Post # 17
@MrsWrangler: Thank you for the advice. How much do you allocate towards the extra money? I think I’m underbudgeting and then we end up short and I have to pull money from our savings.
@amarissak:I will check him out. Thank you!
@RahlyRah: So if you did want to take money out you would need to submit a transfer and then they would place it back into the account your transfering it out of? Is that correct? That might be a good idea for us.
@Miss. Snowball:Where? What is a good hiding spot? I may have to start having SO hide money from me.
@Khumble: Thanks for the tips. I think part of my problem is I can just be lazy about things and i need to raelly tell myself I MUST do these things.
@MrsWilson2012:I have used Mint but I guess I wasnt really feeling like I was utelizing it to it’s maximum ability. Do you just check yours to see how your doing or are you actively saving with it or what?
@bells:We dont have a costco near but I can obviously get bottled water. Like I said its not that these things cannot be done I’m just really bad at it.
Post # 18
First off, I think it’s awesome that you’re recognizing it now! And I’m sure your Fiance will agree, that as financially sound you can become now will be a huge help when you’re married.
That being said, I suck with money. Sorry! But looks like the PPs are super helpful, and I’m going to try some of these tips (namely the cash on payday- what a great idea!)
Post # 19
I’m a pretty disorganized person, but I have a few tips on managing money/bills/accounts:
1) open up an online savings account (for free! and sometimes they give you $25 or $50 just to open an account if you give them a minimum) and set up an automatic transfer plan. As other PPs said, it doesn’t have to be a lot, so you won’t miss it! I have 2 of these accounts that I contribute to regularly, and I forget about the accounts so I don’t have the money to spend readily.
2) pretty much all of my bills I pay online – I get email reminders, and when they come into my inbox, I star them. Since I look at my email a lot, it is a constant reminder what is still due. After I pay the bill, I forward the reminder email to myself with the payment information so I don’t have to print it out and then promptly lose it!
3) I am obsessed with online banking. I am on my bank’s website every day to see what we are spending (we have a joint account and each have a personal account, but I don’t have access to FHs). So I constantly know how much I have left in the accounts and what payments are coming up so I know that there is enough money to cover.
I am also not a big shopper/spender. I research stuff alot, and then decide I don’t really need it. I’ll keep my clothes as long as they fit and don’t have holes or stains. We do usually eat out on the weekends, always eat at home during the week.
Post # 20
I second the idea of just using cash. When you take out how much you can spend each month in cash, then you know how much you have. After it is spent, it is gone. It is so easy to “nickel and dime” your account with a debit card…..we hardly ever use one anymore.
Post # 21
@cherrydoll:When you say you have it automatically debited, did you go online and set that up yourself or did you go into your bank and have them arrange it?
@AnnieAAA: Your right. Part of it is the cash flow issue. We don’t have a lot that comes in. We are on the brim of having a few things knocked off of our budget but we are pretty much maxed out on what is going on. His car will be paid off in a few months and my car, which is new, is a pretty low payment. Everything else for the most part is either my school loan, or fixed items. We pay for very little that is unnecessary. It’s a struggle that’s for sure. I’m really hoping to have our house sells soon so we can get rid of some of the larger expenses to get ourselves in a better position.
@Miss Tattoo:How do you deal with rarely, if ever, treating yourself to anything? I know you have a daughter so the priority scale is different but I think my major thing is the idea of never doing anything for myself. The new pair of shoes once every 4 or 5 months is something I really enjoy so having to completely cut that out is just the thing I find the most difficult.
@cannon:I have been calculating the bills that we will have the following week and setting that money aside. I think your way sounds much better. Averaging what you need instead of just paying for what there is to be paid next. Thanks for the idea. I really like that. It sounds so stupid that I just had an epiphany over that. Wow!
Post # 22
Fiance is a banker so he took over the main role of financial planning in our household when we moved in together and combined our finances. I was fine on my own, and actually never had a problem with spending (my sister had major debt problems and it’s scared the shit out of me!). I bought my first place when I was 21 years old, and maintained a mortgage, car payment and all the bills with no issue while still shopping for clothes and the like when I needed/wanted to. It’s all about knowing exactly what’s coming in, and what needs to go out (and when! late charges on anything does nothing but take away) and being able to resist things when you know money is tight that week/month.
Now my Fiance keeps track of the bills and when they are due but we planned everything so it keeps our account pretty balanced. Here’s the break down…
– Fiance and I each have our own seperate accounts as well as 2 joint accounts.
– Fiance and I both get paid biweekly on opposite weeks so our pays go in to our seperate accounts. On the same day that we each get paid, a set amount automatically (set up at the bank) transfers our mortgage payment (we pay weekly so it’s accelerated) and a predetermined amount in to our “house” account, as well as a predetermined amount into our “wedding” account which we created when we got engaged (we determined how much we needed for the wedding, divided that by how many times we got paid from now until then and voila).
– We also paid $100 more than required on our mortgage for the first year we lived together because we had some extra money, we’ve since scaled that to $50 more a week then required because the extra $50 goes to the wedding account along with the other lump sum to help us save faster.
– We started our “house” account with some buffer for any unexpected expenses (such as our dehumidifer dying as it did recently)
– The rest gets used for groceries, and we keep enough for each of our car payments to come out of our accounts and that’s pretty much it.
