Budgeting

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Budgeting isn’t easy. But whether you’re trying to cut spending to save for that new house or you’d like some extra money to put towards your credit card debt, establishing a budget that works for you is essential. Which is why we’ve created the Budgeting Bootcamp experience. The bootcamp is a two-week program that will teach you how to establish a budget from the ground up and then actually stick to it. Every couple of days you’ll receive helpful tips and tricks for creating your own...Read More...
I'm retired, on a fixed income and so "out of the loop" on job openings and all the modern stuff you have to know how to do or (it seems) stand on your feet a lot. I worked at a hospital admitting job. Sitting was involved and inputting information into the computer to make a patients chart...address, phone, insurance info, etc. At that time the only requirement was a high school diploma and 6 months experience working with the public. I had been a dime store (pretty sure they don't exist...Read More...
Great job AnnieB. Grown children should help out and learn responsibility.Read More...
Last Reply By dboothe · First Unread Post

Excel Entire Year Budget Sheet!

Heather LeGuilloux
Last year I started budgeting for the first time. It was confusing to figure out at first, and also scary to see all those categories and spending limits. But after a few months, it became second nature to write out the budget and go through the statements at the end of the month to make sure these budgets were held in place. When I first started with our budgets last year I found a printable budget that had some static categories (rent, groceries, travel, etc) but this year I wanted to find...Read More...
I created my own excel spreadsheets. I've found to be easy to plan for upcoming expenditures and to see the variation in some bills each month.... like gas and electric.... I have done this for several years and it's been eye opening to see how expenses for utilities have increased over the years.Read More...
@TheSugarFreeLife . I checked out the links and very happy to have those sources. I created my own excel sheets a few years ago, mainly for tracking where my money goes, rather than budgeting. It was an eye opener to see how much we spend on grandkids and junk food! I have not followed up to do anything with these links from Heather, but very grateful to her for providing them.......my other half is retiring this year and we will need to set up a budget, I'm sure. I am a procrastinator!Read More...
Last Reply By Shannon H · First Unread Post

Topics

Family Budgeting Strategy for Youth

Hi everybody I just read the last PH newsletter, in particular the article about couples creating positive meetings about their budget. I'm trying to figure out the most effective way to teach my 12 year old son who is both a hard worker, very desirous of earning, saving,spending, money + *bonus* he loves Math. Much of his amped desire to earn has been gleaned over the last 9 months through a video game plays that reward through "monetary" points. It has its pros and cons and of course our...Read More...
It IS hard when the 2 households handle money differently! His father makes significantly more money than I do, and honestly, doesn't handle it as well. I've resigned that all I can do is teach them they way I want and let them know why I believe that it is the right way. They can draw their own conclusions. And I did forget to mention the debit card! We just got Bluebird pre-paid debit cards for the boys, last week, and are starting with that.Read More...
This is really helpful. Thankyou! I'm starting to include use of the debit card in my son's lessons. We don't use checks. I like the emphasis on your providing what they need but not always what they want. That's a huge point for parents. Also, hearing two parents say they encourage their kids to purchase what they want with their own spending money gives me food for thought. I Ido talk about quality & planned obsolescence. I must not be still aware be thinking of his money as mine!Read More...
Last Reply By KellyFromKeene · First Unread Post

Pay all bills on one day or spread throughout the month??

triplea87
I would like to get a consensus here. Who pays all of their bills (including rent/mortgage) on the same day of the month versus spreading out over the course of the month? (Ex. paying rent/mortgage on the first and the remaining bills on the 15th). I imagine this has a lot to do with paycheck cycles and I can see the convenience of the former but there are advantages to the latter from a cashflow perspective for those who may be living paycheck-to-paycheck.Read More...
I spread my monthly bill payments over the month and time each payment to be sent thru online banking anywhere from 7 to 4 days before the payment is due.Read More...
I get paid the 1st and the 15th plus I make tips. So I try to pay everything with my first paycheck. Then my second check pays rent and any bills that fall on the 1st. After everything is covered the money goes in a savings account. I've been paying off things when I get a big chunk of money saved.Read More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · First Unread Post

pay bills on time

we have been married 42 years and are retired. we leaned early to pay our bills in full when they came due. also, be bold. call the utility or phone co. insurance, etc.and tell them your due date does not work out. 100% of the time they gave me a date that fit our budget. Early we lived on my income only. when my husband, in school, could work, that went in savings. when he graduated and worked full time, we started our family, and i worked part time. my income went to savings. savings paid...Read More...
Great point here! Sometimes we don't realize that making an edit in our finances could be done by doing something as simple as making a phone call! Companies want to be paid. Many a times, they are willing to work with you when it comes to due dates. Glad you and your partner have seen results by staying persistent. Kudos on your success in your financial journey!Read More...
Thank you for the encouragement! It is so important to stay on top of things...Read More...
Last Reply By Maryann · First Unread Post

