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Ask the Expert: How do I start a budget -- and stick with it?

Posted by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM
  • 161 Replies
6 moms liked this

Do you want to start a budget but you're not sure where to begin? Does your financial situation seem too out of control to conquer? Have no fear, "Money Saving Mom" is here to help you start 2012 off on the right financial foot!

Crystal Paine, the brains behind the super popular blog MoneySavingMom.com and author of The Money Saving Mom's Budget will be here all next week to answer YOUR questions about starting a budget -- and sticking to it! --  couponing, planning your financial future, and more!

Please post your questions for Crystal as replies to this post. Crystal will post her answers here as well. One lucky mom will win a copy of Crystal's book!

In the meantime, get a peek at what's in Crystal's book:

Welcome, Crystal! Thanks for joining us!

Crystal Paine is the creator of the immensely popular website MoneySavingMom.com. She has written for Woman's Day and All You and has been featured in Real Simple, USA Weekend, and on NPR. She is a wife and a mother to three homeschooled children. Crystal Paine is the author of the book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.

The Official Rules

To enter the this contest, reply to this post. Click on the 'reply to post' button at the top (or bottom) of that post. When the text box opens, add your reply. Once you've added your reply, click on the "Add Reply' button.

Posts must be made between Wednesday January 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm EST and Sunday January 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. 

  • This contest will end on Sunday January 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST.
  • One winner will be selected randomly.
  • The winner will be posted on this thread and will be notified via CafeMom PM.
  • Multiple replies are allowed and will increase your chances of winning.
  • Prizes are only available to members who live in the US or Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • Prizes must be claimed within 10 days of notice of winning.
  • One winner will each receive a copy of "The Money Saving Mom's Budget."


by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM
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Replies (1-10):
AnB68
by on Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

 pre school--how do i save money there?? and telling me pre school is not necessarry is not an answer to me--and no home schooling here either...

extra ciricular activitys--how to save money there??--soccer, gymnastics ect...we only do one per child but that still is costly..

and since we just past christmas--christmas budgets--food included(for the person who hosts christmas eve and day)...

birthday partys--ideas and budgets??

KenzieQsMommy
by Heather on Jan. 4, 2012 at 1:16 PM
How do you budget for the unexpected? Seems I always have SOMETHING that comes up. Whether its a $20 or $200 problem
KenzieQsMommy
by Heather on Jan. 4, 2012 at 1:18 PM
How do I decide which loan/credit cards to pay off first?
mamabearlehman
by Silver Member on Jan. 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM
What is the best way to save for college for my children? My husband and I are on a very tight budget but I know we need to start putting away something for their future.
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jenniferlee_12
by Jenn on Jan. 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM
7 moms liked this

How do you get your husband to stick to a budget and stop spending money all the time!

chrissysnow22
by Chrissy on Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM
How do you decide what catergories to add into you budget?
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chrissysnow22
by Chrissy on Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:06 PM
How long should you try the budget before adjusting?

How often should you re do your budget?
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MamaBear2cubs
by Member on Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:07 PM

How often do I need to set a budget for basic household needs?

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Do you recommend certain percentages of income for categories?  Example:  housing 35%, auto 25%, food 20%, etc.

michiganmom116
by Rhonda on Jan. 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM

What's the easiest way to avoid blowing your budget?

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