Household Budgeting

Submitted by goodnatured on Thu, 11/15/2007 - 02:38

How do you have your household budget set up?

Do you have a spreadsheet on the computer? Do you have it hard copy on paper? Do you keep track of all your savings with coupons? What do you do to keep track of your money?

I use a tablet to write everything done month to month, been thinking about using the software that came on my computer, but just can't get into the swing of it. I would rather sit down with my coffee on the couch and figure it all out. Go month to month.

I am gonna start writing down my coupons savings too, just to see how good I have done by the end of 3 months, 6 months and one year.

I have a small pocket note pad. Each expense I note down once it is done. thats a habit of mine. Now I have a fixed saving..around 45% of my earnings. So at the end of the month the remaining that is not used goes to the saving as well. Just that I do the maths in paper. For sure I have the spreadsheet to keep a detailed note but I have the written backup always.

I have saved on coupons and discounts which is just by chance. I have saved a lot on travel and now time to calculate total expenditure and savings. :)

Thu, 11/15/2007 - 03:52 Permalink

I guess if I write down what I save in coupons, it will just show me how expensive it is to really live. I have to write things down or sometimes I will overlook something important. I used to do the bill pay thing online with all my bills, now I just do it with my bills that take priority, like mortgage and utilities.

Thu, 11/15/2007 - 14:29 Permalink

Great ideas! we have an excel spread sheet that helps us to track expenses over the course of a year. now i do not write down little things and i really should, probably on a traditional notepad because our excel sheet only tracks necessary expenses i.e. insurance, rent payments, car, loans, etc.

never thought about writing down how much our coupons save. scared to death to do that, while on one hand it'll be nice to see how much we're saving, and we're avid coupon users, but also it'll be hard to see just how much it does cost to live!!!! and now with gas going up everything will go up and there's no end in sight for weeks :(

Thu, 11/15/2007 - 20:43 Permalink

:lol: why will you be scared for things you are doing? Come on face it. Initially I was scared as well but as I took upon budgeting and saving for family I have kept myself aware on how much we live upon. That helps me estimate whether we can cut out on some expenses which are completely unnecessary.
Future seems dull though with the rising price. Can we trust what Government is saying on fall of the prices all over again?

Fri, 11/16/2007 - 05:00 Permalink

heck no! I trust us :) and what we can do to prepare in case things get worse. not really scared i guess, it really is so expensive to live though. i can't even walk out of walmart for u nder $20 any more! while that's not a whole lot i guess it is for us.
I love scouring the ads weekly to see what's out there and comparing. i'll say that for our area, we have options to pick from and that's great before we could only shop at walmart and i thought we were saving all this money, in some cases we were, in many cases we weren't. they don't double coupons and rarely do they have sales that affect our family. there are select items like pedialyte (parents choice) that we get from walmart since it is far cheaper, baby wipes same way. our meats we get from our local store. so there's always things we can do to budget and we learn all the time!
Did you know that we can send our expired coupons to our military families? overseas i guess they can use coupons up to 6 months from the expiration date. awesome idea

Fri, 11/16/2007 - 23:35 Permalink

Hey debt I did not have any idea regarding this.expired coupons can be used my the military up to six months? What did you mean by overseas? I'm asking because I have coupons which i would like to send down then. At least someone will be able to use them. This is really great.

Sat, 11/17/2007 - 04:26 Permalink

I write it down in a tablet, staple my copy with the check or confirmation number on it to a page dedicated to that months bills, then if they say it isn't paid I have my proof right where I can find it. This has worked for me for years, once the year is out, the whole tablet with reciepts goes in my filing cabinet and I will keep it for 7 years,hee, hee, don't ask me about the 7 years, just seems like a safe time frame for me.

Sat, 11/17/2007 - 13:28 Permalink

stapling the reciepts and writing the check or confirmation numbers is an excellent idea. I usually through everything in a folder, but this would keep everything in order by month, great idea.

