Post # 1
Ladies, I’m really overwhelmed! There is so much new stuff going on in my life and I am the type that gets easily flustered with to many things to keep track of. With my new job, school, homework, selling our house, looking for a new one and trying to keep the one we live in clean I’m not keeping up. My SO is doing a great job but I’m feeling like even though I’ve got a full plate I’m not doing enough or doing any of it well.
My main concern right now is money. We don’t have a lot and I’m not very good at managing what we have. The worst part, he’s definitely not any better at it. I took on this responsibility because of that fact. I don’t save well because so often we don’t have a lot to save anyways and if we do have extra I have a really hard time telling myself or him that no we cannot spend that money.
Today I really messed up. I didn’t realize his car payment would be coming through and I really had to scrounge to cover that cost. I need an intervention. Tell me how to stay on budget! My worst crutch is I have a very difficult time cutting out the unnecessary stuff. I wouldn’t say we eat out often but with little snacks and such probably at least once a week. I also buy myself a water and a snack at school daily usually. I am the WORST at “depriving” either of us of anything. Especially if it is $5. We have 3 checking’s and as much as that works for some people it really doesn’t work for us. I’m thinking about putting all our spending money into one and turning another into an emergency only account. How do you manage the accounts yall have?
How do you ladies put money aside and ignore it? Do you hide it? Put it in an account not in the bank you primarily use? If I see that money I tell myself we have it and it is available. It doesn’t sit where it is supposed to. It has been tough lately because with books, supplies and general back to school things I didn’t budget enough. Plus he had a few car things that snuck up on us as well.
Seriously, any advice is welcome. How do you remind yourself about bills? How do you set money aside? How are the bee’s who are just as poor as I am scraping by and making it work? I feel like I’m seriously failing at my entire life right now :'(
And just as a little side note, we do not save beyond an actual savings account. We most certainly do not have extra to be putting into an IRA or CD or anything else. That may be more pertinent information.
Post # 3
Honestly I use a spreadsheet. I got it online and it works wonders. It goes week by week. It tallies the bills that need to be paid when and how much spending money we have each week against what is comign in. My biggest problem is getting Fiance to stick to it. He is only allowed cash so that he does not overspend. In fact I need to remind him to get cash tomorrow since he gets paid again. I have no problems sticking to it since I only spend a few bucks a week. However he will go to a convenience store twice in one day and not think twice about it since the money is always in the account. Try paying attention to the spreadsheet and updating it as well as keeping it as accurate as possible.
Post # 4
@StormyRose: Would you be willing to share an example of yours or a blank one with me?
Post # 5
Well my husband is very financially conscious (he is a fledgling banker after all) so we worked this out very early.
We also don’t have a lot of money as recent college grads, so we just have two accounts – a savings account and a checking account. We each get paid every two weeks – the first thing we do is pay the necessary bills for that period (rent/credit/loan one cycle, electricity the next). Then we take a previously determined amt of $ and transfer it to savings. Then we use the leftovers as grocery money, play money, drinking money, and if we have any left over at the end of the pay cycle, we pat ourselves on the back! We only touch our savings if we ABSOLUTELY need to, and then we pay that money back the next cycle to keep our savings growing.
As for the little spending, I was guilty of that for a while. I like to think I’ve vastly improved. I pack lunch every single day, and that includes a snack or two + my lunch, so if I get hungry I have something economically good and healthy to eat. Start to think of everything as a piece of a bigger picture – $5 is a little one day, sure, but if you do it every day that’s $35 a week, $1,820 a year. That’s a vacation+ for us! I also don’t rush in and rush out of stores anymore – you buy stuff on impulse when you’re rushing. Go with a list to the store, buy only what you need, and really stop to think “do I need this, or do I want it?” And if you just want it, SAY NO AND WALK OUT. I rarely regret when I do this – versus regretting when I do spend money I shouldn’t have often.
Sorry for the novel – We still live like college students so we have a lot of expertise on living cheap, haha!
Post # 6
I recommend checking out daveramsey.com. he has a great system of baby steps to put you in a healty financial position. His books are really helpful too.
Post # 7
I opened up an ING account for emergency money. I transfer in $25 a week automatically through my main bank account. It is really nice because most of the time I forget that I even have that account (and I don’t miss the $25). Last time I checked I had almost $3,000 in emergency funds. It takes extra steps to get the money (it has to be transferred to your main account which take 24 hours or so) so it isn’t like you can cheat and pull money out of it easily. It has been a lifesaver for me because I like to shop!
Post # 8
I hide it! I have $100 hidden for our photographer and I have had it for over 2 months! I am surprised I haven’t used it, but I have been a big stickler on “that is not mine!” attitude.
We are both horrible savers, and we love to shop and spend money when we have it. We make sure bills are paid first, but even this weekend we spent $200 on a new gaming system and games because we had the money just sitting there.
But, when I have extra money, I hide it, hide it from myself, and Fiance, so we don’t spend it.
Post # 9
First off, take your snack money, and buy a reusable water bottle. that will cover your water that you buy every day, saving you $2/day * 5 days a week = $10/wk, or $40/mn.
it’s a start.
