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-   -   How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1464095)

mistylynn313 11-15-2012 09:30 PM

How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
Dh and I have a good budget going for us but we consistantly fail on things like clothes, appliances, furniture, etc. Things that are not regular "need" items but things that we do eventually need to spend money on. When we started budgeting we would do $xx per week or month but then we'd end up using the money for something that came up unexpectedly because we needed to pay for new glasses or something else. Then we took out the clothes catagory altogether with the rationale that "we don't need clothes that often". Well, obviously we do need clothes, especially with one, soon to be two, daughters. I wear scrubs to work but only work part time so I don't need many scrubs, Dh has work uniforms, the money for which comes out of his paycheck directly.

Then appliances and furniture. We've almost always had craigslist or hand me down furniture and we're happy with that, but it still does cost a little bit of money. Our stove, the oven actually, is starting to act up often enough that I know we'll have to replace it sooner or later. What tips do you mamas have for budgeting for things like this? I do really well on regular, predictable things, but not so good on the irregular things.

I would love any and all advice!

Rdesonia 11-15-2012 10:08 PM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
I have a separate account for my mad $. In that account I get the diaper $ (which I don't buy diapers as I have enough), kids clothing $, my personal spending $, and grocery $. It's flexible as it is separate from our bill $ that is in our joint account. I can "save" it or spend it as I see fit. I usually buy clearance/sales at the end of the season in the size I guess my DS will be the following year (like sweatshirts, t-shirts- jeans) . I usually save up and buy a majority of his clothing (like jeans and new shoes) before school starts. I make a majority of DD's clothing. I make DS's pjs. I and DH do not have clothing allowances. We would use our personal spending $ if we wanted to buy something. (I did get extra $$ to buy maternity clothes when I was pregnant. We took it out of our tax refund.)

We have a emergency rainy day fund. This is for things like car repairs, appliances, etc.

Computermama 11-15-2012 10:17 PM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
The way I do irregular things and things I want to save up for is set aside a certain amount in the budget to stick into savings for it. We have savings accounts with ally, but apparently ING is very similar. They allow you to have a great many savings accounts that you can label. So for something like medical expenses, which for us is infrequent but sometimes large purchases like eye glasses, we figured out how much we spent on it last year, add a small %, and divide said number by 12, and then put that amount away every month. We do the same for computer stuff (we're big computer gamers, and they need constant updates), christmas spending, car maintenance, etc.

So like the christmas spending. We decided last january that we wanted to set aside 100 to spend on each of the kids, DH and myself, and we had to buy for 9 other extended family members, so we settled on a budget of $40 for each. That makes 760, so we actually rounded up to 900 in case other things came up that we wanted to do and pay for in that season like getting santa pictures done, divided by 12, and started putting 75 bucks away every month.

It does mean having to guesstimate, and some things have turned out to need more money - I'm unaccustomed to having to pay for car maintenace having had a mechanic at the family buisness for so long, so the $50/month we put away this year was SO not enough since I wanted it to cover everything from new wipers and oil changes on up to repairs. But the only way to learn is to try it out and see how it works.

Ariomi 11-15-2012 10:23 PM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
Me and DH were JUST talking about this issue. I've enjoyed reading so far, can't wait to hear how others do it too. Subbing!

isabelsmummy 11-16-2012 12:58 AM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rdesonia (Post 15938750)
I have a separate account for my mad $. In that account I get the diaper $ (which I don't buy diapers as I have enough), kids clothing $, my personal spending $, and grocery $. It's flexible as it is separate from our bill $ that is in our joint account. I can "save" it or spend it as I see fit. I usually buy clearance/sales at the end of the season in the size I guess my DS will be the following year (like sweatshirts, t-shirts- jeans) . I usually save up and buy a majority of his clothing (like jeans and new shoes) before school starts. I make a majority of DD's clothing. I make DS's pjs. I and DH do not have clothing allowances. We would use our personal spending $ if we wanted to buy something. (I did get extra $$ to buy maternity clothes when I was pregnant. We took it out of our tax refund.)

