I’m kind of changing things up around here regarding to posts. I’m not sure I’ll be doing Whatever Wednesdays anymore, but I will keep doing tutorials on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Unless I can come up with a more cleaver post title for them:)
I’ve decided that Wednesday will be our financial day. I’ll look into different ways of budgeting and also fill you in on things going on in my budgeting world. I’ve been reading up on Dave Ramsey’s book called ‘The Total Money Makeover’. It’s a great book! You should read it. The thing that I love about the book is that he includes a LOT of success stories about people who were way in over their heads with debt, so much more so than I can even fathom. And they got out from under it! If they can do it, so can we! The book is very self motivating. It talks about ‘baby steps’ you take and where you start out and how. Maybe I’ll cover that in a different post. It’s a very useful source.
Now, onto a little more personal side. We get paid every other Wednesday and it’s part of my Wednesday chores to balance out our finances. I rarely ever do it and when I usually do it takes me forever because I’m so far behind and we overdraft a lot because of that. Since this week I’m trying to stick to my schedule I’m going to do my budgeting too. I actually started my budget planning last week! I got it all figured out and I actually had fun doing it!! Weird, I know!
I decided on Monday that I was going to have the budget all worked out and in place so that when Mark goes to the bank to deposit his check on Wednesday he can just pull out the cash I’ll need for our misc. money for the next 2 weeks. A part of this budgeting plan is Mark being involved. He never really has been since we were married and I’ve always hated that, but he gets bored with it so I just don’t make him sit down with me and do it.
Well, gone are those days!! I’m going to plan everything out for the budget and then we’re going to go over it every 2 weeks, on Tuesday night, before he gets paid. That way we’re more prepared for what’s coming and BOTH of us know what’s going on with our money.
I wasn’t sure where to start with our budgeting. I mean, I have an Excel spread sheet set up with all of our bills and how much goes into savings, even though it usually doesn’t end up there. BUT I wasn’t sure how much we should be putting into savings every month and how much to debt and whatever else. I went onto Dave Ramsey’s website and did his little income budget calculator thingy. It gave me some good ideas where we SHOULD be putting our money. It also made me realize that we NEED to get health insurance! I haven’t had mine for a year or more and Mark hasn’t had any since we stopped qualifying for medicaid about 5 years ago. It sucks being paid so much but all of it going to debt and food and not health coverage!! I could definitely use it! So I’m going to look into that as part of this weekly challenge to keep up with our budget.
I have a notebook that I write our budget down in, besides on the Excel sheet. Writing it down by hand makes me feel more in control of it all. Is that weird? You know what else I do weird? While I’m working on the budget I talk to myself. Not like in a weird way, but I just talk about the numbers and what the outcome of totals is and stuff like that. It’s like, when I say it out loud it’s more real and it makes more sense. So, that’s why I do it.
While I was using the budget calculator I recorded all the amounts that were suggested for the monthly budget and worked all our bills into what was left. I’m really bad with math, even while using a calculator so I messed up along the way and had to redo it, but I got it done. And now I feel relieved that it’s done. Now we have a budget and we ARE going to stick to it! We are going to put the same amount of money in savings and towards debt every month, if not, hopefully more.
I’m going to show you my excel sheet so you can get an idea of what I do. I’ve deleted all the information, but you can get the general idea.
It’s not that great. And you’re probably wondering why I have 3 paycheck slots? Well, that’s because of the way Mark’s paid, 2 months out of the year he gets paid 3 times in one month. It makes things
fun annoying, such is life though. This is the biggest reason that I’m going to make it a part of my weekly “chores” to balance the finances. I might not always do it on Wednesday, like on Monday I started working on it. I need structure, but I have realized that if I’m in the mood to do something I need to do it then.
I also have a column that lists ALL the monthly bills and the dates they’re due and the amount. The Utilities are listed next to the monthly bills so I remember to distinguish them between other bills.
There you have it. That’s what we do now. What are you doing with your budget? Are you doing the cash budget or a half and half like we’re going to try? I really hope it works! I’m curious to try it out. I’ll fill you in each week and let you know how it’s going. I think I might start doing more couponing now too, but that just depends on how much time I have. It really wears me out and I hate having to go to a bunch of stores just for a good price. It just isn’t worth it once you think about how much gas you’re using.
Thanks for stopping by!! I hope you’ll come back again!