Author Topic: Budgets In Your Household  (Read 2123 times)

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Offline Aleah

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Budgets In Your Household
« on: October 13, 2015, 03:04:30 PM »
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  • How do each of you handle your budget, finances, household bills?
     Do you keep a spreadsheet?
     Who pays the bills if you are married?
     Do you keep more than one account?
    What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person?
    Do you reconcile weekly or monthly?
    Do you have a budget meeting each week?
    What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget?
    I am He who is- you are she who is not.

    Offline Nadir

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    Budgets In Your Household
    « Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 04:46:11 PM »
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  • Quote from: Aleah

    How do each of you handle your budget, finances, household bills?

    I wouldn't do it myself but when we married my husband told me we would keep a record of whatever we spent.  And we have. 34 years of accounts tucked away in a cupboard. Once we needed a bank loan and had little chance of getting it - so we took our account book along to the bank manager and showed him our records. We got the loan. But we rarely have borrowed money from a bank.


     Do you keep a spreadsheet? yes

     Who pays the bills if you are married? It depends

     Do you keep more than one account?
    We have a joint account

    What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person? Both. As money is spent we write it down on a weekly ledger for each day, then at the end of the week/month/year my husband does it all on Excell then prints it out.

    Do you reconcile weekly or monthly? Both and yearly.

    Do you have a budget meeting each week? No

    What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget? If we haven't got the money we don't spend it.


    Offline Aleah

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    Budgets In Your Household
    « Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 04:58:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: Aleah

    How do each of you handle your budget, finances, household bills?

    I wouldn't do it myself but when we married my husband told me we would keep a record of whatever we spent.  And we have. 34 years of accounts tucked away in a cupboard. Once we needed a bank loan and had little chance of getting it - so we took our account book along to the bank manager and showed him our records. We got the loan. But we rarely have borrowed money from a bank.


     Do you keep a spreadsheet? yes

     Who pays the bills if you are married? It depends

     Do you keep more than one account?
    We have a joint account

    What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person? Both. As money is spent we write it down on a weekly ledger for each day, then at the end of the week/month/year my husband does it all on Excell then prints it out.

    Do you reconcile weekly or monthly? Both and yearly.

    Do you have a budget meeting each week? No

    What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget? If we haven't got the money we don't spend it.


    Do you have money set aside for an emergency? I hear a number of people talk about a 3-6 month emergency fund.
    What is your family's stance on purchasing a new or used vehicle?
    I am He who is- you are she who is not.

    Offline Marlelar

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    « Reply #3 on: October 13, 2015, 06:14:52 PM »
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  • I like the Dave Ramsey method of budgeting.  Cash for ordinary expenses, credit cards only if they can be paid off each month.  I save up for any big purchase in advance.  We have never had car loans but did have to take out a small mortgage when we bought our house.

    We do not keep any computerized accounts.  Actually my husband refuses to keep any "accounts" of any sort  :facepalm:

    My husband pays the bills.

    We have a joint checking account.

    Yes to having "emergency" savings equal to 6 months of expenses in case of unemployment.

    My husband is a spender, he's the biggest "budget" challenge!

    Before I married I kept a strict budget even for the small things, however my husband does not like to "budget" so I use an envelope method myself for either recurring expenses (food, clothes) or to save up for the things that are needed around the house (appliances, furniture, etc).

    One piece of advice I would give to courting couples would be to get on the same page when it comes to handling finances, it will save you a world of grief later on!

    Offline jen51

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    « Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 09:49:41 PM »
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  • How do each of you handle your budget, finances, household bills?

     Do you keep a spreadsheet?
    [/i]No

     Who pays the bills if you are married?
    My husband does. Before we were married, we figured I would pay the bills. It didn't work out that way because of our different money management styles.

     Do you keep more than one account?
    We have joint checking and savings, though we've never been far enough ahead to use the savings!!

    What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person?
    We use online banking

    Do you reconcile weekly or monthly?
    Neither

    Do you have a budget meeting each week?
    We don't have a meeting, but we discuss finances often

    What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget
    We don't make out a monthly budget. I'm a tight wad and cut corners wherever possible. My husband has always liked to spend, but now that he's married he's cut that out. I don't think there's an area that we have a hard time controlling our spending in.


    We pay cash for vehicles, and don't buy new vehicles. We don't use a credit card unless we are certain we are able to pay it off every month. We don't have much of an emergency fund. The best we've been able to do so far is being one month ahead on bills, and having another month of cash stashed away. We'd like to eventually get up to 6 months of living expenses ahead.

    Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.
    ~James 1:27


    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #5 on: October 13, 2015, 11:31:56 PM »
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  •  Do you keep a spreadsheet?
    I love spreadsheets and use them often. I keep track of gift card balances, for example. I also keep track of any money that my children get for birthdays, etc but don't spend right away as they are mostly too young to keep track of their own cash.

     Who pays the bills if you are married?
    I do.

     Do you keep more than one account?
    We have joint savings and checking accounts, but also have other accounts to handle business transactions.

