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Old 01-21-11, 08:36 PM
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We started the budget thing in December, stumbled through Christmas fairly unscathed, and then had some issues with dh's paycheck not getting deposited. Then we did even better because we just really didn't spend any money!

This is the first week where we actually 100% lived by the budget. EXCEPT these little things come up right off the bat and it's so annoying. The furnace acted up, so we had to drop 144 on that. Then, the cord blood banking bills came (which I forgot about so I didn't budget for), and now Josh is going to need his tonsils and adenoids out! I guess I should be happy that we weren't at 0 or something, but i'm SO ANNOYED that we can't even get any momentum going, it seems! I had thought we were going to have an EXTRA $400 toward debt (in addition to what we were already going to pay) but now I'll have to save some of that money back to pay for the furnace and the cord blood bills.

I see that this is all a learning process, and we really are embracing it I guess. I've decided to keep a notebook outline all the extra expenses that just pop up once or twice a year so that next year we can prepare for them better. I am fortunate that dh is totally on board and dedicated to getting us out of debt and putting money into savings instead!

I prefer Gail voz-oxlade (the person on till debt do us part) to Dave Ramsey. I know that's like cursing around here, but it's true.
 
I love her interactive spreadsheet on her website. It was way easier for me.

So, we made it through week one. We didn't cheat, and we seem to have more money than we usually do still left in the bank.

FWIW, i miss the cleaning lady (who only comes once every 3 weeks) more than i miss the cable.
 
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Old 01-21-11, 09:48 PM
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Hot diggity about getting on a budget!
 


Do you have any kind of emergency fund? If you don't, that should be the first thing you save for. Pay minimums on everything until you have $1,000 saved and stashed in the bank or somewhere safe where the pizza man won't get it.
 
THEN--when things like the furnace issue come up, you can pay for them out of that fund instead of trying to cash flow it.

Getting rolling with a budget that works definitely takes a several months. I think it took us about 2-3 months to get all the kinks ironed out and then we were able to really start kicking butt in the debt department.

Cut yourself some slack and make sure you're budget includes some "miscellaneous/blow/free" money. This way, if you forget about something (for us it's usually field trip fees or other school-related fees), you have a buffer between you and your debt-reduction.

Lastly, as long as you're agreeing on a budget together, whatever "guru" you choose to follow doesn't matter.

You can tell a family's priorities by looking at their bank statement. If you guys can agree on how you spend your money, you're agreeing on your family's priorities and THAT'S worth all the money in the bank!

Keep posting here for accountability if you need it. That accountability kept us on track when we were first getting started and finding it a challenge to gain traction.
 
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Old 01-21-11, 10:01 PM
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Thanks
 
. We do actually have an emergency fund. It needs to get paid back to a comfortable level for me, but it's there and well over 1k. I just got annoyed is all
 
I guess the great part is that we *didn't* have to draw from it, but I am just stamping my feet because I wanted that extra cash for our debt!
 
I wanna pay off our debt, and move or do whatever we decide to do NOW!

I didn't know how to feel when we were discussing our future trip toflorida, and Josh said, "well, the great thing about the beach is that it's free to go there!"

I gave DH and I each a $10 "allowance" for the week. I'm usually the conservative one, but mine's totally gone and his $10 is still sitting in the jar! I use mine to buy myself a fountain diet coke after work each day!
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Old 01-21-11, 10:07 PM
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I think you are doing a great job!

I'd love for you to post a link to the interactive spreadsheets you mentioned.

We've been working with our budget for 2-3 months and still working out the kinks that came from Christmas.

I agree with Deanna, it's more of the small things that are getting us than big things like the furnace!

I think you're doing a great service to your kids! I talk about the budget and smart spending/savingall the time now to my kids -- and it is paying off in their awareness and greater consideration!


 
keep it up!
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Old 01-21-11, 10:24 PM
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This is the budget worksheet itself. It's pretty self-explanatory, and even color-coded, but if you poke around her website a little there's plenty of info on it.


 


A few points to consider if you do use this:
1) %s/b means the percentage of your income you "should be " spending on that facet of your life. So for example, our housing expenses "should be" 35% of what we bring home, but they're nowhere near close to that, so 18% shows up for us.

2) If you choose to do the jar money, know that the "weekly" numbers they get aren't the monthly number times 4 or even 5. They take the monthly number, multiply it by 12 and then divide it by 52 (the number of weeks in a year). So I refigured it for us, depending on how many Fridays (our payday) are ina month. I hope that made sense. It sounded kind of confusing.
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