(Closed) Living budget (not wedding budget) – do you have one and how does it turn out?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
5655 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

Right now, b/c of 2 large sums that we should’ve gotten around the wedding date that we didn’t, we’re still playing “catch up”

Hopefully by next month we can actually sit down and budget out what’s what and have some left over =D

BUT… every 6mths or so I go back and look and realize that I spend more at Starbucks than I realized. lol

Post # 4
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Ummm…. yeah.  Before I met Fiance, I never actually wrote down a budget.  I spent what I had, put what I had leftover in savings (which wasn’t much!) and just went forward.  After we got engaged, I realized that I needed to put together a budget if we were ever gonna pay for this thing, so I did.  I started with our total monthly income, subtracted our total monthly bills, and subtracted a weekly amount for us to have in cash as spending money.  When I did this, I was SHOCKED.  I could not believe how much money was left over at the end of that simple equation.  I realized that we had over 1500 extra a month that I just could not account for.  How could we possibly be spending THAT much extra per month?  To this day, I still don’t know but that was an eye opener and we definitely have a budget we live by today.

Post # 5
Member
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I feel like I “crunch our numbers” all the time.  If I dont work overtime we should about about $2000 at the end of every month but that doesn’t account for groceries /and misc weekend expenses like going out.  we are lucky to put away $500-750 a month.  It really amazes me how fast stuff adds up and how much I spend on weekend entertainment and food!  haha I just started a diet sooooo maybe they’ll be less grocery bills.

Post # 6
Member
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We don’t have a living budget. We kinda go with the flow. We just set so that a X amount goes directly into our saving and we pretend that amount doesn’t exist. Extra money from checking account also goes into saving. As for spending, we kinda gauge our spending. For example if I haven’t buy anything for myself for a while and I see something I want, I allow myself to buy. However if I spent several hundreds on clothing for a month, I won’t even go to the mall or even shop online. If we eat out too much, we cut back, if we haven’t for a few days, then we eat out. It isn’t ideal, but it works for us.

Post # 8
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I do things a little differently.  I kind of give myself an allowance.  I always have – ever since I graduated from college.  From each paycheck I automatically put a certain amount into savings and a certain amount into checking.  With whatever is left in the checking after paying bills is my allowance.  I can spend that on whatever I want.  I almost never touch the savings.  I will move money from one savings option to another every now and then.  I don’t touch the savings to the point that I actually sometimes forget I have it.  With each pay raise, birth of children, purchase of homes, etc. over the years I have adjusted the amounts that go into the accounts.  

Post # 9
Member
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We don’t have one.  It seems like something always comes up (a trip, a birthday, etc) every month, and it’s hard for me to budget for them (and it stresses me out)!

Have you ever used anything like mint.com?  I haven’t logged on in a while, but you can link credit cards, bank accounts, savings accounts, etc. and it can help you track where you are spending money.  It categorizes every expense (sometimes it’s wrong or it doesn’t know, but you can manually change things), so it might make it easier to see where all of your extra money is going.

Post # 10
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I used to be the same way with “losing money.” So I created a pretty insane excel spreadsheet that tracks every penny and even creates year-to-date charts and graphs automatically. Everything is categorized, you can input method of payment, etc. I love excel so much, it’s ridiculous. PM me if you would like for me to send you the file.

Post # 11
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

We have a living budget. It all started because of the wedding.  From June to December we were able to pay for our entire wedding in cash, without tapping our savings and without late paying bills etc. It was at that point that I thought, “We just paid $40k in six months, how come we can’t save that much in the same time period?!?!?!” 

After the wedding was over I really started tracking what we spent our money on in a month. Even if it was just starbucks. In the month of January my husband and I spent $400 at starbucks/dunkin donuts and we usually only buy liquids there, no food. WTF!!! I could have never imagined that. We also discovered that our 1 date night a week, averaged almost $150 ($600 a month). Darling Husband works 2nd shift so we only really see the other on weekends, so we go all out 🙂 I also realized that on average I spend $300 per month on my sister, because I feel guilty that she can’t afford things.  There’s an extra $1300 per month in just cutting back 3 things. it was a real wakeup call for us.

Post # 12
Member
833 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I second what notarobot suggested:  use cash for your weekly spending.  We take about $400 a week out and use that for groceries, gas, entertainment and anything else that isn’t a fixed expense.  The weeks we don’t make the time to go a bank machine and instead use debit/credit card for spending, we notice that we spend A LOT more than what we prefer. 

Do you track your spending at all?  We keep all our receipts and put them into a spreadsheet every week.  That way we’re able to see exactly what we’re spending on.  

Post # 13
Member
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@abbyful: Are you digging into your saving? (Don’t answer it if you’re not comfortable). If not, to save more, just transfer more money into the saving account and not touch it (not touching the saving is hard) and just go with what you have in your checking. If you’re digging into saving,  you can do what other suggested by download Mint (or do through excel) to find out what you can cut back. When I first started out, I was putting a couples of hundreds into saving, now I can put at least $1k into saving monthly.

Post # 14
Member
1622 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@leembee:  I don’t track my spending money because I don’t really do exactly the same thing as you.  Everything we spend money on is strictly budgeted.  Of course there is leeway, and that comes from what we put in savings. Bi-weekly groceries, gas per week, our fixed bills, entertainment – they all have a fixed amount in our budget and we don’t really stray from it unless something major comes up which doesn’t happen too often.  Then we get our personal spending money “allowance” weekly that we can use for personal stuff – clothes, hair dye (for me), shoes, eating out or getting coffee with friends.  We each get $50 a week to do with as we please and that seems to work for us.

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