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Old 07-28-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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How do you do your budget?

I need to lock down a solid WRITTEN budget. How do you do your budget? What are the pros/cons of your system?

I would especially love to hear from those with variable income.

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Old 07-28-2015, 03:53 PM   #2
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Re: How do you do your budget?

I don't budget but here's what we do.
Honestly, I don't understand budgets (and I'm good with money). Prices change (ie:gas) or some months I need more then others. Water bills and electric are things I don't understand how people budget for. So with that said this is what we do and it works really well.

We get paid two times a month. So each time I take out half our mortgage and move it to an account we pay it from. Then I have our bills split the best I can. Some i pay at the beginning if the month some I pay in the middle of the month. I keep the same schedule but worked it out so it's about the same amounts. That way I'm not uneven in amount going out.

Then I pull cash out for DH and I- this is gas money, coffee money, spending money. When we are out- that's it. I meal plan and always make a list for the grocery store. So most trips are the same. Give or take a bit for if we run out of the things you don't buy all the time.

Then the rest of the money sits in the account. Right before we get paid again I throw all the extra money at debt or in saving and start again.

It's not a budget but it works really well for us!



ETA- I forgot to add that after we take mortgage out we take out saving and church money. So we save 20-30% then 10% to donate. Then we pay bills and buy groceries from the rest. Hope that makes sense
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Old 07-28-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
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Re: How do you do your budget?

We currently save the money all month. Then at the last check of the month I sit down and pay the bills. I have a graph with all bills listed on one side. Then each month gets a downward row.. When I initiate the payment I put 1 angled line through the box for that month. When it processes through the bank I cross the first line in the box. So no lines means needs to be paid. 1 line means processing, 2 lines means paid in full. Once the bills have all processed out we determine how much is transferred to savings and how much we can spend either on fun things or on extras around the house.

Positive is, I know the bill are all paid. No forgetting anything as it is all taken care of at the same time.

Negative is, we have to really control our spending. Just because the account looks high does not mean we have money to spend. Of course it can be seen as a positive as controlling spending is a good thing. For us it can be hard. We are jot good with money. So it has become a learning tool for us.
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kushie tushie
I don't budget but here's what we do. Honestly, I don't understand budgets (and I'm good with money). Prices change (ie:gas) or some months I need more then others. Water bills and electric are things I don't understand how people budget for. So with that said this is what we do and it works really well. We get paid two times a month. So each time I take out half our mortgage and move it to an account we pay it from. Then I have our bills split the best I can. Some i pay at the beginning if the month some I pay in the middle of the month. I keep the same schedule but worked it out so it's about the same amounts. That way I'm not uneven in amount going out. Then I pull cash out for DH and I- this is gas money, coffee money, spending money. When we are out- that's it. I meal plan and always make a list for the grocery store. So most trips are the same. Give or take a bit for if we run out of the things you don't buy all the time. Then the rest of the money sits in the account. Right before we get paid again I throw all the extra money at debt or in saving and start again. It's not a budget but it works really well for us!
yeah I'm good with money too but DH is not. I need to understand the nitty gritty of a written budget. Because of our current some things are very easy but that. Won't last forever. I feel like this is the time to really get a handle on it so when it becomes more complicated I'm comfortable budgeting.

So like right now our utilities are part of our tent. That is awesome for budgeting. Things like gas seem harder. I mean gas is ranging from $2.14 to over $4 over the last years. It can fluctuate $.60 a gallon in a day!
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: How do you do your budget?

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Originally Posted by kushie tushie View Post
I don't budget but here's what we do.
Honestly, I don't understand budgets (and I'm good with money). Prices change (ie:gas) or some months I need more then others. Water bills and electric are things I don't understand how people budget for. So with that said this is what we do and it works really well.

We get paid two times a month. So each time I take out half our mortgage and move it to an account we pay it from. Then I have our bills split the best I can. Some i pay at the beginning if the month some I pay in the middle of the month. I keep the same schedule but worked it out so it's about the same amounts. That way I'm not uneven in amount going out.

Then I pull cash out for DH and I- this is gas money, coffee money, spending money. When we are out- that's it. I meal plan and always make a list for the grocery store. So most trips are the same. Give or take a bit for if we run out of the things you don't buy all the time.

