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Tonight I am going to add it all up!

September 10th, 2006 at 02:56 pm

I am going to do it. I must must have done this 20 times in the last few weeks and then it has gotten pushed aside every single time.
I want start to keep track of all our spending. That includes mortgage, car payments, utility, medical, insurances, food, gas, medications, extras. I want to do this for an entire month and really see where all our income is going. I have never done this before. (I think this is where the Paycheck-to-paycheck) life comes from. My husband works hard and it seems we just can't get it.
However, with $0 in savings, $0 cash in hand, and the money in checking is only there and promised to bills coming up....we'll where do I start?
That is why I feel if I sit down tonight and just write down every single cent I need to pay out every month, every cent that comes in every month, I may see a way to save.
Does anyone have any other ideas where I should start?
OK..to be real honest here...yesterday was my birthday...I feel that today gives me that "clean slate" and a goal of 1 year to see just how well I can turn our financial future around.
I have never been taught how to save, spend, budget and DH has not either. We were both spoiled only children who's parents are STILL..not the best role models when it comes to money. I want better for myself, my DH and my children.
Yes, enough is enough.
This is my venting arena..now I need to actually put my plan into action.
Everyone's input will greatly appreciated! Enjoy the Day!

4 Responses to “Tonight I am going to add it all up!”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    You're on the right track and in the right place! See GOOD NEWS already.

    You've got a beginning plan of attack. Start tracking that money honey!

    Then, try this - each payperiod - before the check is even cashed - write out a spending plan.

    +Income Column=Total
    -savings=New total
    -Emerg. Fund = New Total
    -housing=New total
    - water = New Total
    - grocery =New Total
    - gasoline =New Total
    -debt = New Total
    -etc. = New Total
    -poopoff $$=New Total
    all the way down to zero.

    When you first start you will miss all kinds of categories that you spend money on...like the taxes that only come due once a year, car tags, etc. You know the ones - those that jump up midyear and bite you on the bum!!

    OUCH!

    This is how people who more than just get by do it! They plan, track, re-evaluate and correct...thus staying on course.

    Try looking on line for Mary Hunt's website or get thee hence to the local library and look for her books. She's pretty good. Seems many here are hip to Dave Ramsey. A couple of other good reads are "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominquez & The Richest Man in Babylon. Attempt to follow their suggestions. Be willing to try different scenarios until what fits for your family surfaces.

    Because I have it - and it works very well for me, I highly recommend Jesse's You Need A Budget software. He's on this forum and sells his software very inexpensively and it was well worth the investment for me. YMMV.

    Other good places are Mevelopes and BudgetMap (both online).

    Hope this helps. I was once where you were a few short years ago and have corrected our pathway towards higher ground. You can to!

  2. yummy64 Says:

    LuxLiving gave you some great advice.

    The one thing that I've done is look where I'm "dribbling money" away. Are you each buying take out coffee a few times a day. Make coffee in the morning and save those funds - but $2 a day or whatever it would cost to buy it in a jar. Same with lunches and suppers..Can you brown bag lunch once or twice a week. Save that money in the jar. At the end of the week/month. Throw all your savings into your emergency fund/savings account. It can be quite fun changing a few small habits and socking that money. Its money you would have otherwise spent moved into savings

    Some people do that as their $20 challenge. Find ways to save $20 a week (or a month) and put that into savings. It might be a fun game to do while you are working out a budget plan. Maybe you can do $10 or $50. Do what you can. Next month you'll have something in your savings. Not a huge amount but its baby steps that get you where you want to be.

  3. ima saver Says:

    Get Mary Hunt's book, cheapskate monthly makeover. Se up a freedom account so when those one or twice a year bills come do, you will have the money. I am talking about house taxes, house insurance, car insurance, car maintenance, etc. Commit to saving something out of every paycheck even if it is just $5. Put it away in a savings account and do not touch it! You must build an emergency fund first thing!

  4. melissalt Says:

    If you have to keep redoing your budget because you keep forgetting different expenses, don't get discouraged! Your budget will just get better and better because of that. For me, I found that once I started saving on a regular basis, it felt really, really good in a way I didn't expect. I kept thinking I didn't have money to save, but once I started paying attention, I really did have some extra, and I started building my emergency fund (which came in *extremely* handy last month!). The emergency fund might be the most important step of all!

    You will get some great advice from people here who have actually achieved what you (& I) are just beginning to work on. Good luck, and just keep at it; it gets easier and easier, and you'll feel so much better with each little step you make!

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