Budgeting/saving? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2005, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have any budgeting tips? DH & I are trying to budget, save for a house, get an emergency cash fund, and get our credit score up. We met with a morgage broker on Monday and a financial advisor on Tuesday. My credit score is 490 (dragged down due to late credit card payments), and DH has no credit whatsoever. We made about $37,000 last year. And our tax refund checks should arrive in May sometime. Rent is $550/mo. We have no car payments, but our car is old and I'm worried that we may need to buy a new one or make major repairs on this one in the future. This is why I'd like to have an emergency cash fund as soon as possible.

Any tips? Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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Run out and buy (or borrow from the library) Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover." It will get you started on budgeting. A large part of budgeting is keeping track of your past expenses (I do mine on Microsoft Money) so that you can know what expenses to expect in the future.

You could also take a look at the book "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez and Robin...
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Old 04-01-2005, 01:54 PM
 
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Another good one is "Automatic Millionaire." I found that even though we were doing many of the things it suggested, it was a very good reminder.

The biggest things I found to help with budgetting were:

1) Lists for when shopping. We (my husband and I) also ask ourselves a lot of
do we really need this type of questions. We have a tendency to walk a
way from something and see if it pulls us back.

2) We found our "latte" factor. We stopped eating out. We did not do this for
budgetting and saving concerns but because we were upset with the quality
of the food out and the service out. Not eating out has allowed us to save
more, do more extras that we felt we did not have the money for before
(ballet, rennaissance faires), and just feel much more in control of our money.

I hope some of this helps.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:09 PM
 
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The best suggestion I have is the following:
when depositing your checks into the bank, AUTOMATICALLY TRANSFER A DETERMINED PERCENTAGE OF IT TO YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT.

I'm a single mama saving for a home, an emergency fund, and possibly an adoption This was the single most effective way that helped me save several thousand dollars. I'm now looking for a home!

I always deposited $$ at the atm and automatically transfered the same amount of $$ into my savings acct, depending on what I made (since I was able to work pt and increase my hours as ds grew).

I also thought of it not just as savings for 'bad' emergencies, but also 'good' emergencies like a big trip or other fun opportunity.

Regarding frugality, I'm the queen. But I think a big chunk of folks' budgets goes to more expensive processed foods and other smaller items (chips, magazines, etc.). Buying staples saves you $$ and teaches you how to cook deliciously. And it gets easier to decide on purchases when you can compare the satisfaction of buying this or that small thing OR getting into a house you can paint, grow your own garden, etc.

Good luck

Rebecca, single mama to intact Junebug 6/01, Daughter of the King!
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Old 04-01-2005, 09:41 PM
 
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Keep a budget. Knowing where your money goes and why is the number one step in my book!
Eating out kills us. So we try not to.
Emilie
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