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#1 of 10 Old 02-22-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I am trying to make a weekly budget for us to stay on. only my husband works and he brings home between 280 and 300 a week if we're lucky. Well have 650 in bills a month now we've paid off insurance. add in 75 for gas for two vehicles to the bills and I want to budget alcohol and eating out for my husband

Does anyone have any ideas/advice to get a budget going and to keep up with it and stay on track?
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#2 of 10 Old 02-22-2013, 12:13 PM
 
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For everyone, I think the first step to budgeting is to figure out where your money is going.  For us, that meant we tracked every cent spent for three months and put the spending into categories.  There are the obvious ones (rent, electricity), the ones you forget about (gifts, office supplies, etc...) and the ones that can be harder to categorize (is a purse clothing or personal? is going to mcdonalds entertainment or food?).

 

After doing that, look at those numbers and see what you think.  Some people have some really shocking categories that they determine they are NOT getting what they are spending (it's one thing to spend $500/month eating out if you *love* it and have the money, it's another if you're not even enjoying yourself and putting yourself in debt, kwim).

 

At your income, you should be getting quite a bit of governmental assistance (medicaid, food stamps and WIC at the very least).  Don't forget to include those in your budget!  If you are *not* getting that assistance, I would recommend your first step is going out and getting it--- that would give you quite a bit of breathing room in your monthly expenses (plus the safety that comes with having health insurance).

 

You've listed *some* expenses, but how is that going?  Do you have money left over each month?  Are you using credit cards?  Are you paying your bills/ having enough for necessities?


 

 

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#3 of 10 Old 02-22-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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yes,log in every expense...do you have excel?

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#4 of 10 Old 02-22-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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For me, personally, it works much better to budget a lump sum per week or per month rather than budgeting per category.

 

Here's how I do it...

 

1) First, I looked at my paystubs and wrote down both the net and the gross income per month.  My income fluctuates too, so I averaged out 12 months of checks to come to the usual amount per month.

 

2) I spent an entire day composing a spreadsheet that includes the amount that I pay per month for the following:  tithing, rent, utilities (averaged past 12 months to get a per month total), internet, phone, debts, insurance, car registration, and all other anticipated predictable expenses.  For things like car registration, professional organization dues, magazine subscriptions, etc. that are paid once a year, I divided the amount per year by 12 so that I could get a monthly sum for it.

 

3) Then I wrote down my top 3 savings goals and decided how much, per month, I would like to dedicate specifically to those goals.  I set up separate savings accounts for those goals and the appropriate amount of money is automatically transferred into those accounts each month.

 

4) After all that information was gathered, I calculated out how much per month I can spend on the rest of life--food, gas, clothing, gifts, eating out, crafts, personal items, home decor, school supplies, pet treats, etc.

 

How it works on a day-to-day basis: I pay my tithing, rent, utilities, internet, and phone bill  with a bill pay service through my bank.  Everything else is paid for in cash.  It took a bit to get used to paying in cash, but I really like it now.  However, that cash is not divided out per category.  I give myself a lump sum per month.  So, some months I spend more on clothes, some months more on food, etc.  I found that I don't care so much about the category, but I do care about the total spent per month.  Instead of saying that I have (not actual numbers) $200 per month for groceries, $75 per month for gas, $25 per month for eating out, etc.  I just do a lump sum of $500 per month (again, not actual number).  I withdraw that amount of cash from the bank at the beginning of the month and then pay for everything in cash.  When it's gone, it's gone.  

 

Practical notes:  I keep the money divided up between three separate wallets (well, one is a wallet and the other two are zippered pencil holders).  Wallet #1 is stored at home and it has all of the cash for the month in it.  Wallet #2 is the wallet I carry with me every day.  I refill wallet #2 from wallet #1, as needed.  Wallet #3 is stored at home and it is where I put money for internet purchases.  When I buy something online (which I do frequently), I pay for it with my credit/debit card. Then I immediately take the corresponding amount of cash out of wallet #1 or #2 and put it into wallet #3.  Money in wallet #3 can not be touched!  At the end of the month, the money from wallet #3 is deposited back into the bank account.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-24-2013, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't have any credit cards thank fully. The main things it's spent on is bills, gas, eating out (mainly my husband for breakfast St and lunch) and alcohol. Occasionally when we shop for groceries I get my toddler a 97cent hot wheels car but that's about it. I want to cut out the eating out as much and the alcohol. We live pay check to pay check so we can't take money out except week. Im trying to get my husband to make breakfast as home and take a lunch with him. And I have talked to him about 40 a week on alcohol and no more. I do have excel. I made a sheet showing our bills and spending. I will Start writing down every thing we spend though, and see what we can cut out. I have to make my husband Starr bringing home every receipt too. Other than those I do get things for the house like sobbed, paper towels shampoo etc. but I only have to do this two or 3 times a month, usually 2 so I save money for a couple weeks to do it.

