Saturday, February 16, 2013

Budgeting 101: Our Full Budget System

Want to read about the rest of the Budgeting 101 Series? Find it: HERE.

Budgeting 101: Class 6

 Our Full Budget System...How Do I Budget?

  •  First and Foremost you need to make sure you MAKE MORE THAN YOU SPEND
  • So if you aren’t doing that, then either find ways to make more money…or most likely you need to find ways to cut back your spending.
  • To begin, do you know what you are spending each month or where your money is going?

Following Dave Ramsey's Monthly Cash Flow Plan, great way to begin setting a budget.
It helps you look at your income, the amounts you "should" spend on bills and each area of your budget. It provides a percentage range for each category. This helps you know if your expenses, in each area, are reasonable for your income.

Here is another great site that explains how to set up your budget.  Easy step by step instructions.

Or if you already know how to set up your budget, but just want a basic printable to keep it organized, here is a simplistic Monthly Budget Sheet.

So my basic Budget Routine Each month is simple.
And it needs to be, or I wouldn't keep up with it...sad I know.
But of all things, I have to be realistic about my budget, because staying on top of it matters now and for our future.

So Here is what I do each Month:

  •  First I know my regular Bills: Housing, Utilities, Savings, Internet, Phones, etc.
  • I also know our regular expenses: Entertainment, Food, etc 

I have these printed out on a Budget form, like those found above.
So all I have to do each month is:

1. Look over the Budget: I make a quick check of the on the amounts we set for each area of the budget & see if we need to make any changes.

2. Budget the Left Over Money: Deciding where the extra money is going in advance, avoids wasted money. (It's crazy how the money not accounted for can somehow disappear...)

      Since our income is pretty regular, I know a good estimate of the amount I will have left over.  
      This money is where we decide what we would like to do with:
           Entertain/Throw a Party? Home improvements?  Trip? Piano Lessons? Invest/Save it? Etc.


Basic NEEDS: 
These are the thing we CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT. That doesn't mean, we couldn't find less expensive housing, cut back on utilities or gas...but for our needs, WITHIN, our budget these are our BASIC NEEDS.

Charity: 10-15%                 Tithing and Donations 
Housing:  25-35%               Mortgage/Rent, Tax, Repairs
Utilities: 5-10%                   Gas, Electic, Water, Trash
Insurance: 10-25%             Life, Health, Home, Auto, etc
Transportation: 10%         Gas & Auto Maint/Repairs
Food/Household: 5-10%    Food, Hygiene, Household

*Percentages based off Dave Ramsey...we try to stay as low on the percentages as possible.

These Needs, are things we rely heavily upon, but aren’t vital.  If money got tight and we had to cut back, we could do, painfully, without these.

Cell Phones $110
Internet $50
Miscellaneous $100

Savings: 10-20%
If we had a problem, yes, these would TEMPORARILY be cut...but these are considered a "Set Monthly Bill"...we cut back elsewhere, before we cut here.

Emergency Fund (6 months worth of current living expenses. Once this is reached, save the money elsewhere)

Car Fund- We pay ourselves, a "car payment" each month.  This way, when the time comes to get a new car, we don't have to buy it on credit.  It saves a lot of money in the end and makes you much wiser when choosing your car.  Because, it is hard to spend that large of an amount of money, after how long you saved for it.

Kids/Education Fund- Put away money for Kids Education and future needs

Retirement & Investing- The more you save now, the better you will be.

Misc. Savings-  This savings changes depending on our situation and needs.  We often have more than one "account", because we are saving for multiple things. It can be for a House/Down Payment, A trip, Recreational Toys, Electronics, etc.

Here is where we spend on fun. These are what we allocate for spending on ourselves.  It also helps us not judge or get upset with our spouse's spending...This money is for them to spend on what they want.
But, yes...this is the first area of the budget to get cut, when things get tight.
Although, you might notice, we have things we already cut, because we don't feel they are worth the cost: Dish Network, Hulu, etc.

Netflix $7

Entertainment/Eating Out/Babysitting: $200

Personal Budgets (Wants, clothes, etc):
 -Dallas $100
 -Colleen $100
 -Kids $100 (for all kids total)

Extra Money: 
We always stash some of it away.  I like the feeling that we never need to spend all that we make. Then we take into account things we have been wanting, something random that came up...things not covered in our allotted Personal Budgets or the Miscellaneous Budget.

Ways We Save...We Go without:
- We never buy on credit (other than a home) if we don’t have the money we save for it.
- Cable or Dish (We have Basic Channels,)
- Spendy Cell Phone Plans (We have data and text, but we share minutes and buy the phones you can get free with you plan.  We also consider other less expensive plans like month to month…)
- Trade babysitting with neighbors
- We buy Off Brand
- We avoid Fast Food (Because it is unhealthy and the cost adds up quickly)
- We watch our “energy” to cut back on Utilities 


  1. Trade My Motor is the hassle free way for members of the public to quickly and efficiently sell your car and achieve an instant cash price We buy any car The system is designed to be simple and easy to use and relies upon the vehicles VRN (registration number) to look up the vehicle details.

  2. “Make more than you spend.” - This is the most important guideline that somebody has to bear in mind when planning what you’d spend your money on. If a vacation can’t fit your income, why bother booking a hotel? It’s better that you have this budget system so that you’ll have a clear view of how much you have. It will put a limit on spending and can give you all the possible chances to save your money.

    Saturnina Corbeil

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this

  4. These classes are awesome! Will you be continuing?



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