How do you stay within your budget?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by havi, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    Ive been needing to start a budget so I finally put one together. After looking at a thread earlier about what you make and your expenses. Reading everyones replies goes to show you how many people are having to cut back with this economy. Alot of them sounded just like what Im going through as well. When I looked at what we bring in and what goes out each month..it just blew me away! [​IMG] We (I guess more me really) are spending waaaaay to much money on crap we dont need. Its just DH and I, no kids. Well our kids are our animals. Two large dogs, one medium, 5 cats, 22 chickens and a house bunny.

    So my question is how do YOU stay within your budget? How do you keep it all organized and keep track of it all? Im not organized at all. I have ADD which doesnt help matters. I never have cash on me and use my debit card and checks. Im better at keeping track of my checks, but those little transactions on that debit card get me. I use a couple dollars here and use some there. But for the life of me can never keep track of it all. And it starts to add up. Ive started clipping coupons lately. I really need to get my grocery bill down! For the two of us I spend around $400+ a month. For the TWO of us! That is crazy! Ive tried more than once to 'make lists' and 'plan ahead'. Which I do. For..about two weeks and then it seems to slowly comes to a stop. I clip coupons to use and then when I go to the store I can never find the one I need to use. [​IMG] Anyone care to share their secret?
     
  2. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2010
    Idaho Falls
    One very simple secret to staying within a budget is simply keeping track.. You need to know what you bring in and what you spend (and on what). When you start seeing that the $2 here and there is adding up to several hundred by the end of the month, you tend to second guess the necessity of the $2 the next time [​IMG]

    My parents raised thirteen kids on a teacher's salary (in one of the lowest ranked states for teachers salaries)... my mother never worked while there were kids at home and we never lacked for any necessity of life. We always had chickens, a huge garden and followed the three Rs--Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

    Tips for following a budget:

    Pay yourself first (put at least 10% of your income away in savings and live off the rest)
    Spend less than you make
    Avoid unnecessary debt
    Identify your "needs" and your "wants"
    Learn to live without the "wants" if you can't pay cash for them
    Eat more eggs and Idaho Potatoes!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!
     
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I make pockets, in my corkboard, showing the paydays each month and what is due that payday. Each one includes the total for bills and what is leftover for everything else. On $40 weeks it's not easy, but that's why on $200 weeks I stock up.
     
  4. VERN

    VERN Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been lucky with rabbit, dog and chicken food. One month dog and chicken food next month after is rabbit. The only thing is in winter the animals will go through a lot more food. With the chickens I let them out to free range thus cutting my food bill for them. I don't like to eat fast food because when I see what it costs for a couple of bucks more my animals can eat for a month. Besides fast food is just killing you any way. I pay cash for everything that's my credit limit. I also put change in a piggy bank for frivolous things and it is more rewarding because it feels like free money. It is a constant juggling act but it is worth it. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Michigan
    We don't do this anymore, but we made a page with all categories of things we would buy, and the amount alloted each month. Under each, when we bought something, we just subtracted from the available fund. Then we would carry over the remaining to next month.

    Now we use a reciept thing, the poky one where you shove reciepts on it and manage it that way. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    I never used a debit card,but I do have problems using the credit card.I would pay everything by credit card and then pay off the bill each month.Problem was I was having problems paying the bill. Now I take out $100 cash each week to spend on everything,and order a $25 gas card. I put all the reciepts in a deposit envelope to add up weekly,and see where I can cut out items.

    When I get a bill I will mark the due date on the calendar,and then circle it when it is paid. I try to pay everything as I get it in the mail.

    For food I will stock up on sale items so I have things for the month.Same thing with house supplies. I won't buy high priced(or put of season) items just because we want it.Have to give up something!

    I do my best to get the electric,gas,and water bills lower each month.

    I shop at the resale store instead of buying at the store.Gotta love the 50 cent mondays!I bought jeans recently for 90 cents each.

    It is like a diet to me.Even if I fall *off the wagon* I get back on.

