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  1. #21
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    I've struggled with this a lot in the past so I know where you are coming from. I remember not long after we got married scraping up change to go buy chicken nuggets. McDonald's ended up screwing up the order and gave it to us for free and we were so happy.

    Over the years we've gotten a handle on things and it is so much better. And it really isn't that hard once you decide to make it a priority and start really looking into how to make it better.

  2. #22
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
    I made myself a budget on an excel spread sheet, it works like a charm if you look at it a couple times a week. In the 2 Pay column I zero out everything that has been deducted from my account. The color coding represents different pay periods. The total columns all have codes so everything adds up and I know how much I need in my account.


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  3. #23
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I paid off part my credit card bill this month, but then I realized my phone needed to be paid or it was going to be shut off so I had to max my card out again since I had no other way to pay it. And I can't have it shut off.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GemPOPGem View Post
    THATS.JUST.AMAZING!
    Thanks! If anyone wants a template shoot me your email
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  5. #25
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    You could open two bank accounts. Pay the bills, put half in one account, half in the other. Don't use your debit card from the second account until you've passed the halfway mark. Of course, you have to have restraint, but when you get creative it gets easier.

    You could also buy gift cards to the places you shop/eat at so that you can't spend the money as easily.

  6. #26
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    If a lot of your money is going to food you could try planning meals in advance. I hear that helps a lot with staying on budget, especially if you keep in mind an idea of how much everything costs (so you can see which meals are cheaper). And then you'll have bought everything at the beginning of the week so you won't be broke and starving by friday.

    I've resisted doing it so far since I'm very impulse-driven when it comes to food ("what do I feel like right now" can take me forever to decide) but I tried it this week and it was pretty nice to not have to run around trying to find edible things.
    -end of thread-

  7. #27
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    What helped me a lot and is rather simple to do is create a weekly allowance for yourself.

    Take the bill money out and send the bills out so they're set. Then put an amount aside for savings/emergency funding, so that things like the router are covered in the future.

    With the money leftover, I split it up into the four weeks of the month. (or you can do this twice a month if you're paid every 2 weeks). Put the four weeks into envelopes, and each week take out the envelope and spend that set amount :3 if you're gonna run out all the time anyways, better that you run out of budgeted money than all the money.

    Given the 500$ amount after bills are paid. I'd put 100$ aside for emergencies, and allow myself 100$ a week. That's plenty of spending money imo.

    At the end of the year, if only a few emergencies came up, you can take that money and make a big purchase on something you thought you wouldn't be able to get. Or, you can continue to save it, invest it, etc.

    Usually when it comes to my spending money, if I didn't spend all 100$ that week, I'd put the rest of what I didn't spend into seperate savings, and just give myself another 100$ as usual. That seperate savings turned into things like trips to the beach, impromptu nights out with friends, or you can use it for unexpected items that came up like the router without tapping into your emergency funding.

    It's a pretty loose system, with fairly easy rules, so people who are bad at budgeting can even follow it pretty well.

    Also, the food thing is huge. You can loosen up a lot of your tied-up money with food planning. I spend every Sunday planning out what I'm making for the entire week so I only buy those groceries and don't need second trips at all.
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  8. #28
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    Be a scrooge for awhile and then buy the things you really want near the end of the month. Delayed gratification works like a charm. I have been known to only spend like 25% at the first half, spend 45%-55% at the second half, and have 10%-20% left over.

  9. #29
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foolish heart View Post
    My point is... the root of the problem is not that people spend more than they should but that they simply don't really know how much they're spending.
    Yeah that's it. Just track what you spend. It's incredibly enlightening. Some key things that I learned a long time ago:
    - Going out to eat costs a fortune when you add it all up
    - Frozen food is less but also very expensive
    - Don't buy anything on credit if you can help it (well, sometimes you have to do this with a car and obviously with a house - house is ok)

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  10. #30
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foolish heart View Post
    My point is... the root of the problem is not that people spend more than they should but that they simply don't really know how much they're spending.

    People underestimate the amount of calories in what they're eating by as much as 50%. So yes they are overeating, but the real problem is that they aren't aware of how much they are eating exactly. Same type of problem.
    So let's say you know exactly how many calories you are eating. How does this help you if you don't know how many calories you are supposed to be eating? The target, that's the budget, and the tracking doesn't really help anything if you don't know what your target is.

    And I think we must have totally different definitions of budget. Budgeting is not forced frugality. It is just a plan that you make for yourself. You can make it as loose or as tight as you want within the confines of your own money, but your money is finite and your budget is your decision on how you are going to spend it. If this means forcing yourself to be frugal, the forced frugality is a result of your low income, not of your budget.

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