Changing my eating habits is changing my finances

lismox
For the New Year I decided to finally lose those pesky 25 pounds. Rather than going on any specific diet I decided to rein in my portion sizes and reduce my calorie count. So far it's working since I'm down 5 pounds. Only 20 more to go! I was a total Starbucks junkie before changing my eating habits. Now I've been going only like once a week since I don't want to use up my daily calories on drinks. It's been helping me a lot! Not only is it helping my waistline, it's helping my budget. Has...Read More...
I relate to this so much! We made the decision in July 2019 to transition to a whole foods, plant based diet for health reasons. This has impacted my grocery budget enormously! I no longer buy meats, cheeses, & dairy items, the most expensive items I was buying before. I generally try to only buy in-season fruits & veggies. Combine that with the base staples of this lifestyle being some of the most budget friendly items (rice, potatoes, quinoa, pasta), & my grocery budget has...Read More...
WOW, Good for you, so creative and fulfilling! Thanks for the info!Read More...
Last Reply By A.Gonzalez · First Unread Post

Lowered my gym membership price

lismox
I had a small success today. I added my gym membership to my husband's account. I will save $20 a month, so $240 per year. I wish I'd done it earlier. Then I called my Internet company to see if we could get a better deal, but that was a no-go. And we dropped Hulu and CBS.com (which was through Amazon), which I'd completely forgotten I was still subscribed to. It pays to stay on top of these things.Read More...
Oh yes, when you notice a charge increases and you are not informed it will increase, go after them. This keeps happening to us with our newspaper subscription, we receive it Wed-Sun, home delivery. This is quarterly repeating charge on a credit card, the only thing on this cc. It went up, I called the paper subscription service line and they confirmed the charge went up. Nothing had changed in the service, the price of gas even went down, so why they up-charge? I threatened to discontinue...Read More...
We spoke to our Internet provider (few options in our area) and they suggested a longer term commitment to lower the monthly costs. We called a second time and they said we may want to consider buying our own modem instead of renting. She even told us what we needed to look for. Every little bit helps.Read More...
Last Reply By redcatcec · First Unread Post

A reminder NOT to spend.

Jobelle Collie
I use a debit card and paper checks. I have a huge goal to sell my current home and build/buy a new one before December, 2020. So I made a index card with what my debt kill amount is, how much I want to save for a larger downpayment to REMIND myself that i DO NOT need to buy anything but food and things I need to fix up the old house. Having that reminder (stuck one on my cell phone and one on my laptop) too avoid impulse buys! Wish me luck.Read More...
Good luck!!! You can do this!Read More...
Great idea!Read More...
Last Reply By KellyFromKeene · First Unread Post

Pennyhoarders: Do you return Christmas gifts to the store...regift...or make use of it?

Rarely am I given a gift I don't like. However, it would seem unreasonable to travel to the store/use up gas and wait in a long line unless it is very expensive. Regifting...I would do that if the person I am giving it to does not know the person who gave it to me. Unless it is a very practical gift, I probably cannot make use of it. One year my mother and I gave a bakery gift card as a gift to someone. She went there frequently. We found out that she regifted it to someone we were close to.Read More...
I think they do!Read More...
Oh, that is so nice and so appreciated by many, a gift from the heart and the kitchen. They must just adore you!Read More...
Last Reply By MsKimberly · First Unread Post

Just sharing some numbers from my 2019 budget

mintjulep
Just entering Nov/Dec receipts into my Excel budget sheet and looking at "almost year end totals" (rounded) in some of my categories. Dog annual - $2659 ($1105 was in Nov/Dec for emergency issue, all well now) The total includes food, medications and shots, pet-sitter fees while away from home, vet services. Grandkids annual (2 under 10 yrs) $1341 which includes restaurant, entertainment, gifts, meals and snacks I have the other standard categories.....meals, medical, household, utilities,...Read More...
Thank you Mint Julep. I get the same reaction when people say “it’s just a dog, go to pound and get one.” It’s not that simple. Also no insurance covers this and no, the Veterans Administration does NOT provide these dogs. The way I can “justify” the extreme cost is it allows me to live independently. If Pilot gives me 10 years of dedicated service, that’s $7000.00 USD per year. What nursing home can I live in for $7000/year? None. And none I’d want to live in. So, I will stay as independent...Read More...
Jobelle! What an amazing and beautiful dog! I had no idea the cost to the owner was so astronomical. I am so sorry to learn about the dog you lost to a careless driver, that has to be heartbreaking. Thank goodness you are a "budget nerd" and it sounds like you have done outstanding planning to be in the financial position you are in now. I have no doubt you will attain your goal of finding a new home the suits your aging needs in a great location! Thank you for such encouragement and for...Read More...
Last Reply By Jobelle Collie · First Unread Post

