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Monthly budgeting

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FirstMate
My lil cowboy

Member since 10/10

7786 total posts

Name:

Monthly budgeting

Just out of curiosity, who does the finances in your household?

Unfortunately, somehow I have that task when 1. I suck at money and 2. I'm a spender so it makes no sense but here I am! Struggling away!

The reality is my DH and I make great salaries so there is no reason for us to be struggling. It's my own inadequacies at basic math I suppose that is causing this issue. Does anyone have a recommendation for a program, app, instruction or even a professional who can help me with monthly budgeting? Or tips that work for you? I will take any help! Thanks.

Posted 11/16/23 1:35 PM
 
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nycbuslady
LIF Adult

Member since 9/15

1060 total posts

Name:

Monthly budgeting

Do you feel that you don't have enough money at the end of the month to cover all your bills? Or, is it just that you spend, but don't really know the totals that you spend for each category (e.g., mortgage, food, dining out, etc.)?

Either way, you need to first do an analysis of where your money is going. If you're like most people, a lot of your expenses are on your credit card. You need to take a couple of months worth of charges from your credit cards and bank statements and download them to a spreadsheet. Then, make a summary of what you spend by category. It can be eye opening!

Then, once you have that info, maybe make a budget and then keep track of what you're spending. Maybe put an alert on your credit card to warn you that you've gone over a certain amount? I don't really know. I think it starts with being fully aware of where the money is going.

Please note, however, that I haven't done this. LOL! But, it is on my agenda of things to do!

Posted 11/16/23 3:14 PM
 

FirstMate
My lil cowboy

Member since 10/10

7786 total posts

Name:

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by nycbuslady

Do you feel that you don't have enough money at the end of the month to cover all your bills? Or, is it just that you spend, but don't really know the totals that you spend for each category (e.g., mortgage, food, dining out, etc.)?

Either way, you need to first do an analysis of where your money is going. If you're like most people, a lot of your expenses are on your credit card. You need to take a couple of months worth of charges from your credit cards and bank statements and download them to a spreadsheet. Then, make a summary of what you spend by category. It can be eye opening!

Then, once you have that info, maybe make a budget and then keep track of what you're spending. Maybe put an alert on your credit card to warn you that you've gone over a certain amount? I don't really know. I think it starts with being fully aware of where the money is going.

Please note, however, that I haven't done this. LOL! But, it is on my agenda of things to do!



Oh please! I am queen of giving people great advice that I myself do not follow. LOL

I definitely need to see where we are spending too much money. The bills are all covered; its more that we are not saving enough and we are also tapping into savings which I do not like either. You make some good points about the categories so I need to do that. I just don't want to. Like I don't want to get on the scale after the holidays.Chat Icon

Posted 11/16/23 3:25 PM
 

Lucky09
2017!

Member since 1/06

7535 total posts

Name:
DW

Re: Monthly budgeting

I have heard good things about "You Need A Budget" also known as "Y-NAB". There is an app (subscription) and there is also a book that describes the methodology.

Add one to the people who give great advice that she herself does not take. I'm terrified to see the numbers that we spend on things like food and eating out.

Message edited 11/16/2023 4:34:48 PM.

Posted 11/16/23 4:33 PM
 

windyweather21
LIF Adult

Member since 3/21

6933 total posts

Name:

Re: Monthly budgeting

I am old school and still budget and still use a notebook.

Most of my bills are the same every month so it makes it much easier.

After what bills are due, we use for savings (try but don't always accomplish this) and spending.

I use 3 different accounts, regular checking where our paychecks are deposited, bonus checking where the bills are drawn from and money market where any savings or things that don't get paid on a monthly basis goes.

I do retirement at my job that automatically comes out of my paycheck so no need to figure that out.

Posted 11/17/23 11:35 AM
 

EclecticEsq10810
Bored Esq.

Member since 10/10

2156 total posts

Name:
L.

Re: Monthly budgeting

I hate budgeting but the Mint app has been a lifesaver. I keep it on my phone and linked it to all my checking, savings and even 401K/investment accounts so when I open it, I can see a log of exactly how much is left, how much I’ve spent in a month, and even if I am still on track for savings.

Posted 11/19/23 12:43 PM
 

Lucky09
2017!

