Budgeting

Featured Topics

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...
I agree about CreditKarma. I just got an update tonight! It's great.Read More...
The app you seek is CreditKarma. I have used it fore er. It is free, and tracks your credit at all three reporting companies, send me emails monthly, AND anytime there is a change ANYWHERE, of ANY KIND, GOOD OR BAD. Also, lots of tips on spending, budgeting, paying down debt, credit... The list goes on. Its a site I love!Read More...
Last Reply By NanaWaller14 · 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

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...
@Deon Christie I've been addicted to rooibos since I was a little girl. I have my morning coffee and then drink rooibos the rest of the day.Read More...
I bought an espresso machine from Sam's Club on closeout a couple of years ago. The cappuccinos and lattes it makes rivals any coffee shop coffee I've tasted. And the containers of finely ground espresso are even cheaper than the coffee beans my hubby buys (only $4 - $6 depending on the brand and they make dozens of cups each). I've saved a ton of money since my initial investment of $115. Well worth it.Read More...
Last Reply By TheSugarFreeLife · First Unread Post

Budgeting tips

NanaWaller14
Dave Ramsey has a great budgeting tool that's free. "Every Dollar". Also, the envelope system and using cash, never credit cards is the only way to go. We did it for years, and it's amazing how much you save! Unfortunately, we used all our cash when we built our new house and got out of the habit of using cash. So, now I'm trying to get back on track and can't wait to get it all together again. My husband has absolutely no interest in going over all the numbers. He just leaves it all up to...Read More...
What app do you use for receipts?Read More...
The envelope system is good just have to use a app for recites keep track of everythingRead More...
Last Reply By NanaWaller14 · 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 have recently started this method! I am going old school with envelopes. It has helped a lot to curb my spending by giving each dollar a purpose.Read More...
@AnnieB That is an excellent idea..a great place to start...I would like to do that.Read More...
Last Reply By prestoneducation · First Unread Post

Budgeting as a Couple

The Saving Scientist
Hey Hoarders, When I was growing up, money was always a topic that involved arguments, tension, talks of divorce and screaming matches that were enough to arouse the biggest fear in a young child. As a result, I've always grown up believing that money was a taboo topic. That it's rude to ask people how they deal with money, or debt or manage their budget. I believe this to be one of the biggest stumbling blocks of our generation (or any generation for that matter). We're ashamed of money -...Read More...
Nice, @Veronica , congratulations! Sounds like you really have your finances in order together.Read More...
@Veronica It is so true that financial issues are one of the biggest causes of stress in a marriage. That is why it is so important for people to work hard to get their financial house in order. The stability that comes from having a good handle on your finances is something that is really lacking in a lot of households.Read More...
Last Reply By KellyFromKeene · First Unread Post

How to get better coupons

barbara mariottini
when i see a product i need i purchase it i then get home email the manufacturer tell them i like there product ask them for cuopons give them my name and address and them to mail it to meRead More...
Yes thanks for the good ideas for guitar strings at this time we are very Bless Thank You Lord To Have food pantries in our area in Utah any tips or tricks You have learn on how to get free grocery ?Read More...
yes, I have. Mostly with grocery items. I let them know my family & I love their products. Most are generous to send coupons. I saw you were interested in guitar strings, also google contests for guitars, music stores, etc......that also may help you achieve your goal of free guitar strings. Or contests for Visa cards, paypal, etc.Read More...
Last Reply By bcraig · First Unread Post

Teacher Budgeting for the Summer

TiffanyConnors
Any teachers (or spouses of teachers) out there with tips for budgeting for the summer months? My husband is finishing his first year as an elementary school teacher, and we're preparing for 10 weeks without his paycheck. (His school doesn't offer the option to spread the payments throughout the year.) We've saved throughout the year to cover our basic expenses, but I'm wondering how other teachers adjust their budgets for the summer months. Thanks!Read More...
When I was in school, teachers were paid for the summer. I agree with Bonnie Squires. How about teaching online?Read More...
Hi TIFFANYCONNORS my be your husband could teach online some thing like vid kid there others out there like vid kid. They all have different pay.Read More...
Last Reply By MsKimberly · First Unread Post

Has anyone put carbon offsets into their budget?

Adam
For Earth Day I was talking to an environmental professor about saving money and helping the environment. He had a simple but profound idea: When buying services that are necessary but bad for the environment (like a long flight), factor in the cost of something called a carbon offset. Basically, carbon offsets are small investments in green programs like replanting forests or conserving land. There are calculators that tell you how much pollution your small purchase is offsetting, and it's...Read More...
@Adam I love this idea. I recently joined Arcadia Power after an article The Penny Hoarder published. It's wonderful knowing I'm making a difference without it costing me anything. This, however, would take me a little further down the right path. Thank you for sharing this!Read More...
Ah TY for letting me know. The link should be working now, and good luck implementing his idea! Let me know if it works out for you.Read More...
Last Reply By TheSugarFreeLife · First Unread Post

Budgeting and saving money.

