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MISSYO314's Photo MISSYO314 Posts: 364
12/6/10 11:04 A

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I found a very useful budget website:

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DENISEFULLER's Photo DENISEFULLER SparkPoints: (34,064)
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12/4/10 7:26 P

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My husband and I were doing a great job of paying down debt until July when he lost his unemployment benefits and my hours at work were reduced. October and November were the worst months for us and prompted me to call our church treasurer and ask him to try to help us figure out how to get a little slack in our budget. He's looking for a not-for-profit agency that can help us restructure our debt. In the meantime, my church is helping us get through this season.

I started SP at 138 lbs in October 2010. My goal weight was supposed to be 125, which I reached on January 17, 2011. I have stayed at 125 (give or take a few pounds) ever since.

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12/4/10 2:07 P

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for me the end came oct 17th. called lawyer, filed bankruptcy and trying to keep creditors from killing me. It was a last resort. Now hubby has control of every penny, log post receipts from 37 cents to 100.00 dollars or more. Gas cards next week for the month. Groceries evey 2 weeks. No eating out, no clothes, no hair cuts, nothing. Difficult and it does work. I will do this forever.

Geneva Freeman
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12/3/10 4:32 P

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Envelope system does work well for many people. I personally don't use it because the thought that hundreds of dollars is sitting in envelopes, in my home, makes me very nervous. My grandparents had their home broken into and the thieves stole close to $1000 my Grandmother had put away in her underwear drawer. I've even had folks visiting in my home steal money, it happens. Personally what I do is on payday, I write down all the payments that have to be made - regardless of when those payments will go out over that 2 week period - and deduct it from my account. What remains is what I have to spend beyond the bills. In other words I basically live in 2 week increments that coincide with my pay day. I find that simpler and safer than envelopes.

But if you have a place to lock envelopes up, many folks state that is the way to go.

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LATVIAN_SANDY's Photo LATVIAN_SANDY SparkPoints: (259,172)
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12/3/10 2:28 P
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Sorry that sparksavings doesn't work.

Sassi_Spring has some GREAT ideas. I, too, just do my own budget - in Excel - that works for me. My husband thinks I'm a little nuts tracking each and every receipt, but for me, it works.

One recommendation I've read about is the "envelope" system: when you get paid, you put actual money into envelopes for each budget item (rent, food, utilities, etc.) and ONLY use the money for that purpose. Once it's gone, that's it until your next payday. I haven't tried this, since I do most of my bill paying online, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck!

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12/3/10 12:10 P

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Myself, I don't use because of the glitches and issues with the site. I would recommend redoing your budget on your own and see if it has the same outcome that came up in sparksavings. I know when I put things into that site, it came up that I had money but when I did it on my own, it showed what I knew - that it hadn't calculated correctly.

When I started with the credit counsellor they almost decided to put me into bankruptcy, which I was fine with. At the end of the conversation we decided to go with repayment plan at 0% interest. According to the budget that we did, I was below zero at the end of payday. While that was true, in reality I was really good at juggling things around to make it all fit. Now 4yrs later (yes it takes time) I have money at the end of the payday.

As shared already, it's really important to track. Take a small book and pencil, toss into your purse or backpack, track everything as if you are writing cheques. If you find that a nuisance (as I know I do) then do as I did, keep all reciepts. At the end of the day, go through those reciepts and put in piles - one pile is necessary purchases, one pile is unnecessary purchases. Do that for a week and you'll find out where you are spending your money.

Look at what you currently have and see if there are places you can cut. At first the cuts could be harsh and that's how it has to be. I lived without TV for years and didn't have furniture in my home because I could not afford it. I had my bedroom set that I had since I was 18, along with an old table and desk. It's amazing how sleeping bags and cheap throw pillows work as a couch.

Set priorities in terms of savings and paying off bills. What bill really needs to come down faster than another bill. Look at interest rates, is there a bill with really high rates? Pay that one double what is owed, pay what is asked on the rest. Before you make a purchase ask yourself "is this really necessary." Often what we buy is not necessary, it's a want and not a need. Until your debt is paid off, needs are the priority, wants are optional and often pushed aside for later.

Ask your b/f and mother for support. Sounds like they are a good support system, so talk with them. Be honest. Ask them to help you figure out where the money is going.

Good luck with it all. You can definitely do this.

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MOGAL1946's Photo MOGAL1946 Posts: 19,795
12/3/10 11:33 A

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Hi & yes it does take time. You will be amazed at how much money you spend & don't have anything to show for it. Eating out, movies, soft drinks, etc., it all adds up. The only way to do it is to track it on paper, every little penny and then you can see where you need to cut back. Good Luck! emoticon

Linda-Missouri (CST)

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WDBROWN94's Photo WDBROWN94 Posts: 2,920
12/3/10 11:08 A

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WooHoo! Half the battle is done, recognizing you need to evaluate your spending habits. I wish you luck and I will keep my fingers cross that you get that patience you want for Christmas! emoticon

No one need live a minute longer as he is, because the Creator endowed us with the ability to change ourselves. - J.C. Penney

SKINNYSTACEY27's Photo SKINNYSTACEY27 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/3/10 11:04 A

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So, I'm starting to get my finances back in order. I checked out Here's the thing: I put in my monthly income. Then I add my expense: rent, cell phone, credit cards, student loans, etc., etc. And then the darn thing tells me there's still hundreds of dollars to left at the end of the month.


This is untrue. I'm lucky if I skate by with even $50 leftover at the end of the month. And that's without saving anything or having an emergency fund. So that leaves me wondering WHERE IS MY MONEY GOING?

After a particularly embarassing incident followed by sobbing breakdown last weekend, my boyfriend asked me the same questiong (but nicely). I had no answer. My mother's asked me this question (even though I HATE talking money with her), and again no answer.

So, as of Dec., I'm back to tracking every last penny I spend. From the rent check I just forked over to the 35 cents I had to pay to take the Parkway yesterday.

I make a decent income. I live modestly. I should be able to save money or repay more of my debt. (Most student loans in forebearance because they're so hefty...more than twice my rent!) I guess the key is to watch every penny and see exactly where it goes. Then I can figure out a real budget and see where I need to change things. I want it to happen NOW, but I know that there's no way to figure out an entire month's spending in just a couple of hours. I just have to do the work and then I can re-evaluate at the end of the month for a few months to see my spending patterns.

For Christmas this year, I'd like some patience, please. emoticon

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