01-23-2012 12:26 PM
But I have no idea where to start. We have never been budget people, never have had too. But now that I am a sahm and bascially on 1 income and building a house that we can't afford because we lost 50K on the sale of our house (market crashed unexpectedly and we had made the move already because dh found a great job) I really want to budget our money.
So where/how do I start? It is easier to keep track of everything in an excel sheet or what works best?
I'd appreciate any tips to help start me out. Or a great website would help lots too.
01-23-2012 05:21 PM
Gail Vaz Oxlade has a worksheet that allows you to play with some numbers. If you're handy with excel you could make your own. I wouldn't trust it to the letter for your personal circumstances - I find she's missing some things - but it is a good starting place just for interest's sake to see if one section of your family budget (food, or mortgage or transportation, for example) is way off from her recommended guidelines.
Overall I'd say her advice is quite no-nonsense and easy to understand. She has a number of other worksheets and articles that are helpful if you're just starting out.
01-24-2012 09:03 PM
I was also going to suggest the above website...it is good if you want to see what percentages of your money is going/should be going. However, we do our own budget on excel (but you could do it simply on paper).
I start by tracking dh's general take home pay (not including over time/bonuses etc), what other money we get (baby bonus etc), and what I need to contribute each month and making a "Income Total".
Then I list our MUST bills (mortgage/car payments/electricity/water/insurance (each type separately)/groceries) and add them. Then I subtract that amount from our Income total for our disposable bills (cable/cell/resp/rrsp/spending $$$/banking fees etc-the ones you can normally adjust)
Finally I add in things like entertainment (dinners out etc)/gifts/medical/car maintenance (things that 'happen' that you can't always plan for.
It takes a bit of practice and fine tuning but eventually you can do it quite quickly and easily. Good Luck!
01-24-2012 09:35 PM
If you don't already know where all your money is going each month, I'd start there. If you keep a receipt envelope in your purse or vehicle, that's a handy way to keep track. You can take it in at the end of the day write down where every penny goes. I think it's hard to start a budget until you are aware of where your money goes. If you purchase anything online you can print your receipt or record it on whatever format you've decided to use...spreadsheet or a manual record.
01-25-2012 06:10 AM
I know generally where our money goes, we have never kept receipts unless they are for bigger purchases. So I guess I better start there. I think I am going to build our budget in excel, we can stick to a monthly grocery & entertainment budget right now, but that's about it. A lot of our money is going towards items for the new house, paying contractors, etc... So I am thankful to have the time to build our budget before implementing it as a whole.
Thanks for the website, hopefully both kids nap today so I have some time this afternoon to take a look