– Fiance invests some money, and has some that automatically comes off his pay for retirement, as with my pay that some goes towards my employee pension plan.
It’s hard at times, expecially now that we are saving for the wedding. It’s odd for us to feel like money is tight but I know it’s temporary, and if need be we can take the “wedding” money if something more important requires it. So our “play” money so to speak is very minimal, but we are sacrificing by choice for our wedding.
We try to be smart in other ways too like using power at home in non peak times to do laundry and stuff, and we always pack lunches/coffee etc… for work. And we buy in bulk when we can. The fact that you realize you need to take better control is a huge step! It’s worth it in the end.
Post # 23
- Wedding: September 2011 - Epworth UMC & Ward Pavilion
@MsBrooklynA:It’s really helpful, especially for things like gas. Our bill was only $5 this month, but can be $150 in the winter. So, I budget it at $75, so in the summer I have $70 extra sitting in the account that will be available to pay the $150 bills in the winter. Also, since all the “us” money is in that account, I don’t feel guilty spending my leftovers in my personal account on “me” things. (Although I sometimes spend them on “us”, like taking him out to dinner, or more likely for me, spending it on cute toddler clothes for my daughter!)
Post # 24
“Mint” is a great budgeting tool (and it’s a free iphone app so you always can keep track!)
Post # 25
I’m super lazy when it comes to cooking/baking all that stuff too. I hate cleaning up the mess, so I build in my snacks to my grocery budget. Granola bars, bags of apples, precut veggies, canned fruit.
I buy two cans of pears or peaches (no names brand = less than a $ a can) and split it up into 5 little tupperwears..then i just grab one year morning as i’m leaving forwork and that can be my snack.
Think about rewarding yourself. if you can go one week taking your snack rather than buying it at work, do something nice for yourself. Paint your toes a funky colour, have a buble bath, get SO cook a nice dinner (if he can….lol) etc. make it worth your while to save that money!
Or start thinking of a goal you want to reach (this is where my obsessive saving comes in). Maybe you want to be able to pay for one class next semester? make an achievable goal, something that is important to you (that will also help you!!!) and that will make saving easier. That way, the money isn’t just sitting there, it has a purpose.
Post # 26
@cannon: Oh yes.. for bills that fluctuate we have what is called “equal billing” in Canada. They bill you the same amount year round but on months when you don’t use everything you are being billed for it accumulates in your account and pays off the overflow during expensive months. It’s good when you don’t plan for an expensive heating bill in the winter let’s say.
Post # 27
We did the Dave Ramsey system and we also use Mint.com. It was REALLY eye opening to see where tons of our money was going down the drain on “little” things. Cutting my habit of buying a cup of coffee at school or on the way to work saves us a TON!
Post # 28
Wow, thanks to all of the PPs and to the OP because I really needed to hear this!! I too am struggling and feel like I am drowning in a sea of debt. I need to buck up and start trying to conquer the debt, not continuing to incur more!
Post # 29
Oh, and CASH. If you make a budget for each category, and use cash for each of those categories (kept in separate pockets or envelopes in your wallet – Savvy Cents has good money organizer wallets) and you can actually SEE your money, it makes you think twice before you spend it. Before I was just reaching for the debit card and mindlessly swiping it.
Post # 30
@MsBrooklynA: well right now it’s hard. Only because I did use to treat myself with a new tattoo or a pair of shoes etc. Since Mr. Tattoo didn’t have steady work for almost a year, it really put a strain on me because I couldn’t just go out and blow $70 on shoes or go blow $50 at the bar with my friends or the casino.
Now that he’s working, I know things will get better, but we still need to limit “fun” things for right now. I said the important thing is to have at least 1 date night a month and to be able to treat ourselves every other month. So he can buy a video game or something for his computer and I can go buy shoes and what not.
We will be figuring everything out now that he’s working again.
Also, my daughter has what she needs and a little extra. She doesn’t have 10 pairs of shoes or a massive amount of toys that she won’t play with. She is seriously happiest when she has new paint and easle paper. I think some people over stimulate their kids. She doesn’t need to have every new kid gadget that comes out on the market. As long as she has a roof over her head, three warm meals in her belly, and clothes to keep her cool/warm, I say she’s doing great. ^_^
Right now we are basically in survive mode until he starts having steady income coming in.
Post # 31
@travelerkate: I guess it’s good to know I’m not the only one still learning how to manage my money.
@Stammie16:Thank you for the suggestions. I will most certainly try some of them.
@Rock Hugger:I just started making tips at my new job so managing my cash flow is harder then it used to be. The numbers are so up in the air but maybe if I try this way then I will just know that’s all i’ve got for the rest of the week or what ever.
@MrsSawyer: My main question is though, how do you keep track of all that. Does he keep a spread sheet or is everything just the same week in and week out that it is easy to preestimate and then automatically moved? I have the hardest time with keeping it all where it needs to be because we have so many accounts.
@Khumble:All of those are great suggestions. Thank you!
@MrsSawyer:If only that was how it worked here! Right now, we fill our propane tank about 3 times a winter and it can be upwards of $600 at a time.
@jodie.strom:It’s really hard! I wouldn’t say I have a ton of debt but making sure everything is paid at the end of the month has been a struggle.