Does anyone know of a free app or have any tips/advice on how to make a budget & actually stick to it ??
I am desperate !
by clairewaitApril 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM
Sounds like you need some accountability.
I mean, there are as many budget programs (that work) as there are diet and exercise programs (that work), but self-control is one of those things that a good program can't necessarily fix!
Sounds like you need to join a Dave Ramsay class, or find a friend who checks in with you.
Several people do well with the all-cash system, because, when it's gone, it's gone. Not my favorite way to budget, obviously, because you can't easily pay your electric bill with cash, but you know, start where you have to.
You could also do a debit card, just make sure your account doesn't have overdraft protection, or this won't work either.
by momtjcApril 13, 2016 at 5:16 PM
You're ahead of the game if you're thinking about how to create and use a monthly budget, as studies show that 1 in 5 families actually use one. I've tried several different approaches and apps to successfully track our budget. This series of articles is a great start as it gives you some things to think about. The best part is that if you follow your budget, you should reward yourself every so often. Good Luck!
I don't know what you've tried, but this is where I'd start. First, do you know where your money goes? If you don't know that, your budget is useless. Track every penny you spend for a month to three months. What keeps on derailing you? Emergencies, irregular expenses like car insurance, eating out? Do you really know what your income is? // Then you determine your categories. Does your income cover these? If not, determine what categories are non negotiable, like rent, and which things are more flexible, like grocery budget. If you still come up short, cut things that are not life threatening, like cable, or eating out. If that's not enough, try negotiating expenses, for example, see if you can get a better insurance rate. If that's not enough to cover, it may be you need more income.
I was the same, lack of control, I use to have a perfect budget, on paper, as soon as I received my paycheck it was gone on things that weren´t in that budget, so I started writting down every single penny I was spending and on what, also online banking was a life saver for me, because I can pay mos of my bills online so the samme day I received my deposit, I was paying those bills and transfering to the savings account, and go day by day, like when people are dietiing, take it one day at a time, at the beginning you may fail but if you are concious about it, will make it.
I agree, Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover helped us immensely, you will first need to establish an emergency fund. Then ONLY buy what is absolutely necessary. Don't buy a new car if your current car is still running. Make Shopping Lists, Plan Menus, Stick to your shopping list! Write a iist of your bills, then contact each company, ask how you can lower your monthly payment by maybe cutting out services you really don't need. Home and Auto Insurance most definitely can be lowered and cell and internet or tv as well.
There is really no advice for sticking to a budget other than you telling yourself "I have to stick to this budget!".
What works for me is I map my bills out a few months in advance so I know what things are looking like down the road. I pay the same bills every month on the same dates, so I make my calendars for each month, put a star on the pay dates, and write in which bills are due on which date and the amount. Underneath the caldendar, I have space to write which bills are going to get paid each paycheck. I get paid weekly and DH gets paid bi-weekly so we use his paychecks to pay the bills. So, this month, for example, DH gets paid on the 6th and the 20th. I'll write down all the bills that i'm going to pay with his paycheck on the 6th, then on the other side I'll write all the bills that are getting paid with his paycheck on the 20th. I write it in pencil so i can move things around if I can so I can be left with more money.
DH and I make the same amount each paycheck, so I know what we're starting with before we pay the bills. I total up my bills, subtract that amount from his paycheck, and then I know what we are going to have leftover to work with after bills. From there, I budget for gas and groceries. What's leftover I work out for saving and spending.
It helps that DH and I have 3 bank accounts. one is for spending, one is for saving, and one is for bills. DH's paycheck gets direct deposited into the spending account and from there I transfer the amount I need for bills into the bills account (because I've already worked out how much I know I will need), and transfer out for saving as well.
I agree with other moms on here that the most important thing you need is self control and a willingness to sacrifice and stick to your budget. I haven't been able to buy clothes for myself in more than a year because it's just not in my budget right now. If I didn't stick to my budget, we'd be in a serious hole and that's just not fair to my kids. That's kind of the perspective I use to keep myself in check when it comes to the budget.
Good luck. I'm sure you'll get a lot of great advice here!
I use the budget app Mint for my budgets. But for groceries and spending money, I also use the envelope system. It's so helpful to see how much money you have left and it stops you from purchasing anything unnecessary. This method is really helpful at least until you have the will power to continue on a budget and stick to the amounts that you have allowed yourself. Good luck!!