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Old 05-25-09, 06:35 PM
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I'm really serious about getting my debt paid down and some money socked away. However, I'm having a hard time anticipating every little thing that comes up each month. I realize that there can be a fund for "incidentals" but I just am having a hard time anticipating all of it.
How do you do this?
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Old 05-25-09, 06:42 PM
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The first month I ball-parked most of my envelopes. Then when I was ready to budget for the next month I adjusted according to over or under my ball park. I also have an envelope for "blow" money, which is money we can just "blow" on whatever we want. For bigger things that come up like the kids birthdays or school clothes I use my extra cash that I get during the summer. My pay is divided by 12 months, but in the summer we don't have certain things like union dues taken out, plus Dh always works extra hours in the summer so we use that money, plus put extra toward our bills.
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Old 05-25-09, 06:51 PM
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We have our envelopes down to a science now and can pretty well anticipate what we're going to need. We still have one envelope with $40 for "miscellaneous" things that come up each two-week period. Anything major that comes up comes out of the emergency fund.

We also leave a $50 cushion in our checking account for something unexpected.
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Old 05-25-09, 07:07 PM
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so Deanna, how did you get it down to a science?
HOW does someone start figuring out their envelopes? Estimating and dialing it in each month?


DH and I sat down and wrote down EVERYthing we spend our money on. ALL our yearly expenses (like ASQ membership dues, magazine subscriptions etc) as well as other "normal" monthly expenses.
We had a pretty good idea of the %s we spend our money on.

You can also just save your receipts -- ALL of them -- for an entire month and then itemize them and get a pretty good idea of what you'll expect for future months. (or SHOULD expect)

Things like birthdays and those once a year things.... those need to be budgeted too - so you need to have an envelope that is not just a monthly spending allowance, but also envelopes that you can put $ into monthly knowing that you'll be spending out of them very rarely for things. (like birthdays, or those yearly dues etc)
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Old 05-25-09, 08:37 PM
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I just wanted to add that I save every month for Christmas, other people's birthdays, vacation, and car registration. I just figure what we need for each of those things and divide by 12. We also put $75 in an envelope every month and use for things like the kids needing new summer sheets or needing a new garden hose. We don't always spend all that $ but
I allow for that $ to carry over and then when something like needing a new ceiling fan or singing the kids up for summer fun classes comes up we have the cash on hand.
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