have budget, ?but how to manage cash flow? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 01-30-2006, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a budget, but my problem is designation of checks as they come in (between dh and I, we have a check coming in every Fri). and how to make sure there is enough money at the end of the month.

For those of you who are about to suggest Quicken or some kind of spreadsheet, I prefer to do this on paper as I cannot always get to a computer. I have a Budgetmap book which is essentially the "envelope system" but on paper in a checkbook. One problem is as of the end of this month dh will start a different job, and for both of us our incomes will vary WILDLY paycheck to paycheck...so as of now I cannot, for dh at least, even guess as to the least amount he would make and budget according to that. I can sorta guess for myself so that helps.

I was thinking of taking the really crucial expenses like rent, truck payment/mateinance and insurance, life insurance, utilities, monthly savings for those once a year expenses like my nursing lisence renewal, and grocery and dividing it by 4 to have a fixed weekly amount, and play a bit with the numbers for expenses such as entertainment, personal care like haircuts or chiropractor appointments, etc. My problem is where to find money too for all that stuff like kids clothes, etc.

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
"Beware the lollipop of mediocracy...one lick and you suck forever!"
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#2 of 6 Old 01-30-2006, 12:39 PM
 
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As another household with 2 self-employed/varying income folks, I hear ya! We set up our budget for bare minimums of what has to be paid every month and then put as many things as possible to be paid quarterly/annually instead like our life and homeowners insurance.

We each have a checking account for our businesses and for the household we each have an amount we need to put in each month that covers the monthly expenses. Then a % of each check that comes in we need to put into the "quarterly expenses" fund. It involves more accounts, but it lets us organize it so it works for us. Let's see if an example would help:

I get a check for $2000 for a project.
35% of it goes into the quarterly expenses account. (This covers self-employement taxes, life insurance, charity, basically everything that we don't pay monthly.)
The rest goes into my businesses checking account.
On the first and fifteenth of each month, I put $500 into the household checking account.
Once a quarter (when our taxes are due), we look at how much is in the quarterly expenes fund and pay insurance, send out checks for charity, etc.

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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#3 of 6 Old 01-30-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Well first I figured out our budget. What goes to what (even decide how much will be fun money, how much will go to savings, ect). Then we just keep our receipts and on a piece of paper track everything that we spent that month. I just take a blank piece of paper and draw some lines so that there are eight or so boxes on it. One box for bills, one for food, ect. Then we can check on ourselves at anytime, making sure that we haven't gone over on food or gas or anything. And it isn't complicated. We make the same amount every month though, so that helps make it easy.

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#4 of 6 Old 01-30-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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If you take the next lump bonus your family gets, like an earned income credit or something, and get yourself one month ahead. This means any paychecks received in March are designated for April budget.

We don't even deposit paychecks received on one month until the end of the month. Then we 1) take out cash for gas, groceries, school lunches, allowance, entertainment and small household things; 2) leave enough in the checking for bills and automatically deducted charity; and 3) move the non-monthly payments (year's total divided by 12) like car insurance, clothing, medical, car repairs, etc. into a different checking account (so we don't think we have "extra" money to spend).

Anything leftover goes into savings.

If you can get a month ahead, it makes ALL the difference in the world in the way you feel about having everything covered. No scrambling for the electric bill this week which is bigger than the water bill next week....
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#5 of 6 Old 01-31-2006, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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See the post below with the Canadian flag beside it. Thanks!

Tina, RN, wife-y to J, mom to dd (10) and ds (7)
"Beware the lollipop of mediocracy...one lick and you suck forever!"
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#6 of 6 Old 01-31-2006, 01:05 PM
 
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You've gotten some great advice here! Even though our income is pretty much the same every month, I'm going to try to incorporate these ideas into our budget. Thanks everyone!
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