Discussion in 'Mama's Simplifying and Thrift forum' started by TulaneMama, Jan 5, 2011.
what tools are you using, how are you doing it, etc.....
let's talk about it all here!
I'm going to keep watching this. I started making a budget last night. I have never lived alone and paid bills before.
you can print out worksheets to help you complete the process on the dave ramsey site.
We are using DR for the most part still. I haven't put together a long term budget for this year. We have too many things up in the air right now (my car situation, Johnny's residency for school, tax returns, etc.) I will put a year long plan together the middle of Feb. after all this crap is straightened out. We are definitely planning on becoming debt free this year, including all vehicles. The only debt we will have is $2500 in student loans, but chances are we may be able to sneak that in too. My plan right now to is to just get us through our short income hiatus without too much damage, and get things back on track in Feb, when we start getting his GI Bill money, the tax return, and busy season hits for my business.
I'm using Mint, but I'll probably also use my old homemade DR style spreadsheet, too. I wish Mint had a little more ability to categorize and track, but I'm too cheap to spring for Quicken right now.
So I hear lots of people talking about Dave Ramsey. Is he easy to follow? Is he primarily USA or does he talk about Canadian stuff too? Not that there is a huge difference but when you are talking 401K's etc... that makes a difference.
I am going to check his website out today and see what I can find for spreadsheets....
DR is VERY easy in my opinion and it works!
DR is very very simple to use. Pretty much anyone can do it. I use his basic principles in the finance class I have been teaching locally. His program really does work if you stick to it.
I wish I could use Mint but my bank is tiny and local and they aren't on mint.
Maybe I'll look into DR.
I don't really use anything, maybe I should.
I have read some DR and I do use some of his ideas.
I haven't figured out our budget yet. We have to finish paying my mom off from a loan for last years taxes. Once that is done, I think I am going to split that payment in half, and save half and put the other half towards debt. I know DR would say to put it all towards debt, but I think right now we need to get some more in savings.
I have been using a spreadsheet that I made up, in addition to Mint, but I have decided to take on DR as my bigger plan. I am ready to not freak out about money.
Dh and I really need to make up an exact budget. My plan thus far has been to write down our general bills, estimate what is left over and plan to put that much on our debt snowball each month. This works okay as we are living on only 60% of our income now so there is always some money going to debt but I know if I was more organized that our debt would go down more quickly. My goal this year is to pay off an additional $27G in debt on top of our normal bills so I need to be very strict with our finanances. Hoping to sit down with dh this month and work out a budget. I adore DR principles but I can't stand carrying cash so overspending with the debit card is what trips me up.
Another goal of ours is for dh to retire by age 50-55 which means we need to budget so that we can begin to put more money into our financial portfolio. He is 37 so we only have 13-18 years to work with.
i am thankful that our rent and utilities come out of DH pay at a set amount regularly, as well as medical expenses. this makes DR even easier to follow for us.
I am also thankful for our Roths and college funds we have as well as the few mutual funds. it feels good to know that even when the monthly budget is tight, we are securing our future, bit by bit.
We are using a lot of DR ideas.
Ashley, I really miss the BAH coming out and not having to be concerned with it. Right now we have to take half the rent out on each pay day, and make sure it's all transferred back into the bill paying account on the 1st. Just one more thing to do. The rental agency wouldn't allow us to set up an allotment, which really threw us off. After years and years of living on post and doing the rent/utilities that way, it's a hard adjustment.
We will continue using our spreadsheet that breaks things down by pay day: what gets paid when, line items for things like rent, gas, electric, gasoline, groceries, entertainment, misc, as well as some others. This month I took all but $100 of the grocery money out in cash... and it is helping me get ahold of the food budget better. Actually, it's helping dh not just go and get whatever he wants. I also have all the clothing money in an envelope in my wallet, too. I've only used about $5 of that this payday, so I am hoping to add ot the envelope for a few more paydays and then be able to go have a fun shopping spree in the spring.
So - basically we are just plugging away doing what we've done for the last few years. Tightening the reins, for sure, because we've gotten lax. Plus, when we moved to CA we lost about $1K/month in income. So, that has also been an adjustment. Really looking forward to the tax return to get a few things done that need done, and to use it to pay something big off, then use the rest for a nice family vacation. because of the adoption credit, we should be seeing a really large return this year. I need glasses (I've been doing without, but it's obvious I need them now), Nate needs new glasses, I think Austin may need new glasses; we need to look at a new washing machine, possibly one or two kids will be needing braces (ugh)... the list goes on...
heather....is there a good spreadsheet on the Mac? i haven't looked yet but I should.
we use iWork - it's the program "Numbers" a lot like excel. Actually, I can open excel files with it and save as an excel file, too.
I handwrite the budget out and use the cash envelopes. I think it would be neat to have my info in a computer program, but it is a lot easier to involve my dh in the budget planning when we sit down with pen and paper the old fashioned way
We just downloaded this: Personal Budget Software - Finance Software for Windows, Mac & Linux
Has a free trial for 7 days. Pretty cool software. It's for zero-based budgeting.
I downloaded Quicken last week. I really like it so far. It might not be a good idea for an OCD anal person though. I am really picky about categorizing every little thing. To the point that when I go to the store I separate food from other stuff and pay for each category so when I get home I can figure out what $ was for what.
But so far I really like it, except it doesn't update as fast as I would like it to. I tried to update it this morning for stuff I spent $ on yesterday, Dr appt, meds, some groceries, and even though it shows online at my bank, it won't update on Quicken.
I still use a notebook and pencil, I like to erase, too. I am soo scared I'm going to mess this all up. Right now all bills are paid through this month, and most, even the house, are paid up until April!
Oops somehow that posted twice.
Here's a cute boy to edit into this one so no one knows I hit submit twice!