Sat, 11/17/2007 - 15:51 Permalink

Laura, let me try to find the addy again i should have written it down SEE DEBTSTINKER NOT TO SELF WRITE STUFF DOWN. in all seriousness, i was very happy to hear that we have that option. give me a little time and i'll find it for you i think it's a wonderful way that all of us coupon clippers can contribute. i don't know how many expired coupons i just threw out. take care, see all of you soon. happy saturday everyone!

Sat, 11/17/2007 - 15:57 Permalink

Edward W. Allen III
P.O. Box 7539
Columbia, MO 65205
(573) 304-4122

i hope our mods don't get upset, this is a really good program and i'm sure there are others out there

Sat, 11/17/2007 - 16:21 Permalink

Thanks for the expired coupon information, I just throw them away, I will write down this address and sent them off, I guess you could send all the current ones out of the weekly circulars that you don't use either, I throw alot of them away also. This is great informaiton. thanks

Sun, 11/18/2007 - 01:24 Permalink

you are very welcome. I know that there are other organizations out there, i was reading a forum and one post was from a woman who lives on a military base, where i'm not sure, i'm assuming in the states at this point. she was saying that when families have to move, it's very taxing both emotionally and financially so any help the can get is very appreciated and also used. I'm sure that the coupons you don't use whether expired or current will help others. PLUS I went to a duty free shop on base once in Germany and I was amazed that the prices, they were great. now not sure if they accept coupons but if they did that would help them even more!

Sun, 11/18/2007 - 16:57 Permalink

Thanks debt. That was great help. My parents are too happy to know this. :)

Mon, 11/19/2007 - 11:03 Permalink

Good morning everyone,
I am going shopping today at a food outlet that has some pretty good prices, it is aldis, I will stock up on my vegetables and other can goods. I have been there before and you can get some pretty good deals. You must take your own bags and pay a quarter for the grocery cart but the savings is well worth it.

Mon, 11/26/2007 - 11:33 Permalink

Da, I've heard of Aldis, when we lived in WV it was pretty big there, comparable to another chain that I can't think of just now. I can't remember if Aldis has brand name stuff? I wonder if there's something similar here in PA

Mon, 11/26/2007 - 13:56 Permalink

I really dont have much idea about Aldis. Any light upon it?

Tue, 11/27/2007 - 05:15 Permalink

aldi's is a warehouse type store, they carry lots of canned goods and boxed items, a little frozen and fresh vegetables, some household, but there main thing is the canned and boxed. You can save a ton there, they don't carry brand name items, but I have found that the brands they do carry is comparable to brand name in taste and quality. I usually get their weekly flyer emailed to me.

Sat, 12/01/2007 - 13:45 Permalink

I love aldi's too, I do some shopping there, mainly for canned vegetables and some boxed items. Never really buy any meat or fresh stuff there. When I go there I see alot of amish people in the store stocking up on their baking supplies, my little girl thinks they are cowboys, LOL. because of the hats they wear.

Sat, 12/01/2007 - 20:26 Permalink

You can get some great deals there, but don't forget you have to take you own bags or use the boxes in the store.

Good, that is way to funny that she thinks the amish are cowboys, because of their hats? Kids say the darndest things, don't they?

Sat, 12/01/2007 - 23:40 Permalink

I've heard of aldis but never went in there. I think it's great that you have to take your own bags. I studied art in Denmark and over there you hav eto take your own bags because they don't have plastic or paper for that matter. i loved it over there, very different but good way of life. they're focused on their families. In fact women can take a year PAID time off after they have a baby. could you imagine that in this country??
Good, that's cool that your little girl thinks that the Amish are cowboys. My parents live in a place where Amish work very hard on their farms and they are everywhere, we just have to watch not to hit thier horse and buggies when they get on the free way ( i kid you not) there's signs and everything that warn us of deer crossings, pedestrians, and amish

Sun, 12/02/2007 - 02:35 Permalink

I think they are trying to rebuild a war torn population right, I know when I was in Germany, they got a healthy pay to stay home and have kids to rebuild the population.

