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Is anyone really good at keeping a budget? Any tips on what you do? with groceries,bills, when to shop or no clothes shopping at all or just tips you have Thanks

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:48 AM on Dec. 30, 2008 in Just for Fun

Answers (8)
  • I used to really really suck at the whole budget thing and then about 10 years ago I had to take a budgeting class for writing hot checks it was the best thing that could have happened to me. Everything goes into the budget. If you plan on renting movies every week that goes on there. Account for everything. Also what my DH and I do is bill money goes in the checking account and the debit cards are not used. We pull out our spending money on payday and thats it. My best advice is sit down and write out what bills you have and then what you would like to spend money one ex: movies, eating out, clothes. Be honest about your spending habits.

    Answer by mosarmywife at 12:52 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • You just learn to juggle when you're stretched. I know which credit cards give a grace period and which one's hit your butt the next day. I buy clothes from consignment stores and when it's time for b-days and xmas I shop at the Dollar Store and Aldi's. You can find really great things at those stores. If I have t,o I make minimum payments on utility bills and I just find a way to make it work. You just have to find the flex spending.

    Answer by micrespo at 12:54 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • Plan your meals out, and buy things that can make more than one meal (example - I buy a whole chicken, the first night is a chicken dinner, the next night I use the left over chicken for something like enchilada's or quesadilla's, and the 3rd night I make chicken soup from the carcass.)

    I do not buy clothes for myself unless it is Christmas or my birthday (my birthday is in July, so that makes it pretty spaced out) and I try to only use money or gift cards that I get from those to buy them.


    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 12:55 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • If you have something other than utilities that you are paying on (for example a car) if you have a little extra, even $50.oo, when you make your payment, pay that extra but specify that you want that going to the principle. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it really will add up since none of it is going toward interest, and you will get it paid off quicker.

    I have a ton of things to do to help save, but I can't list them all here! You can message me if you need more idea's after getting answers here :)

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 12:55 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • Well, my friends all say I'm a whiz at keeping a budget.... I think the best way for ME to do it is to write out all of my bills. This sounds easier than it is, because you have to factor in the variables, like car ins every 6 months, or even license/tags once a year. Write down EVERYTHING, plus your income. See what's left over -- for me it's not much. This helps me keep in mind that I MUST stick to my budget (or keeps me motivated to create extra income). Get a large calendar and write when bills are due, for me paying everything once a month is easiest, I got used to this when on a teaching salary. I do not use debit cards. I do not buy things full price, I use coupons, even if we eat out -- do we have a coupon for the restaurant? Skipping the "extras" -- sodas at a restaurant, appetizers, etc. Making a weekly grocery list based on a loose meal plan. Sometimes it's FUN to see how much you can save in a month! or week!

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 12:58 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • When I was working, I had learned the basics, and some, of microsoft excel. I then used that knowledge to list and compare my expensises (yes even including est. for gas and food) to the household income. From there I determines how much money from each paycheck was going into the checking account and savings. It took a little bit to get use to, but another thing that really helped was how I decided to budget.
    For one full month I wrote down everything my husband and I spent money on. I was able to then view what was too much not needed - fly off the handles - spending. From then on I decided that anything random we thought we needed, we would discuss with the other person, then write down what it was, and decide on it a week later. THIS WAS A BIG MONEY SAVER EXPENSE.
    Hope this helps.
    PS I also agree with the above responses regarded managing bills on a big desk top calander, and preplanning meals.

    Answer by RedHead86 at 1:16 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • I plan out all of our meals, and make enough for leftovers (great lunches), and use things more than one night (if I need a bunch of scallions for a recipe, I will for the one the next night, too). I don't buy things I don't need this way, and I don't have to try to figure out what to cook at the last minute. I buy meat (and other things) in bulk and freeze it in individual servings.
    I keep a budget on a spreadsheet, and I enter the bills as they come in, and I have it broken down by what bills to pay with what paychecks.
    We also do not have credit cards, and use cash for everything, so that we don't accidentally overdraw the checking account with the debit card, and we have a visual of how much money we really have.

    Answer by musicpisces at 5:40 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • I wouldn't say that I am a whiz but I have gotten into a pattern. Plan every dollar that you spend before it comes in and use CASH. I can't stress how important that is in this economy. Paper cash is good, but this included debit card too. Just money that you already have versus credit. Thats my main suggestion.

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:17 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

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