Budgeting Tools? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where to post this so I'll cross-post in a couple of places.

DH and I are going to have to get on a serious budget! I have gone down to part time and we've been spending like I'm still at full time. Thankfully we had a little nest egg that we saved up but we're going through it like wild fire. NOT GOOD! I need to come up with a managable way to track expenses and get on a budget so we're not depleting our little savings.

I am sure other mamas have faced this and I thought rather than reinvent the wheel I'd ask how you did it. It has to be something that can be managed in relatively little time since I'm already drowning in mama duties, housework, regular work, and life and I can't add anything too cumbersome to my existence.

Any advice or pointers on how you track it all would be super.

Thanks!!!

First and foremost, Mama to Owen blahblah.gif (7/21/04), Annalieseenergy.gif  (7/29/09), and somebody new bigeyes.gif  (due Feb 2012), and wife to Andrew (9/12/98). Also passionate about and loving the work I do in Organizational Development.

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#2 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 05:04 PM
 
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I really like Microsoft Money 2004. It came in the software bundle on my new computer, and its great. You can track your expenses, create a budget, see graphs of where your money goes, and print out end-of-the-year statements that you can use while preparaing your taxes. I have also used Quicken, and its great too. Do you have a program that came with your computer? I think alot of them are pretty similar and might get you going in the right direction.

Good Luck!
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#3 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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I should add, that with the programs I mentioned above, I use it like my checkbook register. That is, when I write a check, I record it here as well as any debit transactions. Hope what I have written makes sense.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-03-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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I just made a really simple spreadsheet on Excel. It started as a checkbook register with all those sorts of headings but it's filled in IN ADVANCE with everything you are going to spend each month. It was utterly ridiculous to make budgets from someone else, it only made sense when I actually used the actual bills we were paying. I include anything we want down the road so it's also a wish list with real numbers for how much we need to get it. It really has made such a huge difference for me in feeling powerful with money. We still have nothing extra but at least I know exactly how much we have at any time (except when I don't update it for a week or 2 at a time, those are the times we get into trouble) and it's cool to see when we have extra I have a sample page I made up for some friends that I can email you if you want to see it.

When Ben was tiny, we had a meeting with a very fancy money guy (a reference from a good friend, this guy really only takes millionaires as clients but he met with us for free) and he told us first off that almost everyone has a rough money spot when they have their first baby and mom stops working, etc. That alone made me feel better and not so out of control insane. Then he told us to cut back as much as we could to get through the rough spot. Pay only minimums on credit cards, cut out any extra things like cable and cell phones, etc. Once you have extra, you can add them back in.

OH, and huge thing, CUT UP THE CREDIT CARDS!! We are paying the price for not doing this right now and if you can at all survive without credit, do it!

Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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