your replies were really helpful to me. DH has expressed to me that he's not ready to do a budget yet. I really like mint but he is afraid of fraud. So I guess as of now, we are just living a rough budget that's not on paper. I hope were successful in our efforts. I need him on board and I am really proud of the way he has totally halted his spending. He even brought a lunch to work last week. That is HUGE for him. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to do this.


living with alopecia universalis (google it), learning alongside my children DD 2003blahblah.gif DS 2007fencing.gifDD 2011jog.gif

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#29 of 37 Old 04-20-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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I haven't checked in for awhile.  Things were going along pretty well and we paid off one cc and  a good chunk of the other one.  And then this week happened...cat got sick, so $200 vet bill (and that's just the first visit), husband lost his work gloves (again), so $20 unexpected bill, well pump won't stop running (and we didn't know until the power bill showed up $80 more than last month),  bought a $25 part for it, but that didn't work, so had to call a professional today - looks like that bill will be $500-$1200.  Crap!  When it rains, it pours.  Thankful for the emergency fund, but we may run that dry before this is done.

 

 

Trekkingirl- If you don't want to use Mint, you can do it manually.  I set up my budget, monthly, in an Excel sheet.  I have a section for Expenses, with columns labeled 'bill', 'amount', 'actual' and 'balance'.  I also have a section for Income, with columns labeled 'payee', 'amount', 'actual' and 'balance'.

When I set up the sheet for the month (using the prior month's, but making any adjustments necessary), I fill in the bills and the budgeted amount; the payee and the expected amount.  I have a 'total' at the end of the Expenses and a 'total' at the end of the Income so I can make sure they are equal to each other.  Then as I reconcile my bank account (I do this every couple of days, online), I can keep a running balance in the 'actual' columns and set up an equation to figure the 'balance' column automatically.  If you're interested, I could email you a blank copy.


Raechel, mom to 3 boys (J-14, K-11, & T-8), car seat tech/instructor, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free cook, chicken-raising, wannabe gardener living on 5 acres.
 
 

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#30 of 37 Old 04-20-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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Thank you, MyTwoAs!  That link to the budget tool was perfect to get me kick started on my own budget.  We have a tool from Quicken through our Credit Union that I have been using to track finances for the last few months, so I had rough averages ready at my fingertips.  Of course, with our newly arrived twins, our averages are not exactly "average" in a few of the columns, so I guesstimated at an appropriate figure.  Dh looked it over and thought it looked workable to him.  We also have an added complication of a slightly variable income.  We'll put it into practice starting next paycheck and see how it goes. thumb.gif


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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