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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by HandyRake, Jan 20, 2013.
Who uses them? Who doesn't? Any good templates anyone wants to share?
None here, never used one
Not really a budget, but How we do it is more like a list than a budget...
(monthly income at the top)
1. Most important thing (Food).. and whatever our food bill will be.
2. Second most important thing (Shelter).. cost for shelter
3. Third (lights).. light bill
4. automobile fuel (rough estimate)
.. and so on.
If you're trying to figure out where money is going... Nothing gets spent on that isn't on the list (restaurants, etc..). You assign every dollar to an item, and you'll find money you didn't know you had.
I pretty much track it like IndyGunFreak explained. I just make a list on Microsoft Word each month of all the expected expenses and their amounts such as mortgage, food, electric, natural gas, gasoline, credit cards, etc and adjust it things get paid. I figure out what is expected to be made for the month and just make sure we have enough or make more than we are projected to spend. I also keep a certain amount on the list and label it "other" just for the unknowns like going out to eat or buying a birthday present for someone, etc. It's worked for us for the last four years and it really keeps you on your toes on your spending and allows to put more into savings as well.
Dave Ramsey-"A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went."
+1 on the Ramsey quote. I use a simplified version of the one he includes in Financial Peace University. I wish I would have started this years ago.
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There must be some good software out there. But I just make my own Excel. Pretty powerful program. Use the "autosum" feature after you highlight the numbers to add up.
I do usually first list all of my fixed expenses: Rent, insurance, utilities (average), gasoline (average), child support, food (average), etc. Add up all of those things.
Then compare it to your income. Talking net here (after taxes).
Subtract, and you find out your "discretionary income." How much money you have for all the stuff your didn't list in your fixed expenses. Ammo, going out to eat, road trip money, laundry, vacation fund, etc. Anything and everything you didn't put in your first expense category.
Very quick to do, and gives you a decent monthly snapshot of your budget.
Longer term gets a bit more complicated, because then you need to think about your savings (current amount in bank, monthly contributions to that account, plus contributions to longer term savings). You really want to be kicking money in to some LONG TERM savings plan (IRA type stuff) monthly. Take it straight out of your check. The sooner you start the better. Right now, my retirement account gets an extra $1100 per month, which is nice to see grow. But you want to start kicking in something, anything as young as possible. That money grows exponentially, so you need to give it a bunch of years to give you a big ass nest egg for when you get old.
Found this calculator...seems decent
Ain't nothin wrong with a yellow notepad and calculator
My Wife and I came up with a few things that served us well for many years.
Each payday we each got a fixed personal allowance. It started out as just $15 and grew to $400 a paycheck.
This money was personal mad money that was to be spent only on ourselves. It was not to be spent for "house stuff" like car gas, haircuts, shoes, etc.
It was for hobbies, trips, personal stuff that we might want but it could be spent on each other for like a Christmas present. The money could be loaned to each other or to the "house" but MUST be paid back ASAP.
It was nice having "personal money" to buy something for my Wife or having personal money set aside when I ran across a good gun deal, etc.
My Wife usually had about $3,000 saved up and I usually had $000.
Another thing that worked real well was paying the big bills ahead.
I added up all the annual bills, house insurance, taxes, car insurance, etc, any fixed annual payments.
I divided by the number of annual paychecks. Then each payday I put this amount, plus a little to get ahead, in a unused savings account.
This money was treated as a DUE BILL that must be paid imediately to the savings account. No saying I'll put it in the bank next week or the plan will just fall apart.
Then when a big bill, like land taxes, came due the money was already there.
No trying to come up with the money at the last minute. Since the money was already in the bank paying those big bills was painless.
The third thing we did was work to get completely out of debt.
Most people have no idea how much money they piss away every payday in finance charges. I've figured it up for some people and they won't believe it.
I never made "good money" but we paid cash for everything, land, cars, mototcycles, many guns, planes, even our house.
It's suprising how far your money goes if you aren't throwing much of it down the toilet in finance charges.
Of course there are exceptions but, petty much, If you can't pay cash for it you can't afford it.
I've been thinking about doing it for a while and just started this month. I'm sure there is software available, but I just set it up in Excel -- actually, Google Docs.
I have a column for estimated expenses next to my actual incurred expenses. Sums at the bottom. Be sure to include a fair amount for incidentals or miscellaneous. For me, it helps to factor in both a short and long term goal for saving. Short term can be night sights, a baseball road trip, or a new firearm. Long term can mean international travel or a house downpayment, obviously tailored to your interests and needs.
I wish I would have set it up sooner - I would have saved more and put more toward the things that are really important.
Sounds like some good plans! I am just starting off with a plain old spread sheet. I found a few online that look pretty good today that I might end up using too. M2 Carbine, you make some good points! Thanks for sharing!
I borrow every dime I can and spend it foolishly and never intend on paying it back. I party like a Congressman!!!