On excel, how can I put this all down and make a sheet that explains it?
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#6 of 10 Old 02-24-2013, 08:37 AM
 
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You don't even need to use Excel if you don't already know how, but it makes it easier to adjust as you can, and see the automatic totals updated, due to using formulas.  

 

You aren't very clear about your totals but here is how I would start.

 

Income:  $280/week              $1120/month

Bills:      $163/week                $650/month    (you should break these down into individual bills & be more specific)

Gasoline:  $20/week                $75/month

Food:

Household:

Insurance:                                                  (it made be paid off now, but when do you need to pay it again?)

Auto repairs:                                               (you should save up for oil changes, tires, wipers, repairs)

Clothing:                                                     (children & moms need clothing sometimes)

Holidays:

DH pocket money:                                       (budgeting so he can go to the bar is ridiculous, he needs to grow up - when do you get to have fun money and moms night outs?  Instead of bar time, he should get a p/t job)

 

Then you total up the columns, see what's left over and save what's left.

 

Do you not spend any money on food for yourself and the children?  

What other benefits do you get?

Do you really only spend $75 a month on gasoline?  wow!  I spend that a week on just my car! (sahm!)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20momoftwo View Post

Hi. I am trying to make a weekly budget for us to stay on. only my husband works and he brings home between 280 and 300 a week if we're lucky. Well have 650 in bills a month now we've paid off insurance. add in 75 for gas for two vehicles to the bills and I want to budget alcohol and eating out for my husband

Does anyone have any ideas/advice to get a budget going and to keep up with it and stay on track?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20momoftwo View Post

We don't have any credit cards thank fully. The main things it's spent on is bills, gas, eating out (mainly my husband for breakfast St and lunch) and alcohol. Occasionally when we shop for groceries I get my toddler a 97cent hot wheels car but that's about it. I want to cut out the eating out as much and the alcohol. We live pay check to pay check so we can't take money out except week. Im trying to get my husband to make breakfast as home and take a lunch with him. And I have talked to him about 40 a week on alcohol and no more. I do have excel. I made a sheet showing our bills and spending. I will Start writing down every thing we spend though, and see what we can cut out. I have to make my husband Starr bringing home every receipt too. Other than those I do get things for the house like sobbed, paper towels shampoo etc. but I only have to do this two or 3 times a month, usually 2 so I save money for a couple weeks to do it.

On excel, how can I put this all down and make a sheet that explains it?
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#7 of 10 Old 02-24-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He doesn't go to the bar. And we've talked about him getting a pt job but he works 50 hours as it is and doesn't have.time or a way to cause his schedule always changes my daughter has sooo many clothes she can't wear all of en and for the moment my son.is ok. But I want to be able to have to money when time comes for him to need them I have clothes, usually from my aunts and cusins but like I said the reason for the budget is to save up and have money for things like this. We get wic and fs 250. and I just meatt how should I lay it all out so get a good view of what's spent and what's not etc. but you explained it lol thanks! Btw
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#8 of 10 Old 03-03-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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Budgeting is a great tool that can help you realize where all that money is going. So I would like to point out to you that you have 2 kids, no savings and 15% of your entire budget is being spent on alcohol. I would say that you need to practice obstaining until you have a safety net. If this doesn't sound possible I think there might be a problem.

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
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#9 of 10 Old 03-03-2013, 02:54 PM
 
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You get $250/mo in food stamps, then turn around and "try to talk him down" to spending $40/week on alcohol? Plus he eats out? That's $160/mo just on alcohol! You don't get food stamps to be able to afford booze, especially with zero savings and two kids who depend on you.

 

As for budgeting I totally agree with excel, I have mine set up so it's easy to manipulate and such for variable expenses. Some people prefer just paper and pen. The medium doesn't matter so much.

 

I prefer to do mine with necessary expenses first (rent, utilities, etc), then other expenses (food, gas, personal money, etc), then savings (car maintenance saving, boys savings and our savings). Start with our pay amount on the left and subtract each expense as I go across with the running total on the bottom.

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#10 of 10 Old 03-03-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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1-Apr Rent Insurance Car MIL Electric Water Food/Diapers
$1,920.00 $675.00 $125.00 $417.00 $200.00 $200.00 $75.00 $220.00
  $1,245.00 $1,120.00 $703.00 $503.00 $303.00 $228.00 $8.00
               
15-Apr Phone Xmas Fund Maintenance Kids Jars * Card Gas Food
$1,150.00 $260.00 $90.00 $60.00 $21.00 $133.00 $300.00 $280.00
  $890.00 $800.00 $740.00 $719.00 $586.00 $286.00 $6.00

 

So the purple is our pay dates/amounts. Expenses are listed with the amounts under them and under that is a cell with a formula subtracting the expense from the total to the left so it keeps track and I can adjust the amounts easily. This is just an example.


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