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LIFEONWATER Posts: 6
1/19/11 11:46 P

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Yes, we do. Equally important is to record expenditures to stay on track. Our saving goals are also part of the budget. After keeping budget for five years, we have a pretty good idea on when big ticket expenditures such as property tax, insurances are due.

MRSBENNETT2's Photo MRSBENNETT2 Posts: 1,598
9/5/10 11:03 P

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We do - husband manages all the bills (puts everything on a credit card and then pays that off monthly which can sometimes be a stretch), and I manage the groceries. He gets paid every two weeks, so I get my grocery money and carry it as cash and never use the debit card unless it's an emergency. That way I know exactly what's left in my food budget and work from there.

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8/29/10 1:16 A

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no. i am a cheapskate and my hubby doesn't like to spend money too often either. when we have projects or larger expense items, we talk about, verify options and compare costs.

Don't forget to be awesome.


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FLUTTER34 Posts: 680
7/17/10 3:48 P

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We also use credit card for all spending and that way we can easily see where we have gone over budget or where adjustments are needed. By paying monthly, we still build up airline miles.

On a fixed income it is important, so keeping a spreadsheet in the computer of bills, we can see fluctuations every 3 or 6 months and adjust accordingly. It is a valuable tool, since prices go up and interest income on pensions savings goes down.

Flutter

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ARTCHR's Photo ARTCHR Posts: 5,058
7/17/10 7:20 A

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It seems like all of you have a great idea for budgeting and that you use a plan that works for you.

The important part for all of us is to make sure we somehow budget for savings, emergencies and of course for bills. They say, "Pay yourself first" to build up savings. Living paycheck to paycheck is very stressful and difficult to see exactly what is happening with expenses. Today, sometimes it is difficult for some families not to live this way with the economy the way it is. Many can barely get by. No matter what our income, I think we need to ask ourselves---is this purchase really necessary? Is it a want or a need especially when times are tough?

Great job all and best wishes!

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7/16/10 5:48 P

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Right, I guess I just never understood the benefit of budgeting something that a) you have to have b) is a variable cost. Example: my electricity bill goes up in July, but that doesn't mean I'm going to go without air conditioning. It's also impossible to say how much it will go up in July. Depends on how hot it gets and what electricity rates are on a given year.

I can, however, understand budgeting for discretionary items. We "need" (notice the quotes) new grass out back, we "need" some shelving units. Well, these are items that can be budgeted for and the money has to come from somewhere. So we setup a plan to achieve those goals.

I'm not saying my way is better by any means, but it seems to work for us.

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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,911
7/16/10 4:10 P

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I think our method is much like the rest of you.
But, BREWMASTERBILL, you must admit that you have a general idea how much your utilities, etc. are going to be. True, it is not an exact number always.

We are on a fixed income as well. We keep enough in our checking to cover expected monthly expenses. I do budget clothing. No shopping sprees. And, I am sure it is the same for you.

I used to take out enough cash to get by with spending between pay checks that didn't require a check to pay. If there was money left over the day before a pay day, we enjoyed an evening out for pizza or whatever we could afford.

We have turned to credit cards in more recent years. One is a back-up with a larger credit line than we need. We use it to buy airline tickets and other travel expenses at times. Once, we bought a car with it on a Saturday. I am not kidding. The credit line is too big. It was nice allowing the money in savings to earn interest, and it was paid off when the bill came. Of course, this story may tell you that we didn't buy a Mustang or anything close.

Our "every day" credit card is a gas card. When we were both working, we earned a $25 gas credit about every 3 weeks. Now, it is more like every two months. When I use it at the drug store or grocery, it still earns credits, but at a slower pace. So, especially if the bill is over $50, I tend to use it so we can get gas credit. It is only used on items we know we can pay off on the next bill.

What I am finding weird to plan since retirement:
I used to have my savings account budgeted for things like birthday and Christmas celebrations. Including the extra food as well as gifts. Now, the source of the money is different. It just feels like I don't have the same control or leeway for spending.
emoticon


Flutter - I had to chuckle at your assisted living fun. But, I know what you are talking about. We have been through this with our parents, and we figure we are next. We chose this home in part because it had few steps and the doorways were wide enough for wheel chairs. At the time, we didn't know I would be in a wheel chair twice and on crutches or a walker several times before the age of 60.

It depends on how many hours a day of care you need whether it is cheaper to get help in the home or use an assisted living facility. Also on whether you are paying for one or two people. When both of my parents were living, it was more economical as housekeeping assistance was for both of them. And aide services were supplemented by family. After my Dad died, one granddaughter was a stay at home mom with one toddler. We started paying her to be Mom's housekeeper one day a week. Paid her what we would have paid a housekeeper, plus Mom took the two of them out to Bob Evans for supper, which was a treat for all of them. That lasted until Mom needed 24 hour supervision.