How to Organize Your Financial Life With a Budget Binder

Ashlee
Having troubling keeping up with everything in your financial life? A budget binder can help. Here's how to make one! Have you tried this approach to budgeting? I would love to hear more about your budget binders.Read More...
Olivia, I hope your baby is growing up and thriving! My granddaughter was born with complications and ten days in NICU made a bill close to $800,000! Thankfully, all members of our family chipped in and paid that bill in full. It’s only because we are budget nerds for generations that allowed us to pay that bill. I’m glad your family has an emergency fund in place for those times when “Murphy” moves into the spare bedroom. I hope you and I can spread the benefits of having a budget in place.Read More...
Hello Jobelle! Thanks for your notes. We never made much, so it's taken a while. We found the first couple years of budget keeping to be a bit hairy as we tried to figure out how to handle unplanned expenses. Like the car dying, or having a preemie with medical issues. Since then, setting up an emergency fund really helped. It's taken years of incrementally paying these unexpected expenses off and careful spending to finally have one. We plan for what we can, (the next car), and finally have...Read More...
Last Reply By Jobelle Collie · First Unread Post

Budget: Paper or Electronic

I will admit that I am a bit of a hoarder. It is necessary for me to downsize. After making copies of so many articles that seem very important for saving money and making my life productive, it seems impossible to find anything--even my budget. Thus, I am going electronic for my budget. The downside is that when your phone or computer does not work or takes a nap, you can't get to what you need. My question is this...Which works better for you.....Paper/Binder or Electronic? I cannot wait...Read More...
LOL Yes, they are little medals we give ourselves. I never thought of that. I just downloaded Libre, but have not gotten into it. It's free...and I love free things!Read More...
SThom, thanks for sharing that spreadsheet! I wish I'd had that a few years ago. I found some on the net but they weren't applicable for me then. I ended up creating my own and it's darn close to your link with tweaks to make it personal. MsKimberly, I know 1 thing about Excel and that's how to make a spread sheet and I learned that 1 thing from the net. There are tons of simple how tos out there and on YouTube for financial spreadsheets; you'll learn a couple of Excel formulas to create a...Read More...
Last Reply By MsKimberly · First Unread Post

Nimbl by Nationwide

Joanne Killion
just wondering what your though is on this app Nimbl by Nationwide I have never herd of it. Thank YouRead More...
This is the first I have heard of this app but considering it is a free app to help you create a plan to pay off debt effectively, I can't see how it would hurt. The app is owned by a respected brand so I would assume it is trustworthy to use it and if it works as they say it does, it could be a really helpful tool for people who feel like they are drowning in a sea of debt without a plan to get out. As always, I would recommend doing a little more research into it but if it is something...Read More...
Last Reply By Moore Income · First Unread Post

Can Drinking Coffee Affect Your Finances?

Moore Income
Today I am sitting at a coffee shop working away on my computer before I head to my job. But instead of purchasing a coffee from the shop, I brought my own coffee from home. Why you may ask? Because a cup of coffee can cost upwards of $5. I am a huge coffee drinker but $5 cups of coffee tend to add up over time and before you know it, you have spent quite a bit on a cup of jo! I have started coming here regularly and have noticed there are people who come in every morning to buy a cup of...Read More...
Drinking coffee from a coffee shop can affect your finances. So have the best of both worlds: look for a copycat recipe of your favorite brew.Read More...
@AverageJoe My favorite book of Bach's is Automatic Millionaire.Read More...
Last Reply By AnnieB · First Unread Post
Page

My New Home

Zara Zoey
I have bought my own home with my savings! I cannot stress this enough how happy I am. With happiness, I am completely underplaying my tight budget. Have to spend a week at my friends' wedding and buy a gift for her. Then there is a home decoration. Lots to do. Can you people suggest a gift for someone who I have not met for a long time? Plus, with home decoration, I am going with a chic look, any suggestions to color coordinate? Oh, and I have a sleep disorder, as per my aunt, I should...Read More...
I love the idea of gifting them crafts or I can go with 'attention to details' approach and gift them something they mentioned liking, from her sis or friends? Needs lots of persuasion to do that.Read More...
Oh yes, how about a local gift- some craft or something that is unique to where you are?Read More...
Last Reply By Zara Zoey · First Unread Post

What do you do when you have a surprise expense?

