J.Mann wrote:Phone (includes my monthly phone bill as well as saving $20/month towards a new phone)
roakleyca wrote:Getting some great ideas. Thanks!
Anyone using a Cateogry setup that divides their expenses by week or by paycheck? This is one that I might do (thought it seems like a bit more work)...and would love to hear some peoples experiences with it....
malisab wrote:AWatkins wrote:owever, now to the problem, I get this chunk of money for say dining out at the beginning of the month... If I tend to overspend this category and want to pace myself (the point of budgeting), how do I avoid overspending in the beginning and having nothing at the end? One idea I have is to withdraw cash for a weeks worth and use that, however, that may not work for something like groceries where you find out how much you spent while checking out. I'm not going to go put stuff back to meet my budget and if I overestimate, what is the point of budgeting it in the first place?
I will be doing this, again, in May for groceries.
I look at the month and decide if I want to call it a 4 week month or 5. I'm calling May a 5 week month and saying I'll budget $500 to make things easy. I make a separate category somewhere in the budget to hold (in this case) 4 weeks worth of the grocery money or $400 and I'll budget the first week's grocery money to my regular grocery category $100. Then on whatever day I consider a new week to start, I'll 'release' some money from that separate category. I'll negative budget $100 there (changing it to $300) and re-allocate that money to my regular category. Rinse and repeat each week.
The thing about groceries, at least for us, is it can be very lumpy. So if you over or underspend you have to think about what your pantry looks like, if you just did a big shop, etc. And if you eat out much, you need to make sure you're not compensating for the scrutiny of the grocery category by sacrificing your dining out category (ask me how I know )
We've been terrific about eating out less. Both of us together and each of us individually. We're also trying to eat better. So while we were eating a lot of frozen this and that, it was cheaper than eating out. But since we're also trying now to eat more real food, etc....it's tough.
I'm very happy with the food we bought in April health and quality-wise. I'm not happy with what we spent. So...back to weekly budgeting for groceries for May. We'll re-evaluate at the end of May and decide if we need to continue in June. If not, hide the category (or even delete it because it will not show any activity at the end of the month because we emptied it out).
roakleyca wrote:Anyone using a Cateogry setup that divides their expenses by week or by paycheck? This is one that I might do (thought it seems like a bit more work)...and would love to hear some peoples experiences with it....
litterbug wrote:But the question is how weekly budgeting will help you manage your money.
roakleyca wrote:litterbug wrote:But the question is how weekly budgeting will help you manage your money.
Well, here's my problem.
As long as I don't have my full month buffer, I'm still living pay check to pay check. Which means I can't (or shouldn't) budget for an entire month, but only for 2 weeks at a time (cause I get paid every 2 weeks).
But I can't make good decisions on just 2 weeks as my bills and stuff are monthly.
So when a new month rolls over, I instinctively want to fill in a full months buffer --- which obviously leaves me in the hole cause I don't have the money yet to pay for everything!
And now I'm doing the "expected income" account thing - which helps me to budget but gets me really nervous that I'm now spending money I don't have.
Do you see the problem?
So I thought that perhaps I could rearrange my categories so that I knew which bills were due when (trying to avoid having to use a spreadsheet, I suppose).
Question: Is there any downfall of changing your categories on a regular basis? Or is it fine to change things up constantly until you find what works?