Edited by: 60SIXTY at: 7/16/2010 (16:22)
Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

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FLUTTER34 Posts: 680
7/15/10 6:22 P

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Our "budget" is much like BrewmasterBill's, to the point that we are saving for our next car. We also keep a record of spending and review our needs each year. Since we are on a fixed income and prices are rising, we have to adjust each year. Our pension fund has now become our assisted living fund and we are invistigating various options in our area. For now we just plan on staying in our home since even paying for help in some areas is cheaper than any assisted living.

Flutter

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7/15/10 4:01 P

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We're a little unorthodox, we don't have a spending plan, we have a saving plan. Let me explain, a number of accounts (sub accounts) have been created for various goals/problems. Saving for retirement, saving for home repairs, saving for vehicle purchases and maintenance. These variable, potentially catastrophic expenses are earmarked. This way we can draw about the same every month out of the checking account. With that said, things like food, clothing, utilities are not budgeted. They just come out of the general purpose checking account. It's not like we're going to go without food or electricity, so I thought it was a little bit much to "budget" it. So if our general purpose account dips below a particular amount, I start asking questions. Needless to say, it has not dipped in several years and we find ourselves actually pulling EXTRA from the general account about once per quarter and putting that extra into our retirement savings.

Another thing, I use a credit card for EVERYTHING. I never pay cash. It's strange and I don't recommend it if you're not disciplined using cards or you tend to overspend with them. Using a credit card has the opposite effect on me than most. I think about that CC statement every time I whip out the card. Where with cash, the money is "already gone" so I am more likely to waste it. But I also pay the balance in full every month. Our motto is to earn interest, not pay it ... LOL!

I like the savings plan because any time something comes up, we don't have to juggle a budget and make things work after the fact. I don't know that it's a better way, but it works out well for us.

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ARTCHR's Photo ARTCHR Posts: 5,058
7/11/10 7:59 P

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I have a pretty detailed budget that I have been doing for many years as my children were younger and now that they are grown up. My daughter has also adopted what I do and her husband is amazed with how this works as he never grew up with any type of budget.

I figure out my budget from August until the following July as summer is the best time for me to work on this. I use a spiral notebook and list all my bills including amounts that vary such as medical, dental, car repairs, etc. I estimate the amounts that these could be, but go on the higher side. I total up the previous year's utility, telephone, etc. bills and use an amount slightly higher. I then come up with the amount needed each week to pay these bills by getting the yearly amount and dividing by 52. I keep the yearly bills money (house insurance, life insurance, etc.) in my savings account and my monthly, weekly bills in my checking account. In this notebook, I then have a page for each expense and as the expense is incurred, I write it in.
For example, I budget $500 a year for medical (thankfully I have insurance). So I list that on one page. If I spend $25, I deduct it from the $500 listing what it is for and then know that I have $475 remaining for the rest of the year. I then keep a certain amount of cash for extras and that includes food, clothing, yard sale purchases, mindless purchases (everyone has these sometimes!), etc. I keep a small notebook in my purse to keep track of this amount. As I spend it, I deduct it. I do budget an amount for some activities and also for emergencies. All extra money goes automatically into my savings account.

It sounds complicated, but it has worked for me. I don't know what I would do without a budget!!

Another help is to have direct deposit as this insures that the money is in the bank already. You can then use online banking to transfer the money where it belongs. Having cash in your pockets can easily burn right through them as they say!!

I DO NOT use credit cards!!!! I do have one for emergencies. I have used a credit card for online purchases when necessary. I sometimes also use my credit card for large purchases, but pay the bill immediately when due. I just figure I want to earn the interest in the bank for one more month if I can!
I did this for purchasing a snow-blower and also my lawnmower.

If you have any questions, or want more information, just let me know. I love to work with finances and would be happy to help out.

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7/11/10 3:31 P

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I'm on SSI so you might say my money is prebudgeted. Most goes directly to the rent and the rest goes on my very small credit card. FS for my food and other expenses on the credit card.

I'm very cheap so I network to find everything possible for free or discounted, make some of my clothes, cook from scratch, etc.

Namaste
Celia


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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 24,911
7/11/10 12:48 P

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Share with the team:
What works for your household?
What doesn't?
Do you have a detailed budget?

emoticon How do you stay on target?

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

Frugalists and Simple Living [co-leader]
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=16395

Team Co-Leader for OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE LOWER BACK
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=21800


"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."
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