have budget, ? how to manage cash flow and use cash - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-30-2006, 03:07 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. (I have been horrible at keeping it up lately and need to get better!) 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, Visa bill payment (! ), 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. If we are short that pay I guess we are short for those "little things". My problem is where to find money too for all that stuff like kids summer clothes that is coming up too.

I also want to use cash more. Currently we fill envelopes monthly for gas, and entertainment money for dh and I individually and for us as a family (to rent movies for example) I am debating groceries too and that is a big step for me. Anyone here use cash for just about everything? (I mean for stuff that doesn't take a check like rent or come out automatically like our vehicle payment or life insurance)? I am thinking I need to do this even for other expenses as it is too easy to use the debit card and overspend especially on groceries and this combined with my tendency lately to procrastinate using my Budgetmap book has made things tight.

How do you all use cash? Do you go to the bank weekly? Do you have alot of envelopes around?

And regarding the cash flow, do you divide the amount by 4 like I talked about above? Is this even going to work with my and dh income varying so widely week to week? I can take home up to 350-400.00 less than my previous pay sometimes depending on how many shifts I work, that's how much my income varies!

Any hints, anyone! Thanks to all who have read this long post!

Tina, crazy-canuck-Canadian mama to Stephanie (5) and Jonathan (2) and partner to dh James

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 3 Old 01-30-2006, 09:58 AM
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Just wanted to say that dh has been self-employed for the last year, and it has taken some time for us to get a handle on managing an irregular paycheck. As a result, we really backslid this last year (didn't acquire debt but didn't save anything when we clearly could have done so). So now what we're doing is having dh write a take-home pay check from his business the last day of each month. It is always for the minimum amount we expect him to earn. If he makes more than expected one month, he will issue a second lump-sum check to go into savings. This way, we have planned monthly expenses based on a low estimate of what we will take in.

In your case, I would plan a budget around a lowball figure and then if you make more that month, automatically put the rest into savings. If you have a particularly bad month in terms of income, you can always draw on cash savings.

Okay, I just re-read your post and see that you will get paychecks weekly. If at all possible, I would try to save these until the end of the month and treat them as one big paycheck. Honestly, getting paid only once a month has helped tremendously with our frugality.

Hope this helps a bit.

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#3 of 3 Old 01-31-2006, 01:28 PM
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I don't have any other advice, but I go to the bank on paydays and take out as much as we need for groceries, gas, entertainment in cash for that pay period.
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