Bake muffins or cookies to go with your water, ad take it to school rather than buy.
We also follow the cash rule. We take out $40 each pay day and that does us for eating out, movies, anything we want to do. everything else stays in the bank.
Leave your credit card, debit card at home. If you don’t have it, you can’t use it!
Each month, I write out all the expenses that come out of our account, even our RRSP contributions. as they get paid off, I cross them off my list.
I’m really a saver, and I get motivated by seeing the $$ increase in our saving acount. This may not work for you, since you said you see it, and think that it’s available, but I get a thrill from seeing the amount get higher every month.
saving even a little bit each month helps. Try putting $10 or even $20 a month, or a pay if you can into an account that you don’t have easy access to. Our TFSA (tax free saving account – i’m in Canada) is not linked to our debit cards and we have to wait 24hr before we can transfer money out of it online. Ie: no impulse transfers.
Post # 10
Have you tried using MINT.COM? I use it regiliously and its awesome on keeping track of your spending, setting up budgets and different savings goals. We also set up an automatic savings account with ING DIRECT where every two weeks when we get paid. We have a certain dollar amount automatically transferred over to our savings without us having to even think about it (pretty much a set it and forget it). We then pay all of our bills and any leftover money, we can play with. We eat out once per week and usually grab sushi or something. We cook most of our meals at home. This not only helps our wallets but our waist line. haha
I work in finance and as far as retirement, I am HUGE on it. When I first met my fiance he didnt even know what a 401k was. He had one through his job but wasnt contributing to it. Well, that has definitely changed. We both contribute the max to our 401k’s and also contribute to IRA’s. If your job doesnt offer a 401k I would highly suggest opening an IRA for retirement.
I dont think you are failing at life at all. What you need to do is sit down with your fiance and create a budget and savings goal and try sticking to it. I promise it gets easier and easier.
Post # 11
This is the one I use. It is flexible enough once you unprotect it that you can rename things. I have a tab for each month and carry the negative or positive over every month. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=weekly+budget&ex=1&origin=CL102207099#ai:TC102085269|
If I were just keeping track of me every month it would be perfect. But again I have someone who thinks spending 20 a day when he gets 80 a week including gas is doing good. So we are always going over the budget. I have even tried to put him in charge of the budget to se ewhat I go through and we get shut off notices. So I don;t know what else to do with him except keep him on an allowance.
Post # 12
If you are really tight on money cant you buy water in bulk from costco and then just take one to school with you, you’d be surprised how much you would save on water alone. You can buy stuff from the bakery at costo like bagels, rolls, croissants and make yourself a snack in the morning, that would also save you quite a bit.
Post # 13
I use to be really bad at saving. Like you if I saw the extra money I spent it and I also would indulge for both of us on small price items. My Boyfriend or Best Friend is my opposite and is very good with his money.
It was hard but I decided last year that I wanted to pay off my debt so I made a spreadsheet and set a goal to be debt free in a year. I did not buy anything unecessary from Nov’10-May ’11 and I have paid off a big chuck of my debt. Seeing that number get low has really motivated to stay on track.
I also opened up another savings account with a credit union. $25 gets automatically deposited every pay check and I don’t see it or miss it.
* I also like the idea of buying a reuable water bottle 🙂
Post # 14
It sounds like this is an issue dealing more with cash flow vs. budgeting (i.e. scrounging to make a car payment.) It sounds like you may be stretching yourself too thin with the amount of $ coming in & the amount of $ that has to come out.
For your own sanity, you do want to have some breathing room – is there any way to reevaluate your “cash flow out” situation. Perhaps looking at a more affordable car option, or possibly downsizing to one?
However, if you feel that if you had a better budget, and by doing so would allow you to have that breathing room between the money going out/coming in. I think the best way is to remove a certain dollar amount immediately from your checks that way you never see it, its as if the money was never there. And then set a realistic expectations of cost based on that amount of $ now left for expenses.
Post # 15
I only use to buy one bottle of water a month. We have a fountain at work and we have a filter at home. Now I don’t even buy them that often because I have a reusable bottle for work and one bottle at home that I just keep refilling.
I have no tips. We are both horrible for money, but we are due to sit down and really talk it out once he starts getting paid again.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2011 - Epworth UMC & Ward Pavilion
Here’s what we do-
Figure out how much money you NEED to survive. Your mortgage payment, your car payment, your electic, your gas, cable, phone, groceries and gasoline. Look at past bills and payments to come up with realistic max figures on the things that are variable. That’s your necessary budget. Figure out how much each of you will contribute to that necessary budget. We pay into it by percentages. So, let’s say our total budget for the month is around $2,000. I make 2/3 of our income. So I pay around 666 per paycheck into the account and he pays 333 per pay check into that account so we come to right around the 2,000. This money goes into a joint checking account. We NEVER spend any money out of that account unless it is for one of those necessary items. If we have money left over, it sits in the account to cover another month. Any fun stuff comes out of our own personal accounts. And if we don’t have money for something fun, we don’t do it.
As for remembering bills, I pay anything paper as soon as it comes in, and I put a reminder pop-up on my email that tells me when automatic bill pays are set to come out of my account.