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Budget..How did you fix yours?

This is for people who are not perfect. If you are perfect, please don't answer! :)

So my husband and I are spending money horribly! I've noticed this after we got a joint checking and I cut up my credit cards. Now I'm realizing we are not doing good at spending money wisely. Our main problems are my husband buying smokes everyday, and him spending A LOT of money on lunch. I spend about $3-5 a day on lunch, but I know I'm not buying groceries that well. I read the hillbilly housewife list, which would be great if I was a SAHM with time to bake my own bread, but that will have to wait until Maternity leave.

So, what were your fallbacks and how did you get back on track?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:35 PM on Apr. 2, 2010 in Money & Work

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Sit down with your husband so the two of you can go over the numbers and the spending. He isn't going to get it if you just say "we're spending too much money" he needs to see the numbers. Create a budget together and budget in everything - mortgage, groceries, spending money etc.

    You've already identified probably the biggest money wasters - smokes, coffee and lunch out. Sometimes people just don't realize what they're doing. Ten dollars for smokes per day, $1.50 every day for coffee, $4 per day for your lunch and however much you spend on your lunch per day. Tally that up and look at what those expenses cost you in the run of a month and show your husband.

    Groceries - look at the sales flyers, get a good understanding of what's a good price for something and what isn't.

    Fixing your budget really is just as simple as looking at the numbers. Looking at what comes in vs what is being spent.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 6:52 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • Well you don't have to bake your own bread to make your own lunch! :) You can at least start off by both of you taking your own lunches on Monday and Tuesdays (you can prep it Sunday) and then work your way into other days of the week. Whether its burgers, chinese, tacos, Italian, chicken or whatever you guys buy for lunch you can make it yourself and it will be ALOT cheaper than buying daily.
    Cigarettes there's no real way to cut the price down unless you cut smoking and that is a decision he will have to make on his own.
    We cut cable and use Netflix & sites like to see our favorite shows. Thats saves money monthly.
    I always recommend the Dave Ramsey plan because I think its a great way to get and stay out of debt. We are NOT there yet but I so look forward to the day we are. We have alot to work on as well but every little change does help.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 11:43 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • We pay $10 a month for cable...and I watch everything on hulu! I miss my DVR sooo much! :)

    What's Dave Ramsey?

    Starting lunch slow might help him.....good idea. Do you have any advice on what to pack for a man who doesn't gain weight, but eats enough for 4 people?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • "This is for people who are not perfect. If you are perfect, please don't answer! :)"

    LOL! I'm going to have to remember this line when I post questions in the future. Those "perfect" answers do get irritating!!!

    As the PP said, you don't have to make your own bread.... BUT! I just learned a fabulous no-knead bread recipe! It has to set for about a day, but really doesn't require a lot of work.

    I use Quicken to monitor our spending, but I think there are some free apps you can get online. I like to enter each reciept to see the exact balance, rather than depending on what the bank says. i do this about twice a month, before I do my grocery shopping and bill-paying. Then I have a very accurate picture of what I can spend. Then I shop at Winco (cheap!), and I'm a reall skinflint when it comes to buying the cheapest of everything! Good luck!

    Answer by Adelicious at 11:52 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I've been thinking about that...How do you get your husband to bring home all receipts?? His routine? Buy's cigerettes and coffee in the morning, buys a snack at 10, buys lunch at 12, and then gets home and is REALLY hungry. . .

    Oops! Maybe this is a talk to your husband about what his spends question, instead of budget help. I'm not saying I'm perfect. We got into some trouble when I decided to have me time and got my eyebrows waxed and bought a $15 outfit for a job interview. Then I bought my son a potty and some new $20 shoes. But those are reasonable purchases aren't they? I just keep wondering where ALL the money goes right? I just transferred everything into an excel spreedsheet and going to show him how much he spends in a day, week and month compared to the household needs....

    Any other ideas??

    Thank you ladies!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • It sounds like what you spent is what he spends in a week buying food, snacks, drinks and cigarettes. But I would sit down and do a budget. Know what goes to bills, savings, and what is left over. Decide what is a reasonable amount for everything and both of you consider where you can cut. Fast food (including gas station snacks), cigarettes, spa related stuff like your eyebrows, clothes/equipment for baby...consider it all in your budget. You may have to even go cash only for these items to keep you both in check. Then when the cash runs out you are just stuck. Do whatever works.
    Coffee can be brewed (and taste better) at home and in a travelling mug. Snacks can be kept in the car and lunches can be made. But like I said before starting with even just one of those is a step in the right direction. But this will be alot easier if he sees that he too is spendng too much money.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 12:52 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • If he refuses to quit smoking invest in a sams club membership, you can get a carton of cigs for 12 dollars. Also as far as lunch pack sandwhiches, OR give both of you an allowance, if you use all the money you go with out lunch the rest of the week.

    With groceries, I do poor mans shopping first (pastas rice etc do not buy a single item over a dollar) from there see how much you have left in your budget and spend that on the most important things and go down to the things you would just like. Other great things are sales ^_^, get meat when its on sale and freeze it. try to find an albertsons, they often have sales, "buy 1 get 2 free" yeah thats right 3 for the price of one, then freeze it, set it to thaw in the morning in the fridge of course, cook it when you get home. Good luck

    Answer by Laura_Cruz at 4:57 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • Just to add to the grocery issue, do you make a list? You want to have some sort of an idea of what you need for the week before you go to the store. If you go unorganized that's when you start to over spend. In general it will also be cheaper if you stay away from convenience foods. So for example instead of buying a fruit tray with all the fruit already cut up, buy the whole fruit and cut it up yourself. It's more expensive to buy pre made meals than it is to by the ingredients and make it yourself. You also want to keep an eye on the food and ingredients in your house so you can plan meals around them and generate less waste.

    To a certain extent you have to learn how to grocery shop. You have to have an idea of what you eat, what things cost and how to compare items. You partly learn that by doing.

    Answer by EmilyandIsaac at 7:00 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • The "perfect people" disclamer worked. This is the first time I've had multiple great answers. Great idea's ladies! Thank you for not judging me and my out of control bank account!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:07 AM on Apr. 3, 2010