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