Post # 1
After reading a few threads on savings amounts we all have I am feeling very ashamed that I live paycheck to paycheck.
Quite frankly I live beyond my means and I am going to put a stop to it.
I’ve opened up a high interest savings account and have applied for a 0% balance transfer on my credit card.
How much do you leave yourself for “fun” money a week? What tips do you have to being financuially savvy?
Post # 3
@dannielle89: I find that immediately putting X amount into savings, FIRST and using cash instead of my card has helped a lot, and it helped me break the habit of just swiping my card every time I wanted something!
It took me a while to get to the point of building up my savings, so I know how frustrating it can be!
Post # 4
@dannielle89: I treat savings as a “bill” so it’s the very first thing that comes out of my paycheck instead of waiting to see how much to put it after I pay all the bills. Also, using your debit card does help in living “cash only” and not use your credit card. Use your debit card if you don’t have the self discipline to pay off your credit card balance in full.
Post # 5
I find the easiest way is to first put away how much you’ll need for your fixed costs (I.e. rent, car insurance, cable bill,cell phone, etc.). For example, if you get 4 pay checks a month, then divide your fixed costs by 4 and put that aside (for me, “aside” means leaving it in my checking account since most of those bills are automatically withdrawn). Then I’ll usually put aside a certain amount for utilities (based on how much I usually spend), and whatever is left over, take that out in cash and use that for food, gas, and your other monthly expenses. Don’t use any plastic when making purchases. I think it helps to physically see how much spending money you have (or don’t have!). It’ll help you think twice before making needless purchases.
If you want to build credit, then bill some of your fixed costs (like your cell phone bill) to your credit card, and have you credit card set up to automatically pay off your balance each month.
Consider ways to cut down on your fixed costs also. Maybe try looking for a cheaper internet service provider or start looking for a new car insurance carrier. Some utilities companies also have budget-assistance where you can set an amount of how much you’d like to pay and they will text you if it looks like you’re going to go over.
Those are just some ideas. Hope that helps!
Post # 6
This is what I’m thinking:
Weekly pay $700
Amount I contribute to household: $300
Amount I pay off credit card: $150
Loan payment: $300
Excess: $150 (petrol, clothes, entertainment)
This is all MY money, DH has separate accounts.
I think it looks solid, although I’m used to spending freely. Time to grow up and get serious!
Post # 7
I would actually put more into savings than excess for weekly clothes and entertainment. I don’t think I buy clothes on a weekly basis, but that’s just me.
Here’s a good guideline about budgeting.
Post # 8
I consider myself a pretty good budgeter.
The most important thing is to keep track of all your expenses every month. You’ll learn what your average is.
I keep a spreadsheet which has different categories (house, food, eat out, clothes, Rx, auto, misc, etc).
You can use this to assess where the money is going, and where you can work on lowering a certain category.
Gas, clothes and entertainment are all separate categories for me. (Gas goes under auto)
Are you really spending $600/month on gas, clothes, entertainment?
I have my spreadsheet all linked up so that it removes those bills from my checking even though they aren’t techincally paid yet. I then can forecast what is left in my checking and what I have to work with.
Post # 9
I save as much as I can, since we have a wedding and potentially a house on the horizon. As long as you sit down and budget out exactly what you need, then leave 5-10% for unanticipated costs (electric/cable bill goes up a bit, etc). Save what you can, and watch it build!