We have a emergency rainy day fund. This is for things like car repairs, appliances, etc.

This is pretty much what I do.
I do take out all the non negotiable things from our income (including savings) and then whatever is left over is for whatever we want that month whether it is a new piece of furniture, clothes or a day trip etc.. Big things like vacations I include in the monthly savings.

mistylynn313 11-16-2012 02:36 AM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by isabelsmummy (Post 15938961)
This is pretty much what I do.
I do take out all the non negotiable things from our income (including savings) and then whatever is left over is for whatever we want that month whether it is a new piece of furniture, clothes or a day trip etc.. Big things like vacations I include in the monthly savings.

I like this idea, but I don't think it would work for us... I think we're the kind of people who need a more strict plan. Otherwise the money would get spent the way we've been spending it - on things we want but don't need. We do best when we have specifics. $xx for this and $xx for that. Otherwise the money tends to get spent a little on this and that...

Computermama 11-16-2012 07:33 AM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mistylynn313 (Post 15938999)
I like this idea, but I don't think it would work for us... I think we're the kind of people who need a more strict plan. Otherwise the money would get spent the way we've been spending it - on things we want but don't need. We do best when we have specifics. $xx for this and $xx for that. Otherwise the money tends to get spent a little on this and that...

This is us too, and the only thing that's worked for us is to have some put away into a savings account for each irregular category. If we just leave the money as "extra" it'll get spent on extra things. If it's not earmarked for something it vanishes. We're getting better, but it still happens.

jbug_4 11-16-2012 10:25 AM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
We have a set budget line and amount for clothes (we keep it in cash in an envelope)- it is further separated by dh clothes and me and kids. We will be adding a household line this coming year (for sheets, towels, small appliances, etc as needed) - it will also have a set amount going to it. Appliances and furniture we don't currently have anything set aside and probably won't- we might take household leftover money at the end of next year to start one though. Our furniture is 2 years old and our appliances are 1 year old so we don't have an immediate need for either. We are also adding a tool fund to next years cash envelopes- dh is remodeling our house and does a lot wood working, all our maintenance (cars and house). Twice this year he has needed a tool and ended up taking the money out of our remodel fund- he estimated to the dollar how much he would need for our remodel and we split our monthly budget by that, it did not include tools. Luckily he was able to get some stuff on sale and changed some plans so the remodel fund didn't suffer. We're not taking that chance this coming year.

mrspopo 11-16-2012 05:04 PM

Re: How do you figure clothes, furniture, or other irregular items into your budget?
 
I have a certain amount for each mandatory bill and expense (including food). Then a big amount budgeted for my credit card (paid off each month). So anything that isn't a fixed expense goes on there. That means gas for my car, pet food, clothes, entertainment, eating out, registering a car at the DMV, cleaning supplies, etc... all gets applied to my "misc" category. I don't like breaking it down any more than that even though gas and pet food occur each month, the amount will vary.

I'm really good about keeping track of it and knowing that certain months will have some big expenses so I'll have to skip out on extras. I'm good about planning ahead and spreading the big costs out. But sometimes that last week or few days I know I can't spend anything extra to stay under my monthly "misc" category budget. It takes a lot of planning ahead, but it works for me. This does not work for DH. He also has a certain amount he can put on his credit card (paid in full). And sometimes he goes over by 3x the amount! He'll point out that during the summer he had some months with practically nothing so it all evens out! Um no, not when I try to keep our spending under the same amount every month. Oh well. I've tried cash, or breaking down each category even more, but it just doesn't work for me. I also like racking up the reward points and getting cash back.

If something big happens then it's a little different. It looks like our water heater is dying. I haven't priced it yet, but I'm assuming it will be several hundred dollars to replace if replacing the $20 heating element doesn't fix it. I will cut down my misc spending as much as possible that month, but I will also have to borrow from myself (my savings account) to pay the difference (and work on paying myself back through my misc category). We do have a little bit of a buffer in the checking account too since not all months are the same and we don't account for any surplus... so we might use our buffer money if something big happens.


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