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Budgeting again

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    I’m a mess financally and am trying to budget but I can’t get it done.
    Has any tried Mvelopes or John Cummuta’s budgeting programs? Or has anyone used a budgeting program that helped? Thanks Leslie



    I love Mvelopes….
    But there is a learning curve – it took me awhile to learn how to do it.
    I also use a Google Spreadsheet.



    I have a question, I have tried for years to get my finances under control.
    I handle them now for both hubby and I ..
    I am not that great at it..
    I have a hard time deciding what we have, how much we will have in 5 months, etc.
    What to pay, how much to pay other than the absolute amount, planning for emergencies..
    As you can see I am horrible at it.
    My hubby is in med school and our first child is on the way.
    I am hoping that someone has ideas.
    I have tried microsoft money for tracking but I fall down on it..
    I even have the matching program on my palm..
    I can’t figure out why I fall down on it…
    Any ideas….Help please Cheryl



    It’s rather expensive for some one who is really strapped for money? It’s a good program and all, but I wouldn’t be able to afford it.



    Cheryl, I also take care of the finances at my house, and I’ve discovered that all that tracking software doesn’t work for me at all, so these are totally low tech suggestions: *I called every bill I had (credit cards, utilities, whatever) and asked them all if I could change the due date of the bill to the 1st of the month.
    This was convenient based on my paycheck schedule, so just choose a date that works for you and see if anyone can be flexible.
    *Gather everything together about a week before that bill due date and list what you have, and then what you owe to bills, and what you’ll need for food, gas, etc.
    (and hopefully what you can put towards savings).
    *The only thing I do online is check my checking account to see which checks have gone through, so I know the bank and I agree.
    *I also balance my checkbook immediately, and subtract every check right away, to avoid the possibility of bouncing checks.
    *If your employer does direct deposit, see if you can put a certain amount automatically towards savings every month.
    See if any of that works! Good luck! I have tried microsoft money for tracking but I fall down on it..
    I fall



    It runs me about $2 or $3 per paycheck.
    So, I didn’t think it was too horrid – I just set aside that much each payday.
    I suppose it is all in how much convenience it offers as opposed to the cost.



    I use Mvelopes – the good old fashioned “real” envelope system works well too….



    Ref budgeting- First, I guess I am not too qualified to make and suggestions since we are in a tight (to put it nicely) spot ourselves.
    But, something simple and pretty cheap…
    In the office section of your local Wal-Mart they sell financial folders.
    I have used these for years and Love them.
    It is spiral bound and has a page with a pocket for each month.
    You put your bills in the front and then when you have paid them you move them to the pocket of the folder for that month.
    I think that is how they want you to use it.
    Also, there is a graph for each month on that month’s page where you write all your bills- what it is, when it is due, the amount due, the amount you paid and any comments/ conf.
    numbers, etc.
    It is simple and all hard copy so no worries about computer crashes, etc either.
    I save mine for three years so that if there were ever any questions I have all my records.
    I think they are about 7 or 10 dollars.
    I can see at a quick glance what I have and have not paid.
    Just a thought.



    That is such a good suggestion I cant believe I forgot to mention it!! lol.
    I did this about 2 years ago because I kept forgetting things.
    I have all of our household/car and living expenses due at the beginning of the month and then the 3rd week of the month I pay all loans, credit cards and money(what little if any is left) into savings.
    It took me a couple of months to get it all squared away but its made things much easier.
    I know just by the date if I need to be taking care of bills or anticipating paying things.
    It helps if you are disorganized like I tend to be.



    Cheryl, Maybe you haven’t given it enough time? Not knowing your complete scenario of income and expenses it’s hard to suggest anything specific.
    I know I’ve been using Quicken ever since it came out and before that a simple check balancing program.
    It helped me see where I was spending so that I soon became in the habit of not buying on compulsion.
    I now only buy what is needed.
    I have a throw away account where I budget about $10 a week to blow but I rarely use it.
    Habit, it takes getting in the habit to quit spending and start paying off the debt.
    Once you aredebt free then the extra money each month goes into savings.
    Then, you buy with cash only there on out.
    Quit giving the banks your money as interest and late fees.
    I can’t dwell on this last statement enough.
    It makes me angry, get angry about it.
    It works.

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