I feel like the number 1 thing I post about here is money. But for some reason, budgeting and spending are constantly an issue and on my mind. So here goes with the newest topic!
I’m trying to get a better hang on our budget and savings. I’ve always budgeted weekly and time and time again it has proved to fail. We always end up having to borrow from savings to keep ourselves afloat until the next paycheck. We have some weeks where we have NO bills that come out and some weeks that EVERY bill comes out, leaving us with far less money than we need on a weekly basis at times. I’ve switched to monthly and so far it seems to be working and have much less overhead work on my part! Or, at least I think it will once I stop worrying that I’m doing it wrong and stop obsessing about it
Now on to savings. I wanted to start putting a little cash aside each month for things we know will occur and want to plan ahead for. Thing is, I have a few issues I am still trying to figure out how to manage…
1) Actually tracking how much we’ve put aside for each item. For example, if I’m saving a set amt per month for our once per year HOA dues, a set amount per month for Christmas spending, and a set amount per month to have a baby, I don’t know how to keep track of how much I’ve set aside for each if I use one set savings account. I read about a website called smartypig that allows you to do instant transfers to online accounts and I might use that, but I’m wondering if anyone else have any good ideas?
2) Actually having ENOUGH to do all these things. For example, we are putting aside a certain amount per month for emergency spending, but it leaves us with little extra to put aside for the baby we hope to have in about 10 months to a year. Or, saving for house projects, that HOA bill, etc… What to do? Do I lower that e fund amount to allow for other things? We do have a chunk in savings, I just want to start allocating better.
3) How do YOU set aside and track how much you have for things like house proejcts, decorating etc… Do you just use your regular spending money? Do you pick projects and save up for those specifically? Etc…
If anyone has any suggestions or insight I’m all ears! I could use spreadsheets etc but I’m so nervous with this big change in budget that I feel like I’m doing it all wrong!
Oh for the record, I currently use Mint.com, and I use a spreadsheet on the side to track what bills come out when since they don’t have a future budgeting tool (way annoying)