    What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person?
    Quicken 2004, though I'm looking into finding a free program that will do the same in Linux.

    Do you reconcile weekly or monthly?
    Monthly.

    Do you have a budget meeting each week?
    Nothing formal, but we often discuss what we have and what we need.

    What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget?
    Complicated question. Since we aren't on a fixed income due to self-employment, we don't have a strict budget. It's usually more of a waiting game. When a large payment from a client comes in, then you take care of needs that might have been neglected for awhile.

    Do you have money set aside for an emergency?
    Yes, but not as much as commonly recommended.

    What is your family's stance on purchasing a new or used vehicle?
    Used. Though I don't regret buying a new car as I was finishing college in 2001. I still drive it regularly and it was completely paid for about a decade ago.
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 12:17:24 AM »
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  • Since I don't have to answer (my wife already answered for us), I'd only like to add a few thoughts --

    1. It's very important for couples to be united on spending vs. saving and money in general.

    2. It's REALLY good if you both are "responsible" with money. It opens the door to all kinds of advantages (that describes us)

    3. It's OK for the wife to be a bookkeeper, since the domestic resources are something most women are naturally interested in. A woman's world is the home. But she shouldn't make the big decisions or have to fight the husband to get the bills paid. He should be earning the money, directing the family, and he should certainly be the primary person WORRYING about the money/bills. He needs to be responsible for them, even if he doesn't physically cut the checks himself. That's his duty. I've known couples where the woman paid the bills *and* was the "responsible one" and the one who always worried about how the bills would be paid. That is upside-down, disordered, etc.

    4. You don't want to fall into those messed-up, modern world stereotypes where the man is a big grown-up kid always wanting to play, and his wife "takes care of him" and keeps things running, usually by working at least part time herself.


    Personally, I used to keep a checkbook register (remember those?) from the time I was 13. That was enough record-keeping for me, before I was married and self-employed. But today, I am on the computer enough philosophizing/discussing the Catholic Faith, managing CathInfo and my other businesses, programming (my main career), etc. I need a break from the computer!

    In some hypothetical world where I didn't marry an accountant, I don't know what I'd do. Let's just say it's great that I married one. I hate numbers, math, accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, etc. I'd literally rather dig a ditch.
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    Offline CathMomof7

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    « Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 08:44:57 AM »
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  • Quote from: Aleah


    1.How do each of you handle your budget, finances, household bills?  

    This is a real source of contention in our family.  In fact, it has been the most consistent struggle and obstacle in our 24 year marriage.  Unfortunately, neither my husband and I are very good at managing our finances.  I am much better about knowing exactly how much money we have, but often times I make emotional decisions regarding the spending.  My husband never has any clue how much money we have, but he is better about delegating and negotiating bills.  For us he starts managing the finances and does a really good job, but eventually he loses focus and I have to do it.  I am not so good at it, and eventually I make accounting errors or emotional decisions and we have to dig out of a hole and start over.  An unhappy vicious cycle.

    2.Do you keep a spreadsheet?

    My husband does.  I just keep the register in the checkbook.

    3. Who pays the bills if you are married?

    I do.  Although each week my husband and I discuss what needs to be paid.

    4. Do you keep more than one account?

    We have a joint checking account and savings account.  

    5. What computer programs do you use to help or are you pencil and ledger kind of person?

    My husband uses Exel I think.  I use the checkbook register.


    6. Do you reconcile weekly or monthly?

    We have to reconcile daily.

    7. Do you have a budget meeting each week?

    Yes.  We try to have a family meeting each Sunday afternoon where we discuss finances and bills, but also family matters such as homeschool issues, family matters, plans, needs, problems, etc.  We include the children.


    8. What is the one area where you struggle to keep within budget?
     
    Car maintenance.  We have only 1 vehicle.  It is 11 years old.  It takes a lot of wear and tear and constantly needs repairs.  It is very unpredictable what the cost will be.  More often than not, we have to postpone repairs and then it becomes more costly.

    However, we cannot afford a new car or even a slightly used car.  A car payment would break us and well as the stress of worrying about missing payments due to emergencies.



    I might add that currently we have $0 in savings.  Each year we try to work on a fully-funded emergency fund of 6 months living expenses.  We fail.  This year, I had set aside $5000.  Then our roof collapsed and my mother died in the span of 2 weeks.  All of that plus some was gone and we have not been able to resupply.

    I would like to add we have no debt other than our mortgage.  We have no credit cards or car loans.  I sometimes regret this, but it really is a sense of freedom not having to owe the bank something all the time.  


    Offline Dolores

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    « Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 09:40:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: CathMomof7
    I would like to add we have no debt other than our mortgage.  We have no credit cards or car loans.  I sometimes regret this, but it really is a sense of freedom not having to owe the bank something all the time.  


    When paid off every month, and not used to accumulate debt, credit cards can be an easy way to essentially get "free" money.  I think this was actually discussed on another thread here in CI, but you can get "cash back" or "bonus points" by using a credit card each month.  As long as you are diligent in not buying more than you can afford, and paying off the entire balance each month, there are no interest charges or fees, and when you factor in the "cash back" you actually end up ahead.  By making almost all of our ordinary purchases on a credit card, rather than with cash, we accumulate several hundred dollars of "cash back" each year.