Hey desi, we don't need that pay to have kids encouragement here, LOL, omg, NO, we have enough already that don't want to work and support the kids they have, can you imagine what would happen if we paid them to have kids, their uterus would fall out.

I thought it was funny too that she thought the amish were cowboys, she is not very quiet about these comments either, they hear her, but she is only four, so I think they are a little forgiving.

Sun, 12/02/2007 - 07:25 Permalink

that's the beauty of kids though, you just never know what will come out of their mouth but no matter what comes out it's usually the truth! my nephew is starting to mimic us and we have to watch foul language. while he gurgles some d words, we still know what he's saying! eeeeeeee his mother would kill me. I tried to teach him to say aaaaaaaa hole just as a joke, but never thought he'd actually try to say it! whoops. guess they're parrots sometimes hee hee

Tue, 12/04/2007 - 01:58 Permalink

desi, desi, shame, shame, lol, it is funny at first, My four year old said the "f" word the other night, I said "hey where did you hear that" she told me that grandma says, "aww f***" when she gets paint on her shoes. I have to correct her, but sometimes she will come off with stuff at the most appropriate time, she knows better, but it slips every now and then as it does with all of us, LOL.

Tue, 12/04/2007 - 03:06 Permalink

Found this awesome guide on the internet, thought you guys would like it.
Developing a budget you can live with
Establishing a Household Budget

One of the cornerstones to successful financial planning is establishing a workable household budget that manages your expenses, reduces your debt obligations and builds your savings.

This Wealth Builder brochure discusses the principles of budgeting and then provides a straight forward “Household Budgeting Worksheet” to help you establish a budget you can live with.

What Is a Household Budget?

A household budget is nothing more than a plan that sets spending goals over a period of time (typically one year) and allows monitoring or tracking of how you are doing in following the plan.

Understanding Cash Flow First

To successfully develop a workable household budget the concept of Cash Flow must be understood. To understand Cash Flow, think of your finances as constantly changing. Money is being received in the form of employment pay checks, dividend and interest income from investments, tax refunds, gifts and other sources. Simultaneously, cash is being paid out to cover regular living expenses like food, transportation, housing, taxes, insurance and supplies. You also pay for unanticipated expenses such as auto repair or medical bills. This ebb and flow of money into and out of your household is your Cash Flow. Household budgeting can improve cash flow (more coming in/less going out) by successfully managing and tracking the money flow.

How to Begin?

Start developing your household budget by laying out all of your income and expenses by month for the past year.

This will give you a picture of the amount and timing of your cash flows on a monthly basis.
You’ll quickly see the inflow of cash and outflows that occur weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually.
You’ll be able to see if your expenses are too high and your savings are too low to meet your financial needs.
What’s Next?

From this initial picture you can then forecast your expenses for the coming year (up in some cases and down in others) and target your goals for reducing your debt obligations and, importantly, meeting your savings and investment goals.

Hint #1: If you are serious about planning your financial future you should budget to save a minimum of 5% and preferably 10% of your income each year.

Hint #2: Pay yourself first, by writing a check to your savings or investment accounts every time you pay bills.

Hint #3: Reinvest your dividends, interest, and any other investment income rather than spend it and you can realize accelerated savings growth.

Budget to Develop an Emergency Fund

Most successful budgets include the funding of an Emergency Account. This is money set aside to cover anywhere from two to six months of your household expenses. Practically, this money will be ready to cover the unexpected. Often it’s not a question of if, but only a question of when you will be faced with unexpected expenses such as auto repairs, household appliance replacement, medical bills or loss of employment. The workable household budget should account for setting aside this emergency cash until two to six months of living expenses are accumulated.

Using the Household Budget Worksheet

The worksheet in this brochure is designed to help you organize your cash inflow and cash outflow into weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual frequencies. You’ll need to review your pay checks, other sources of income and your checking account(s) you use to pay your bills to collect the budget figures. Notice that many of the periodic expenses such as insurance payments and taxes are relatively larger expenses and can be planned for by setting aside money (preferably in an interest bearing account) on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.