Melissa
What do you do when you have an expected expense? Do you pull money out of your savings to pay for it? Or do you put it on your credit card?Read More...
We try to anticipate large expenses and save accordingly. (Not always accurately.) Before we had a slush savings account to cover unexpected expenses, we would just skim off the accounts we had and cut back on cash purchases, like food and clothing until it was covered. Medical expenses are a whole different thing. When we had our first child, he was a preemie with a cataract. We spoke to the hospital and eye practice frankly about our financial situation. They were willing to accept...Read More...
I use a combination of credit cards and savings to deal with unexpected expenses. I have two credit card balances right now that I'm paying on, slowly but surely. Within the last few months I had a situation where my escrow account was short and I had to pull $3,000 from two separate accounts. So know I'm a huge believer in having savings accounts even though I do have some credit card debt (which I'm paying on).Read More...
Last Reply By Olivia · First Unread Post

How to pay for my trip to Machu Picchu

Keanu Miller Brown
Hello, I am planning my trip to Machu Picchu and I want to confirm the following tour in this company: Salkantay Trek to Machu 5 Days I want to confirm the trip with my partner and they offer me the following payment methods: Visa with 8%, Paypal with 10%, Wester Union with 7% but I can't find an agent near my house and bank deposit which charges a commission on my Bank and in the bank of the company. If someone has already had a similar experience please help me.Read More...

This week in... The Penny Hoarder Community

Ashlee
Happy Friday! Whew! Where has this week gone? Here’s your weekly round up of announcements to get you through today and into the weekend... We’ve crowned our November Member of the Month. Join me in congratulating Lisa Acu ñ a (@lismox) for being selected this month’s winner! We all appreciate your help around here, Lisa. Each month we look to crown a new winner. We’re looking for someone who is super helpful and active in the community. Each winner receives a $25 gift...Read More...
Not a problem, @Lesley Michele .Read More...
Thanks Average Joe😁😁😁😁Read More...
Last Reply By AverageJoe · First Unread Post

Happy November!

Ashlee
We’ve made it to the end of the week and the start of a new month Penny Hoarders! Who here can’t believe it’s already November? 😳 This week I want to know if you’re a planner or a procrastinator… Do you start planning and budgeting now for holiday purchases or wait until the last minute? What about your New Year’s resolutions? And now for this week’s announcements… We just hit a HUGE milestone Penny Hoarders… 10,000 community members! Join us in a celebratory happy dance, then go check out...Read More...
@Susan L. Miller We have used Freecycle off and on for years. We got the foot and headboards for our queen-sized bed through the program. We have seen many items we no longer use go to other homes that would use them and recommend it heartily! We have also used our "Marketplace" here in our area on Facebook to buy and sell things. There are so many ways to go and programs to use! Happy selling...and as one of our mentors says "Think..and grow RICH!"Read More...
I'm not sure how many were here when I joined the Penny Hoarder Community, but I do know that it seems as if we've grown by leaps and bounds. I've met some interesting people and like having information and ideas coming in! May we continue to grow in numbers as well as in wealth.Read More...
Last Reply By AverageJoe · First Unread Post

Movie Sundays

Starwish
The cost of going out to see films is so high. So, I every few weeks buy an assortment of bargin bin $5.00 videos at Walmart or the local $1.00 store and have on hand. Then, almost every Sunday I have homemade popcorn, and a few movies at home. I am older, and really enjoy having my Sunday special day to look forward to. Sometimes I rewatch favorite movies / series in my collection. It is a low-cost, lovely way to spend a quiet Sunday at home.Read More...
Movie Sunday or any other day is a great idea. Why not check out your local library for free movie check outs. Our library also offers a streaming service for downloading movies and tv programs that is free to members.Read More...
Last Reply By Kathy E · First Unread Post

Have you tried the Zero Based budgeting method?

Briana
Has anyone used this budgeting method before? How have you (if you've done it) or how would you alter it to work for you?Read More...
I LOVE zero based budgeting! I get paid bi-weekly and the night before payday I fill in my spreadsheet for the next two weeks. It's basically set up like a check register. I start with my paycheck amount, and subtract EVERYTHING that I know I'll spend in the next two weeks, bills, savings, gasoline, sinking funds, taxes groceries, entertainment...everything, until it reaches zero. I even know how much I budget for gasoline for the two weeks and when I go for gas I put in half that much this...Read More...
I currently make just at or sometimes just under my monthly costs (a side hustle is a topic for another discussion). Does zero-based budgeting work even if you sometimes have more jobs than dollars to give them to?!Read More...
Last Reply By Jeanne Featherston · First Unread Post

