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Family Budget

Hello Everyone,

I will be officially divorced this February and am embarrassed to admit that I really never had a budget. Actually I really don't know how to begin to start one either. If there is a group or website that you know of that could give me some tips "Budgeting for Dummies" (lol). Thank you.
Donna - mom to an Army Scout

Answer Question

Asked by donna65 at 2:38 PM on Jan. 2, 2009 in Money & Work

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Go to the "Groups" tab up top...then click, "Find Groups", type in "Budget" and you will find many groups here on Cafemom. Best wishes.

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 2:45 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • The basics for a budget, for how I do it is: I calculate how much my regular bills are each month (phone, electric, rent/mortgage). Then I total how much gas costs me for a month, and usually add an extra $20 or so for gas prices going up or if I have to drive more. Same thing with food, total up for a month, then add an extra $40 or so. Then, I calculate how much my income is for the month. Subtract the expense totals and whatever's left is what you either can play with or save, personally, I try to save it. If you find that the expenses are more than income, or cutting too close for comfort, then you look for how you can cut them: cheaper phone plan, carpool, coupons and store brand shopping, etc.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 2:49 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Try the Dave Ramsey site. And Larry Burkett's site.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:10 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Some budget advise can make it seem complicated, but really just list all of your expenses starting with your mortgage or rent, car, utilities, credit cards, and down to every little thing like gasoline, dry cleaning, doctor, dentist, etc. Even things you don't think of as monthly expenses....Add it all up and keep an itemized list. Subtract from your incoming pay and make sure you can afford to live the way you are now doing. If there is extra, figure out how much you can save.....Just don't forget all the expenses, especially if things are tight!

    Answer by BJoan at 3:25 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • What works GREAT for me: make a spreadsheet in Excel (or whatever you have) and put each of your monthly bills on there. i have six columns: who the bill if from, the amount due, the date due, the last amount paid, the last date paid, and then the outstanding balance (if there is one, like with credit cards or a mortgage). I can look on there and see, "Ok, my electric bill is due two weeks before the phone bill, so I'll pay that first...and the mortgage is due at the same time, so I need to have enough on said date to pay both". I've been using this system for 3 1/2 years and never even been CLOSE to having a late payment, even when times were tough. It works much better for me than trying to just keep a budget.

    You can PM me if you want to know more. Good luck! :)

    Answer by KatieCrandall at 5:38 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • I agree, you just have to write it down so you know what to expect...write down all your bills and due dates and then list your income so you know where you stand. I always pay all of my bills around the first of the do need to have enough money saved to do that, but it gives you a little security and a "time cushion" if something comes up. As soon as you can see it on paper, you will know if you're alright or if you need to start trimming down.

    Answer by kabbot01 at 10:23 PM on Jan. 2, 2009

  • Get a calender and make a list of your bills in a notebook,on the calender mark your paydates, then on the calender put your bills to be paid that week. Look on your bills and find out the grace period "Know your grace times" Do this for 2 mo. ahead in notebook. add up the bills and if your not going to have enough to pay "ele. bill" for that week pay another smaller bill and save half of the Ele. bill for the next week and so on. Try to arrange all your payments 2 weeks before they are due in the notebook and rearrange when needed cause some bills are due before payday that way you are prepared. Always be prepared for something to come up. Google How to live frugal" on the computor or "How to live homeless" everyone should know this just in case.


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:43 AM on Jan. 12, 2009

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