Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Budgeting Advice?

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:31 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hi all! I am fairly new to cafemom and still learning to navigate the site. I am a mommy to three beautiful babies. Brody, 5, Kaydence, 2, and Grayson, 10 months. My husband works for the police dept. and I am a private duty nurse 3 days a week. I'm interested in hearing your stories on how you budget yourself and ways you keep yourself from wasteful spending!! 

Also, how do you come up with your budget? Is it a percentage of what your bring home? 

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:31 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Hi! I'm Alayna, I do pediatric private duty as a LPN. :)

First take your total take home pay and then start subtracting things with a set amount such as rent and car insurance. Then you can start subtracting variables like groceries and out to eat. I like to make a category for everything.


2,000 income

-500 rent

-50 car insurance

- 70 aflack

- 50 cell phone

and that leaves me with 1,330 for groceries, gas, out to eat, savings, clothes, etc.

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM
1 mom liked this
Hi there and welcome!

I lay out our budget for every month. I write all of our expenses, our set monthly bills (rent, insurance, car payment, etc), and make a note as to what pay period will cover which amounts. I could make it easier with a spreadsheet, but I am definitely a pen and paper kind of girl. I then transfer a certain amount of $ to our savings, and then an amount for gas, groceries, and blow money. Thats it! (:
by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 5:07 PM

My advice to anyone wanting to learn to budget is to sit down and make 2 lists.  One for needs and one for wants.  Then, go over those lists and really think about what is on each of them.  You'd be amazed how much people think they need, when in reality, they simply want it.

Then, work out a budget that fulfills the needs and allows a savings for the things on the want list.

It's really all about priorities.  Needs before wants.

by Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 5:19 PM
I know most people set an amount based on a magic number from their income. For us we eat all homecooked from scratch and healthy food is high on our list of important soooo I shopped for what I needed for a month, then we made that our budget. I have tweeked it a bit here and there as needed, but it was a jumping spot for us.

I started with a menu plan, from there I took stock of my on hand ingredients, made a list from there and went shopping. The following week I did the same thing. The third week I reevaluated what I had and what I needed and adjusted the menu, fourth week I fine tuned it then the next month we had at least an average per week, I slowly built stock by shopping buy one get ones and other sales and some coupons, so that readjusted the budget. It was a bit of work buuut once it was done I had a neatly typed printable grocery list with prices, I could tape it up and jot off my list as I ran out of things then just grab and go, I know each week what I will spend pretty much and what's left if any gets put towards the following week which helps with those times I find great sales or decide to stock up.

My advice is to start small, start with one week, then the next then the next till you have a month then decide if you need more or less or find it cheaper somewhere else. Don't be afraid to shop around, buy in bulk and even buy and trade with others. We buy our meats in bulk, its a chunk of money once or twice a year but its meat for 8-12 months straight. I bake all our baked goods, breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, etc I will take a day a week to dedicate to baking, then I package it all and freeze it for the month. I also make and freeze quick meals and casseroles, assemble mixes like soup and dips in mason jars for easy mixing. Try to find ways to simplify your life.
by Member on Jan. 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM
I agree with everyone else and my suggestion is to really prioritize and be realistic. For example, saying i'm going to completely stop eating out is unrealistic if you do it quite often. What we do is set up an amount per person every two weeks, so $60 for me and my spouse and then we do $100 in family money which is used for eating out or doing something fun as a family. This allows us fun money and is just incorporated into our budget. The $100 we both discuss and know about, the $60 we each get is ours and is used for anything we want or need. So any clothes we buy come out of that or if we want coffee or fast food while at work or whatever.

Also, be honest about what your bills are. If you have a bill and you low ball it, it will only mess up your math. For example, I budget $200 for energy all year long. In summer, its only around $40, but it's easier when I aim higher.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by 80sTardisGirl4Gore on Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:48 PM

hi and welcome to the group! where do you all live?

I actually just made this post today from a blog I found online, check it out when you can!

20 tips to keep from spending money (have you been reducing your excess spending?)

Come join me at Serious Coupon Swappers.

by on Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Hi Batmom!  I'm Sherry... my youngest grandson is 5 months old and he's named Brody!

Hubby and I have taken our financial planning to an all new level.  We pay tithes and offerings first....we pay ourselves to our savings next....we pay our bills...we put cash in an envelope system for groceries and personal expenses....then we save the rest.  We rarely eat out anymore but enjoy it when we do.  We enjoy it more when we don't because we cook together and its fun!  Also, we spend less money.  I think its usually more healthy for us too.

We account for every single penny that goes into and out of our home.  That means that every day we write down anything that has been spent, money found, money earned, etc.  LOL  It can sometimes get crazy but its become our hobby.  We have found that we handle this cash flow system better than a traditional budget.  Its also allowed us to save more money.  

There may be a time in the future when a more traditional budget will work for us....but for now, this way has done more for our savings, checking, and marriage than any other way!

by on Jan. 17, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Thank you all for the great advice! I will definitely be implementing some of these suggestions. 

by Bronze Member on Jan. 17, 2014 at 9:37 AM

We make it kind of easy and pay bills first, then gas and food.  I coupons, shop sales, clearance, and second hand. I grow a garden in the spring, use a clothes line, sell unneeded items

by on Jan. 17, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I don't budget but I do track my spending with app on my IPhone. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)