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Stopping by for some friendly advice.

May 30th, 2011 at 09:51 pm

I've not posted in a while, I've been a busy girl! Things are going ok on the finance side but we've had quite the ordeal on animal side. I'll save that post for another time.

Question for all of you -- each pay period (2 per month) I load all my expenses into an excel file and pretty much budget my entire pay period. I have my standard house expenses - phone, water, electric, house payment...etc. Then I have a savings deduction and lastly I have cash allotments for food, church, gas, lunch money and a misc fund. I do a fairly good job of sticking to the budgeted plan but I do wonder if I'm loseing budget perspective when I start adding in stuff that we need that doesn't really fall into those categories...it is usually stuff like school pictures, vet bills, a dress for this or that, or SOMETHING...something always comes up. Does that mean you are falling off your budget or just budgeting those items into your budget?? I'm not sure if this is a stupid question but I do wonder if I'm doing this right...haven't really done the budget thing before so while I think I'm going OK, I do wonder if 'adding stuff' every month is normal or am I breaking the budget?

3 Responses to “Stopping by for some friendly advice.”

  1. snafu Says:

    How do you decide how much to spend in each category? The basic rule is to divide income: 50% for needs, 30% for wants, 20% for savings. Needs are non discretionary, like mortgage/rent, utilities, transportation, insurance, food. Wants are all the discretionary spending that make life enjoyable. Savings include retirement deduction, emergency fund,investments. Are you overspending in any section? It's important that YOU be in charge of the money, not the money controlling what you can do.

    Just now gas prices are wrecking everyone's cash flow making adjustments necessary. We're planning errands to coincide with other trips, cut out most restaurant meals, decreased grocery spending, and are looking at cutting back cell and cable services to make up the difference between planned and actual spending. I've changed our bank account to a basic low cost a/c.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    If you don't have the money, you are breaking the budget.

    If you have the funds to manage these expenses, I would plan for them a little better. It could be as simple as setting aside x dollars a month for "miscellaneous." I find it easier to budget and save for miscellaneous than it is to break it down much further than that. We have about $100/month for misc,. as well as savings every month for larger misc. over the course of the year. This way, it is in the budget, and unexpected expenses do not slow our savings plan.

  3. snshijuptr Says:

    The budget is just there as a guideline for you to keep you on your saving and debt reduction goals. My opinion is that if those are on track, then do what works for you such that you don't run out of money before the end of your budget cycle. If your budget is working in this sense, then I wouldn't change anything.

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