Money management in general

As a senior citizen on fixed income, you have to divide your income income in several groups: Shelter/Health care and /Emergencies. I have to have different accounts for each of these; How can I have one account and have money divided in these groups?Read More...
Out of all the replies I have read, I like the one from Kerrye the most. But I am going to keep reading.Read More...
I have three accounts at my bank. One is savings(emergencies), one for bills, and then one where my checks are automatically deposited. I just transfer a set a amount every month from my account into the other two accounts. Anything left in my account I can spend.Read More...
Last Reply By [email protected] · First Unread Post

Out on sick leave

1cent
i ended up in the hospital and was out of work 3-4 weeks. I have sick time but it’s paid out in December. I was out last year and determined not to use all my time. I took 2 sick days a week and waiting for the HR to get my private disability in. I have a dr appointment with surgeon next month so I asked to return to work meanwhile to get a full check. I’m in pain but can handle it as I work 4 days 9-14 hour shifts. I like to go out in the winter if I had to have more surgery. Use my...Read More...
I wish I had advice for you.Read More...
Last Reply By MsKimberly · First Unread Post

Budgeting Apps?

Katie Gabriele
Can y'all talk to me about EveryDollar vs Mint vs YNAB? We've tried using an Excel spreadsheet and it's just not working for us. We like the idea of our credit/debit card transactions being automatically inputted. We'd prefer a free program, which is why we're leaning towards Mint, but if another program is worth the money spent we're open to it. So what's the favorite around here?Read More...
Cool! I've never tried the apps because I sit at a desk all day so keep my spreadsheet on the Google Drive so I can see it anywhere. I like it since I can go in and put expected expenses in (and if they change can tweak it). I watch tons of YouTube videos too about budgeting. We've got this!Read More...
I've tried Mint, EveryDollar, PocketGaurd, and a few more random apps. So far.... nothing really helps. I have found that my bank is usually the problem- it never stays connected. I have a state FCU that's pretty small, so that may be why. But I liked Mint while it worked. I like the concept of EveryDollar though, as it allowed me to sort of visualize my savings better by actually setting budgets for things. I started using my Google calendar to input all my bills, and that helps me budget a...Read More...
Last Reply By Jeanne Featherston · First Unread Post

How do you distribute your income?

Hi, My husband and I both work typical full time jobs and I was basically paying the minimum on my loans and credit cards. However, we recently inherited a very large collection of comic books dating all the way back to the 30's and 40's. Right now we are working on moving these books for additional income and so far the amount we're making is so great we've had to claim ourselves as small business owners selling out of our home. My question for everyone is, how should I distribute this...Read More...
Hey, my earnings come in Kenya shilling but the principal is the same i bet.percentages.That is: 10% Tithe 30% personal needs 40% family 10% savings 10% charity Ithen share out the percentages according to the budget.what I cant then is pushed to the next month with first priority. Kinyua On Tue, 10 Sep 2019 at 17:36, The Penny Hoarder Community < [email protected]> wrote:Read More...
Personal loan 150Read More...
Last Reply By John Kinyua · First Unread Post

Paying Off a Loan Early

Kirsten Cherry
The very first loan I ever got was for a used car. I had found out I was pregnant a few months prior so my husband and I went to the local dealership to find a good deal on a safe and reliable “family car”. I wouldn’t say it was the best financial decision we ever made, but we love our Pilot and now we would love to pay it off. I just did some calculating and with just my side hustle money, I will be able to pay it off over 2 years early, saving about $1000 in interest. And that is with me...Read More...
I see you said you put back money for charity. I had someone comment on one of my posts and part of what they said was to put money back for charity. Is this something most people do? What, aside from being an upstanding citizen, is the reason people put money aside for charity instead of using that money to pay off debt and once the debt is paid off then worry about distribution to charity? Is there a financial benefit or is this just a preference for some people?Read More...
I'm currently looking into refinancing my car loan with a credit union because I've heard good things. The 3% is pretty incredible and it's what I'm shooting for! I currently pay 5% but it's worth trying to get it down a bit.Read More...
Last Reply By Hanna · First Unread Post

Is there a particular budgeting booklet

I was looking for a guide or instruction sheetRead More...
Yes, I don't know of a one size fits all way to budget. As people have stated, try a google search, and if you are looking for particular features, include that in the search. if you don't know what you want, just start scrolling through them. I have a basic one that i use; if you are interested let me know and I'll send it to you.Read More...
Just google templets in excel I am assuming thanksRead More...
Last Reply By KellyFromKeene · First Unread Post
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