    Just food for thought.

    Offline Nadir

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    « Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 03:44:16 PM »
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  • Quote from: Aleah

    Do you have money set aside for an emergency? I hear a number of people talk about a 3-6 month emergency fund.
    What is your family's stance on purchasing a new or used vehicle?


    Actually, we are no longer a family but a couple and we are older and established. We have been through those struggles to manage on a very small income while getting a home together. We are both bad consumers and good money managers; we have always been happy with 2nd hand if we could get it.  

    Yes, we do have money set aside, but I don't consider it an emergency fund. Never even thought of an emergency fund.

    On cards: we only have cards which draw on our money in the bank and have never used a card we had to pay off.

    On cars, we just bought our first new car, trading in our 18 year old ute which was starting to cost us too much in repairs. We found that buying new was the better buy, when we looked at the price of used and the reliability factor.

    Offline Aleah

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    « Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 05:12:01 PM »
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  • I created this Excel spreadsheet that keeps a running tab for the entire year and then monthly tabs for more manageable look at our money spending.

    The spreadsheets are built to have formulas that add and subtract into all my bank accounts as well as our assigned categories. If I have done my bookkeeping correctly- then the final account balances should match what is on my final statement for the month. These categories are also converted into a pie chart to show the percentage of the income that was spent for each item.

    Finally, we have our planned budget andactual totals side by side so we can see whether or not we kept in line for that month.

    I am sure there are already created budget tools, but I have never found one that matches what I want to see until I created my own.

    I keep a handle on all of this with my husband popping in and out of it as necessary. I think Matthew is correct in stating that most women do prefer or have a better handle since the home life is their world. Even though I work outside the home- it still is more important to me than my husband. Besides, I love it!

    We are trying to pay off the mortgage as soon as possible and keeping a watch on the budget has really opened our eyes to where we overspend. In our case- it would be groceries/eating out.

     I like most of Dave Ramsey's teachings but I disagree on the following:

    The world does run on credit and I would much rather have a  lower insurance premium versus paying higher amounts because of no credit. This can easily be done with maintaining a couple of credit cards.

    I disagree with not using credit cards and only using cash or debit cards. If something happens- you are out that money until the bank puts it back into your account. A number of people don't have a cushion to cover a loss of money like that. I much rather have it against a credit card. I also don't like companies having direct access to my checking account.  I know he thinks that cash reward points are irrelevant but if  have control over my spending then I think I can handle a credit card AND get rewards.

    I disagree with him about gold. I think gold should be purchased and is a great commodity.



     
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    Offline Marlelar

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    « Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 06:04:20 PM »
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  • I too think precious metals are good to have.  We chose silver however because if the soup hits the fan they will be easier to "spend", we can also trade with hubby's hoard of TP ! :roll-laugh2:

    You will be SO happy when you pay off the mortgage!  We did and it is a relief not to have that monthly expense.

    Offline Aleah

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    « Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 06:53:26 PM »
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  • Quote from: Marlelar
    I too think precious metals are good to have.  We chose silver however because if the soup hits the fan they will be easier to "spend", we can also trade with hubby's hoard of TP ! :roll-laugh2:

    You will be SO happy when you pay off the mortgage!  We did and it is a relief not to have that monthly expense.


    How long did it take you to pay off your mortgage?
    I am He who is- you are she who is not.

    Offline MaterDominici

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    « Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 07:06:50 PM »
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  • Quote from: Marlelar
    You will be SO happy when you pay off the mortgage!  We did and it is a relief not to have that monthly expense.


    We tend to move into the next thing around the same time as we pay off the previous so as not to get comfortable not having a "mortgage" payment. I suppose some day we won't have any need for growth, but that's hard to imagine right now. : )
    "If I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei ... that would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion. I would take the Tantum ...

    Offline Aleah

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    « Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 07:16:01 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: Aleah

    Do you have money set aside for an emergency? I hear a number of people talk about a 3-6 month emergency fund.
    What is your family's stance on purchasing a new or used vehicle?


    Actually, we are no longer a family but a couple and we are older and established. We have been through those struggles to manage on a very small income while getting a home together. We are both bad consumers and good money managers; we have always been happy with 2nd hand if we could get it.  

    Yes, we do have money set aside, but I don't consider it an emergency fund. Never even thought of an emergency fund.

    On cards: we only have cards which draw on our money in the bank and have never used a card we had to pay off.

    On cars, we just bought our first new car, trading in our 18 year old ute which was starting to cost us too much in repairs. We found that buying new was the better buy, when we looked at the price of used and the reliability factor.


    We think we will need a new car in about year. I am putting funds aside but have realized that the vehicle we want is about $12,000.00 more than what we had anticipated even though it will be used! So, now we need to decide if should save up that amount or choose another vehicle.
    I am He who is- you are she who is not.

     

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