Member since 1/06

7535 total posts

Name:
DW

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by EclecticEsq10810

I hate budgeting but the Mint app has been a lifesaver. I keep it on my phone and linked it to all my checking, savings and even 401K/investment accounts so when I open it, I can see a log of exactly how much is left, how much I’ve spent in a month, and even if I am still on track for savings.



I heard good things about Mint too, but also that Mint is sadly being discontinued in January.

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/07/budgeting-app-mint-is-shutting-down-users-are-disappointed.html

Posted 11/20/23 12:40 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19453 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Monthly budgeting

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.

Posted 12/1/23 3:19 PM
 

windyweather21
LIF Adult

Member since 3/21

6933 total posts

Name:

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by LSP2005

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.



I do a percentage with my 401K. After all our bills we have our spending money. The same amount but hubby gets a little more as his car requires more gas so we allot for that.

Posted 12/1/23 4:00 PM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19453 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by windyweather21

Posted by LSP2005

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.



I do a percentage with my 401K. After all our bills we have our spending money. The same amount but hubby gets a little more as his car requires more gas so we allot for that.



If you are not contributing up to the employer match, you are throwing away free money. It should be a goal to start using your contributions until you max out the full 401k threshold annually. If you did that for 20 years, you would be a millionaire. Best time to start was 20 years ago. Second best time to start is today, especially because you can do a full contribution for 2023 now, so you would still get this year.

Posted 12/7/23 9:47 PM
 

windyweather21
LIF Adult

Member since 3/21

6933 total posts

Name:

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by LSP2005

Posted by windyweather21

Posted by LSP2005

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.



I do a percentage with my 401K. After all our bills we have our spending money. The same amount but hubby gets a little more as his car requires more gas so we allot for that.



If you are not contributing up to the employer match, you are throwing away free money. It should be a goal to start using your contributions until you max out the full 401k threshold annually. If you did that for 20 years, you would be a millionaire. Best time to start was 20 years ago. Second best time to start is today, especially because you can do a full contribution for 2023 now, so you would still get this year.



My percentage is as high as they contribute. When I get my raise next year, I will start contributing again as I just can not do it right now. Bills go up faster than our pay does and I started my 401K in 1997 and received a big chunk from my company so we have something at the moment but yes, will never have a million and we know that.

My dad never lived to see his retirement savings that he looked at every day to see where he was at. I want to make sure that we also enjoy life while saving.

Posted 12/8/23 10:10 AM
 

FirstMate
My lil cowboy

Member since 10/10

7786 total posts

Name:

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by LSP2005

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.



Yes, I do take advantage of the retirement account and 401K match. I do not think I hit the maximum amount ($18,5K? I think?) but I definitely contribute.
I will read those books. Thank you for the recommendations!

Posted 12/8/23 11:08 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

19453 total posts

Name:
L

Re: Monthly budgeting

Posted by windyweather21

Posted by LSP2005

Posted by windyweather21

Posted by LSP2005

Do you pay yourself first? What I mean by that, is have a set amount removed from your paycheck to place into retirement accounts? Do you at least set aside enough to get an employer match? If no, set that up now. Fully fund for 2023 and then start for 2024. I would read the book the Millionaire Next Door, and The Richest Man in Babylon for starter advice.



I do a percentage with my 401K. After all our bills we have our spending money. The same amount but hubby gets a little more as his car requires more gas so we allot for that.



If you are not contributing up to the employer match, you are throwing away free money. It should be a goal to start using your contributions until you max out the full 401k threshold annually. If you did that for 20 years, you would be a millionaire. Best time to start was 20 years ago. Second best time to start is today, especially because you can do a full contribution for 2023 now, so you would still get this year.



My percentage is as high as they contribute. When I get my raise next year, I will start contributing again as I just can not do it right now. Bills go up faster than our pay does and I started my 401K in 1997 and received a big chunk from my company so we have something at the moment but yes, will never have a million and we know that.

My dad never lived to see his retirement savings that he looked at every day to see where he was at. I want to make sure that we also enjoy life while saving.

it is getting so much more expensive to live a regular lifestyle. Every time I am at the grocery store it feels like I am spending $300 a week. I do not think that all families can afford that weekly. I walk around the grocery store and see empty carts. There does have to be a balance approach to life. This was something I told my husband recently. We still save, but we also travel. His parents saved, and ever since the pandemic, they no longer travel and barely leave their home. It is really sad. What good is the money for? Balance is key to success.

Posted 12/21/23 3:36 PM
 
 

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