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Budgeting 101 questions

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  • ChristaMc ChristaMc's Avatar 09-06-06 | 12:32 AM
  • Ok, I am getting ready to make out some worksheets for our budget. For those of you who have already done this...what would be your first steps that you would suggest.....I was thinking that getting all of our bills out on a piece of paper and seperating them into paychecks that they would come out of....but was unsure if I was jumping ahead....or are there anything else that I need to do......
  • Valleygirl Valleygirl's Avatar 09-06-06 | 12:47 AM
  • I actually have two budget worksheets, the first shows all of the bills/items and how much they are. I started with the bills that were fixed amounts and must pays, mortgage, water, electricity, then I moved to the ones I had to guess at like groceries, gas, etc. Then I moved to the creditcards and put down the minimums on those. I added it all up and what I had left over I put on our smallest debt.
    Next I moved on to the multiple column worksheet that I used to figure out what payments needed to come out of what checks. Again I started with things that HAD to be paid at certain times mortgage, utilities credit cards and moved on to things that I could take a little out of each check, groceries, blow, papergoods and ended with things that I could save for the last check of the month like vacation, christmas etc.
  • Dopey406 Dopey406's Avatar 09-06-06 | 09:29 AM
  • We always start with
    bill pay chart. The top few bills are due out of the first paycheck of the month, and the bottom few are due out of the second paycheck. These are the definite bills that MUST be paid each month.

    As far as worksheets go, we don't really use actual worksheets. We make our own with the amount we have after paying bills listed at the top, then our envelopes listed after that.

    After we list out what envelopes we need and how much for each, the amount we have left at the bottom is the amount we pay that half of the month toward our debt. Our goal each month is $1200. That might mean that it all has to come out of the second half (like this month because of car insurance), or it might mean that we can eke out $200-300 from the first half. The first half is always tighter because the mortgage comes out of that check.

    We also printed a table in Word that reads across the top, "18 Month To Freedom" and we have 18 boxes, each with $1200 typed in it--we cross it off each month that we make our payment so we can visually SEE how close we're getting to being debt-free.

    Last edited by Dopey406; 09-06-06 at 09:32 AM..