Then the rest of the money sits in the account. Right before we get paid again I throw all the extra money at debt or in saving and start again.

It's not a budget but it works really well for us!
We have our utilities on budget billing. So that stays the sam. Then we actively work to keep our bills lower than that.

When we had a separate water bill I budgeted for the higher end. We ranged between $160-180 so I always budgeted for $180.

For gas I know how many miles we average a month. Then I estimate how much money we need based off of the higher end I of where gas prices have been. Better to have extra money than not enough.

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Old 07-28-2015, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by qsefthuko
We currently save the money all month. Then at the last check of the month I sit down and pay the bills. I have a graph with all bills listed on one side. Then each month gets a downward row.. When I initiate the payment I put 1 angled line through the box for that month. When it processes through the bank I cross the first line in the box. So no lines means needs to be paid. 1 line means processing, 2 lines means paid in full. Once the bills have all processed out we determine how much is transferred to savings and how much we can spend either on fun things or on extras around the house. Positive is, I know the bill are all paid. No forgetting anything as it is all taken care of at the same time. Negative is, we have to really control our spending. Just because the account looks high does not mean we have money to spend. Of course it can be seen as a positive as controlling spending is a good thing. For us it can be hard. We are jot good with money. So it has become a learning tool for us.
this won't work for how DH operates. He is going to need very separate, fool proof fun money. He eats out too much, goes out with friends and has beers, AnD he is a gamer ( :eyesrollout: ) and gaming is ridiculously expensive. That's a whole other rant though about grown people spending hours a day playing video games and the video game industry freaking gouging people out of money. He doesn't buy tons of game stuff but games are extremely expensive and there is some kind of monthly/yearly fee just to own the damn thing
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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Re: How do you do your budget?

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this won't work for how DH operates. He is going to need very separate, fool proof fun money. He eats out too much, goes out with friends and has beers, AnD he is a gamer ( :eyesrollout: ) and gaming is ridiculously expensive. That's a whole other rant though about grown people spending hours a day playing video games and the video game industry freaking gouging people out of money. He doesn't buy tons of game stuff but games are extremely expensive and there is some kind of monthly/yearly fee just to own the damn thing
I would set aside a game fund for him. Pull out a little each month. He can save it up and buy games or spend a little each month to keep up his subscriptions.... Or however it works. But that would be my solution to that.

DH likes to go the range. I make him spend his cash that is our gas and fun money.... Unless we need the ammo then it can come out of the account. If he's blowing (pun intended lol)... Then it comes out his cash!
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: How do you do your budget?

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Originally Posted by Fashionably Green Baby View Post
this won't work for how DH operates. He is going to need very separate, fool proof fun money. He eats out too much, goes out with friends and has beers, AnD he is a gamer ( :eyesrollout: ) and gaming is ridiculously expensive. That's a whole other rant though about grown people spending hours a day playing video games and the video game industry freaking gouging people out of money. He doesn't buy tons of game stuff but games are extremely expensive and there is some kind of monthly/yearly fee just to own the damn thing
Yeah, it has been a learning process for both of us. Neither of us are good with money so it has been a struggle. We should have more in savings than we actually have but we do have some. It also requires both of us to be willing to do this.
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:27 PM   #9
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We are debt free and don't really have a budget, but we aren't wild spenders. We have a set amount set aside each paycheck direct deposited into 2 different savings accounts by payroll deduction. We also have retirement and investments monies taken by payroll deduction.

On payday I pay the utilities that are due during that period. We pay electric, natural gas, water/sewer/garbage, cell phones, car insurance, storage unit (to keep my garage clean enough to park in the winter), cable, Internet, and Netflix. Home insurance and taxes are paid yearly out of savings from payroll deduct.

The rest goes to gas, food, and extras. We usually average $700-800+ on food every 2 weeks. Anything leftover by the next payday goes into our savings attached to our checking account. That savings is used for bigger "fun" items and vacations and weekend trips.
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Old 07-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #10
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I showed DH what he made last month (written out, straight from his work, indisputable ) and he was amazed that was the amount. Like he absolutely didn't believe it at first. Now, we are still low income but DH got a promotion and over the next couple of years out income will increase significantly. I want to buckle down now so that extra money doesn't get blown
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