Sat, 12/08/2007 - 22:16 Permalink

Very good information good. I'm still laughing my behind off about your daughter's f bomb!! they're parrots i swear and they don't know they're doing anything wrong until we correct them and even then. I'm still waiting for mine to come out with something that's not supposed to be said in public :) lol

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 01:53 Permalink
dadummy52 (not verified)

How does credit card companys get you in and funnel you into debt so far that you cant get out. have you gotten the flyers saying you can write a check and pay a certain interest untill the life of the loan? well when you have any balance they credit all payments to the loan first leaveing all other purchases to build interest, therefore you are not saveing anything.

Sun, 12/09/2007 - 04:04 Permalink

I just bought a monthly planner with pockets, it will be great to hold my reciepts and bills. You can buy these just about anywhere that sells tablets, calendars and other paper products, I got mine at staples. It was only a few bucks.

Mon, 12/17/2007 - 03:56 Permalink

Great. I have got one too for myself. But I that was a gift this time.

I have a notepad as well for storage of information.

Wed, 12/19/2007 - 08:22 Permalink

Even better yet Laura, you did not have to pay for it, I find them so nice to keep everything organized. They would be a great gift to give too.

Sun, 12/23/2007 - 02:36 Permalink

I found one of my old leather attache cases and am keeping a yearly calender with all my bills in there, that way all my headaches are in the same place, I put a calculator in there two, but this year decided to do two fold tablet, in the front monthly, then I flip it and do the balances fromt the other end of the tablet. Hopefully when they meet in the middle the balances will be zero. LOL.

Sat, 12/29/2007 - 13:24 Permalink

Good idea GN. I would probaly have nightmares though of an attache case strangling me. I wouldn't keep it in the bedroom.

Tue, 07/29/2008 - 15:39 Permalink

You dont know I have such like problem about household budgeting. But not now because I chakeout my monthly expendce than I sort it need of and need not expendce. Just like that I cntrol my household budget.
Other way you should have to control your unnescessary expenditure.
In my earning there is only 49% approximetly 50% expendces monthly because of that type of index

Sun, 09/27/2009 - 13:07 Permalink

I hear you, money can slip away so quickly and before you know it you are praying for your next paycheck. I started putting back $20 a month in a seperate account, after a while you don't even notice it and then when you have an emergency it is there. I just had to use my stash for groceries. Thank god it was there.

Sun, 09/27/2009 - 13:15 Permalink

house hold budgeting is very important you should have proper plan of it.

Thu, 10/22/2009 - 17:38 Permalink

I agree with Sia. Household budgeting is extremely important. If you have a proper plan for it, then at the end of the day you may not have to deal with so many delinquent accounts.

Mon, 10/26/2009 - 12:50 Permalink

One more important thing to remember is that if you hit a bump in the road, you can get back on track. You need to step back and analyze your situation, figure out what you need to do and get it together.

You can get it back on track, don't give up on something that is working. do what works for you.

Mon, 10/26/2009 - 19:32 Permalink

I think household budgeting needs to be done at the beginning of the credit process. When or even before applying for a line or additional line of credit take into account there will be a monthly payment. Never figure the monthly payment on the lower end. Try to figure it out for more. Say the payment is $10 well figure $50. This gets an otem or card paid off faster and leaves room in case you have to use the card for an emergency making the payment go up.

Mon, 10/26/2009 - 22:38 Permalink

We use Quickbooks for our household budgeting/checkbook register/all financials.

We were using MS Money, but for some reason the bf didn't like it so much. I think he was having a lot of issues with some companies not downloading the information. We also used an excel spreadsheet in the past. Quickbooks has been wonderful for us.

On another note, we utilize our bank's online bill-payment system. We pay all of our bills [utilities, creditors, etc] with a click of a button in Quickbooks. No envelopes to mail [or lose], no stamps, no writing. Just a push of a button. :)

-Another note: Aldi's is a really great store. Most of their produce is cheaper but yet still healthy. They have alot of healthier alternatives for people on a budget. Only bad thing is trying to remember your own bags!

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