    Paying yourself is good.Even if it is just $10.Put it into an account you do not use.

    I take turns on the pet supplies too.When things get really bad I will reluctantly rehome the animals.

    When I shop whatever coins I have left that day go straight into a jar.Rainy day money.Ds likes to roll up the coins.

    Dh is a driver so one week pay might be $200 and another it is $700. I have to plan for the low weeks.
     
  7. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Every time a bill comes in the mail, I write out the check right away and put it in a mail slot by the door. On the envelope I write the date by which it has to be mailed so as not to be late. My checkbook sometimes has a negative number, but it reminds me how much is really in there for non essential things.
    I also have a purse sized calendar with a list of all my bills, on every month. Each time a bill comes in and I pay it, that bill gets checked off my calendar. It helps me to keep track of what still needs to be paid for that month.
    I also have been putting in more hours to help me stay ahead. I miss my time off, but getting everything paid is a very good feeling.
     
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    it is hard sometimes to stay within budget. [​IMG] however i try and save as much as i can. not buying coffee or food at work. I try and make lunches all the time, and make food for my husband too, so he doesnt buy.
    i also try and give our chickens as much scrapes as possible, so no food go's to waste. And free ranging them does help. [​IMG]
    as far as our 2 dogs, i have tried different brands of food, for them to keep costs down. I buy generic foods when possible, (some foods i have to buy name brand). And we drive my husbands company car when we go out. (it saves alot on gas). I turn down the heat for the house when we go out. (makes a difference)! any little bit helps. good luck. [​IMG]
     
  9. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    May 11, 2010
    I make a shopping list and stick to it. And I shop only one day a week. I try to avoid those quick stops 'just for one thing' because that 10 dollar purchase suddenly become 80 dollars.
     
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    There's other ways to cut back as well. Alot of phone companies offer bundling of services, they arnt cheap some of them. I've found that it's cheaper to just have regular long distance service without the call waiting, call forwarding etc.... We dont make many long distance calls anyway. Our local cable company offers cheaper internet services than the phone company. Our phone company offers a monthly $5 off our Dish satellite bill, no strings attached, I jumped on that deal. Car insurance and full coverage...do you really need $250,000-$500,000 worth of liabilty coverage? If you're accident prone and risk getting sued, I'd say yes....but you can drop the liability down to your states minimum liability coverage and save money. Instead of $500 deductable, why not raise it to $1000 deductable on your collision and comprehensive...unless you're accident prone. If your vehicle is paid off, why have full coverage? Drop it down to minimum liability as required by your state. Cable and satellite... you dont need the premium channels, they are all repeats anyway, cut back there too. One stop shopping IMO is best. Do all your grocery shopping at one place, who cares if you spend an extra 20 cents on a gallon of bleach. You save money by not driving, wasting fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle to another store just because it's on sale,saving 20 cents...you burned $1 in gas to save 20 cents! I buy nice clothes at either Goodwill or the Salvation Army...you save mega bucks at those places. Homeowners insurance, It depends where you live. Our rates have gone through the roof because of the hurricanes that have hit Florida and the Gulf coast in previous years. To maintain the same level of coverage, I've had to raise my deductables significantly to keep the same yearly payment amount...it's an insurance ripoff if you ask me. However, you can lower your liability to the minimum and raise deductables much like vehicle insurance to save money. One last thing, you're in line at the grocery store and see all the goodies around the front of the store and checkout aisles...dont buy that stuff...it's called customer impulse buying. Stores do that on purpose to make very quick high profit sales on those items, avoid them. I worked in a large grocery store for 8 years. Canned goods are what kills me, for example; they'll have a sale sign on the shelf for a brand name product...like green beans. Before you grab the on sale can of green beans...also check the price labels of brand name cans of green beans around the one that's on sale. You'll be surprised to find a cheaper can of brand name green beans. Even a non brand name can of green beans are cheaper than brand name green beans with no difference in taste or quality. Just gotta be a smart shopper. Good luck.
     

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