What's your budgeting style?

What's your budgeting style?

Budgeting, in pretty much any shape or form, is not something I've personally been very good at. To be fair, I've never really tried too hard to keep to one. Man Embarassed My method of budgeting has always been to set aside money in a savings account. So now as Ian and I work to save towards to a down payment on a home I had the strong feeling a budget is necessary to be rigorous about meeting my goal. Personally, I feel like I can do anything with clearly defined goals! Woman Very Happy

 

I started by googling "budgeting tools" and came across you need a budget, it was recommended in almost every list I read. Have you ever heard of it? It seems pretty popular. I like that it is a proactive approach to assigning your dollars a job instead of a passive system of incoming transactions and reconciling. The interface is very visual and the program encourages you to assign a function to every dollar so that you don't leave funds unassigned. There are categories for "fun" money, too but I find that assigning funds encourages me to stay on budget because I don't see "free" dollars but instead have an allotted amount for the category. Maybe this is something that seems simple but it's been really helpful for me! I also like all the informational videos they put out on their YouTube channel. 

 

I ordered a book called Pogues Basics: Money on Amazon after reading another one of his books Pogues Basics: Life. It's like a guide to every day money "hacks" that encourage you to think about your money choices. Do you have any books on personal finance you recommend?

 

I'm curious as to how you budget? (in general, not trying to pry too deep!) I am open to exploring other software/methods as YNAB does have an annual fee (though there's a free trial and that's what I've been using so far). I'm aware there are a lot of budgeting worksheets available online but they all seem to be very passive and I need an active method as I learn how to do this. Smiley Embarassed

 

If you're just stumbling across this looking for a place to begin your budget - personal finance guru Dave Ramsay has a well-loved budget worksheet (and a bunch of other handy tools) available on his website


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Janice James - W+H Community Manager
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13 REPLIES

Re: What's your budgeting style?

This is one of my favorite topics @Janice... thank's for posting. The inner economist nerd loves these kind of conversations. I think we need to make a difference between everyday budgets and special events/ purchase budgeting. I have a very simple spreadsheet that has all the regular budget considerations broken out into line items. I made it for my 21 year old daughter who is bad with numbers. I am happy to share if anyone is interested. 

 

There are a lot of "best practices" on how much of your income should go to which budget bucket, but the standards I learned back in school were these:

 

Housing ~ 30%

Groceries, Clothing, Transportation, Utilities  ~30%

Savings ~ 10%

 

This is a more detailed list I found online that breaks out medical cost and debt payments as well:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 9.50.34 AM.pnghttp://www.leavedebtbehind.com/frugal-living/budgeting/10-recommended-category-percentages-for-your-family-budget/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: What's your budgeting style?

I think this Article fits well with your questions @Janice

 

Re: What's your budgeting style?

VERY helpful advice. I love the article mentions goodbudget! I switched to using them after the free trial ended for another budgeting tool I tried. A ton of helpful suggestions for giving financial anxiety a healthy and constructive outlet (and hopefully reducing it overall). Thanks for sharing @Twinkletoes83. Smiley Happy


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Janice James - W+H Community Manager
BE WELL. BUILD WEALTH.™
Get started in the community.

My goal is to connect people who share a passion for staying well and building wealth to ensure healthy, comfortable futures. Let me know how I can help!

Re: What's your budgeting style?

I bumped into one of my colleagues the other day at the airport and he mentioned that he is using Mint.com

 

He and his wife are good with their budget, but using Mint - automatically categorizing their spending helps them see if they are going over budget in one or more areas as opposed to their plans. I loved his story. I think it's a great one to help stay accountable after you create a budget. Sticking to it is the most important part, but we all need help with it. It's great to know that there are tools out there that help with them and save you some time too.

Re: What's your budgeting style?

Thanks for sharing those links. I am trying to get a handle on our finances to save for a vacation next year so it's pretty helpful. I am trying the Mint app, just downloaded it and connected my accounts but I don't know how to get it to track my savings goal.

Re: What's your budgeting style?

@PatBee - it looks like you can do it online not in the app:

https://blog.mint.com/goals/how-to-use-mints-goals-06302010/

 

I never tried it, let me know if this helps?

Re: What's your budgeting style?

i try to keep to a budget and just pay or spend what is necessary for me at the time and don't spend on things i don't need 

Re: What's your budgeting style?


@12-05-53k wrote:

i try to keep to a budget and just pay or spend what is necessary for me at the time and don't spend on things i don't need 


You know, if you had said this to me when I first asked I wouldn't have understood it could be this simple. Now, with several months of doing exactly this behind me, I can see it really IS just this simple. 

 

One of the other big adjustments was grocery shopping. We didn't plan it out beforehand previously, we would just head to the store and buy whatever. Now we make a list by planning out the meals we want for the week. It's helped keep our costs under control instead of just picking out whatever and then getting home and having to go back during the week for various meals. 

 

P.S. - YES, we saved enough for our down payment and are in the process of building a home now!


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Janice James - W+H Community Manager
BE WELL. BUILD WEALTH.™
Get started in the community.

My goal is to connect people who share a passion for staying well and building wealth to ensure healthy, comfortable futures. Let me know how I can help!

Re: What's your budgeting style?

i try to pay all of my bills that are most important for me then i pay the one's that are less important to me and i try to buy only things that i need and not what i want