Tackling Money Matters

I completely suck sometimes.  We have a new colt and I haven’t posted picks yet ( I just accidentally deleted them).  I can’t seem to get my computer to pull up 5minutesformom today so that I can copy their badge for Tackle It Tuesday but I am still going to share my tackle in progress.

 

I’m working on a budget.  It’s amazing that I have done this a dozen times over the last 5 or 6 years but this one makes me so nervous.  Why?  Maybe its because I really intend to follow it.

I am struggling a bit.  Off course I know exactly what to budge for most things, $550/house, $150/electricity, $25/internet etc. but the things that have got me stumped are things like groceries, gas, toiletries and diapers.  I have completely overhauled my shopping technique and it leaves me clueless on how much I should budget for.  Before my frugal spending makeover it was nothing for me to stop at the gas station on the way home and buy things for dinner, often paying 3 times what I would at the grocery store.  I never watched for sales or kept up with coupons.  I’m embarrassed to think of the money I wasted.

I need help.  How did you figure out your budget and what are your $ amounts?  How many are in your household?  Do you have any tips on being faithful to a budget?

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Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 8:49 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. We have been on a budget for the last 10 years. Start by writing down EVERYTHING you spend (or go back in your checkbook). This is time consuming, but once you have an average, make a list of all your expenses. All the leftover money goes into a misc. section. When you spend something that is more than anticipated or less, subtract or add it to your misc.

    This has been really successful for us. If there are raises or additional money, our misc. pile grows. If we have big expenses (like the flood we had in our backyard last week) we add a new column to save for fixing it or take it from our savings.

    Did this help? It’s tough right now because gas and food are going up faster than we can add!

  2. I actually read somewhere that Food Stamps are based on an average of $3.60 per person, per day. I swear, I can feed my whole family from that for one day. But, that wasn’t my point. If I was aiming for a budget, I would start with that figure, then try to BEAT it every week. I don’t do budgets though. Go figure. 🙂

    So, for you guys, I would budget around $101, then add a minimum of $1 a day for toiletries and such (household items) even though they aren’t using them, per se. That would give you another $28 a week to work with to stock up on feminine products, bathroom necessities, cleaning products, diapers, wipes, and what not. Actually, I probably spend more than that a week because I don’t HAVE a plan half the time, and wander around aimlessly just tossing things into my cart.

    I need to get on the ball from the looks of it. One week we should average at $97 for groceries and miscellaneous, according to that website. Hmm.. I can do that and then some. I should, would save us a ton of money!

    Or, do what the lady who posted above me did. I’m completely unorganized that way though, and would give up within the first week. Knowing that I have x amount to spend makes it much easier!

    Good luck!

  3. Ok. I budget diapers seperate from everything else. I have a budget of $40 a month for diapers for 2 kids. Really, I spend less than that but that includes wipes. And right now, I am not buying those at all because of the great deals at CVS on diapers and wipes that I got. But, I figured one large box of diapers for each boy each nmonth and that was my budget.

    For toiletries I budgeted only $25 a month. SOme months I spend nothing, some more. But an average is $25. And I usually cut that to way less with CVS. That includes feiminie products, tp, shampoo, soap, etc.

    Household goods I budgeted approx. $15 a month. For cleaners and clothes stuff. And that is usually less as well. But, if I find a good deal and stock up then I have the money budgeted.

    For food, I took what I had available each money and divided by 4 to get a weekly budget and that is what we stick to. Some weeks I am way less than that. I can usually do food only budget for one week for 5 people…. $30. But I keep a lot of stuff on hand and do not have to get it each week. I buy on sale and stock up when i find it. That puts me over some weeks. My budget is $60 a week. I try to cut it back as much as possible. But, I want a good stock of food in the house for those rough times.

    Budgeting is hard when you first start. i suggest setting an amount that you think is reasonable. And see how it goes for a couple weeks. You may need to adjust it as you see what is needed. You may need more budgeted for cleaners and less for toiletries. Or more for groceries but almost nothing for cleaners. Remember to leave a little wiggle room. Some weeks you may need more than other weeks.

    Try to budget in the fun money. I tried to put $20 a month for just fun stuff. That way I know we can go out to eat without any guilt one night without blowing the budget.

    According to Annie’s FS figures above, I should have a budget of $126 a week for groceries. Ha! No way could I eat that much food in a week. And also… btw… that is soooo not what the FS office gives us! LOL

  4. My husband and I joke that our budget is: Don’t Spend ANYTHING”

  5. I just talked to my husband about a budget as well. I am going to write down everything we spend for a month and see where it goes and what we need. Having just retired and doing it while we are young is going to make a big difference in our lives. I tend to help my kids way too much and then I have grandkids that I love to spend on. So this budget thing stinks! But it needs to be done. Maybe we could all do it together.

  6. Using the the Microsoft Excel speadsheet that my dh has set up to keep things “visable”…is a major part of our budgeting…this causes us to “SEE” what is going out and preserve better what’s coming in.

    KEY TIP: PUT YOUR BUDGET WHERE YOU SEE IT DAILY.

    I once heard it said by a Christian Financial Advisor on the radio, “God only Blesses or entrust us with what we will honorablely take care of”…Ouch!

    Believeing this is true, I am more aware of planning errands and days of shopping much better.

    MIT: PRAY that the Lord will lead you to take care of what HE has given.

    Hope this helps…

  7. I need to pick up some tips here. I have no budget, and it shows. I’m continually amazed at how much I spend at the store, even times when I think I’ve stuck to the bare bones–no Little Debbie’s or crackers or things like that. Ok, so yeah, I don’t have any tips for you.
    Sarah


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