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Old 05-26-09, 03:39 PM
Dopey406's Avatar
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We do our budget every two weeks. DH gets paid on the 15th and the last day of the month and this equates to about two weeks' worth of time for each budget period. We also found that we weren't as able to predict what would happen during a month's time but we were more accurate with that shorter period of time.

We reconcile Quicken to our bank account and then pay the bills due for that half of the month online. I have a chart that has our bills listed according to the half of the month in which they are due. We pay them at the start of each budget meeting so that any funds leftover can be discretionarily used for envelopes or savings.

I examine my calendar (I use Outlook calendar) to know what we have coming up (birthday parties, school events, vacation days, places we'll need to drive to estimate gas, etc.). We decide together how much to budget for those things.

Our usual envelopes are always the same (Groceries, $175, Dining $50, Misc. $40). Gas and Diapers vary according to need but it's usually Gas $100, Diapers $45-$55.

Then we have envelopes for the rest of what we call our "Pork Barrel" items which are those things that are specific to that budget period.

We do all of this in an Excel spreadsheet. We print out the spreadsheet, write a check for cash for the amount on the spreadsheet, and fill our envelopes.

We've been budgeting this way since January 2006 so we've had enough experience to know what we need and if something major comes up (car repair, home repair, etc.) we have an emergency fund in savings for that. When we first started budgeting, it took a few months to really figure out how much we spend on things and when things were due. Really, it takes about a year to know how much you'll need for each month. We have enough history now to look back at our old budgets and see what expenses we have in each month.

Our budget meetings used to take an hour or so and now we're down to about 10 minutes. Because we are able to save $1,000 or more each month, if we have something come up, we can typically just cash flow it without touching our savings.

Last edited by Dopey406; 05-26-09 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 05-26-09, 06:04 PM
Janine's Avatar
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I do it a lot like Deanna. We don't use envelopes, bnut we budget our bills and stuff in 2 week incriments and when things come up that can't be put off until the next pay period we just adjust something else to cover it.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:18 PM
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We sit down every month for our budget meeting and determine what is new or needs to be accounted for during that month. We withdraw miscellaneous money and keep the rest in for bills. Like Deanna any emergencies comes from our emergency fund.
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