Tlawonn
I'm starting my own cleaning business...well taking it over all on my own. I want to budget my income...and start saving ...even if it's small at first. I need financial literacy. I've signed up for a quick books class... Unfortunately it don't start till the fall. I'm extremely busy ATM. But any quick info..ideas...tricks, if u will...would be greatly appreciated and put to the test. I need a spreadsheet or something to organize my income and bills to pay...etc. help......if u can🤣🤨🤪Read More...
Also once you look at some of the others, you could probably created your own that's catered just for youRead More...
Sounds like a fun little venture. I wish you the best as you get started! I always like to check Udemy for training on different topics. I searched for Quickbooks and found these 3 FREE training courses and they have quite a few that are paid. You can also get training on a bunch of other topics related to business. If you search on the site and then click on "All Filters" you can select to see only FREE courses on the topic you are interested in. For their paid courses, usually you can get...Read More...
Last Reply By BJLEE · First Unread Post

How Did Your Upbringing Shape Your Relationship with Money?

ERoberts
Growing up with divorced parents allowed me to experience the benefits and consequences of two very different financial journeys. It was fascinating to watch how my mom and dad navigated their finances with one thing in common: me. My dad: an OG penny hoarder with a military mindset of caring for everything to make it last almost too long. My chores included carefully folding t-shirts, polishing our wooden tables "never against the grain", and passing him tools as he laid under our cars to...Read More...
I never knew we were not rich. I was raised in a small Midwest farm community and there was not a lot of diversity in incomes that I was aware of. My parents were children during the Depression so that ingrained a lifestyle when they were adults that they passed along to me. I went a little nuts when I started making my own income, but I also ran into some very lean years when I had to put everything on a charge card and that "sobered" up my frivolity pretty quickly. It did not take long for...Read More...
OLIVIA thank you very muchRead More...
Last Reply By mintjulep · 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...
It depends on how large an amount it was. We would gather it by skimming from budgeted categories or taking it from food cash.Read More...
We had some car troubles on both of our cars the last few months. It has cost us around $1200 to get it all fixed and we didn't have to dig into our savings. We decided to pay what we could with our debit card, then put the rest on our credit card and pay off the credit card when we get our next paychecks. It worked out perfect! We used to do something similar with money from our savings. We would transfer it to our checking account to pay a bill, then put it back once we got paid. We hated...Read More...
Last Reply By Olivia · First Unread Post

Who has a budget for online activity like hosting?

Deon Christie
Making a few extra dollar on the side may require an online budget. Especially when you have to up your game and compete with other professionals. My personal online budget is for things like hosting, plugins and autoresponders. There is also the monthly expenditure for indexing and Google Ads to stay ahead of the game. These are the kind of expenses newbies walk in on, often discourages them to keep going. Yes you can make a little on the side without spending much. There are countless...Read More...
DEON CHRISTIE i never really though about this great post. thanksRead More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

For Richer or Poorer: Share Your Thoughts on Joint Finances

ERoberts
I know that it is customary to join bank accounts after saying, "I do"...but what about for those who don't want to? Marriage isn't on the horizon for me anytime soon, but I am curious about how your relationship with your partner and your money changes after deciding to join forces. I have a few questions, too: Do you take on your partners debts? Does this affect your credit score? How do you justify purchases that your partner does not support? I want to hear the good, bad, and the ugly. GO!Read More...
I think you have a great understanding @Shannon H . And I'm not entirely surprised by you being the "Responsible" one. Us boys tend to be a little more reckless most times. You know the saying " Men are separated from boys, by the price of their toys ". Which is where I fit in perfectly...lol!Read More...
We have a joint account & have been married for 17yrs. For the last 10yrs, I have been a stay-at-home parent. We have a credit union account, so it is like an umbrella with many different accounts under the main number. We both have our own spending accounts with monthly allotments to spend how we choose & we have our own little accounts with money given to us for birthday, Christmas, etc to also spend as we wish. It works for us. I look after the day to day finances & we...Read More...
Last Reply By Deon Christie · First Unread Post

Grocery shopping for lower prices

I am presently driving to and shopping 3 different grocery stores to compare prices. Publix, Walmart and Aldi's. Walmart and Aldi's are pretty close in price so I am realizing it might not be worth driving to Aldi's just to save a few pennies, plus their inventory is very small compared to Walmart's. I love Publix the best but their prices are so high. I guess I am paying for good customer service and good products. Walmart CS is horrible. Aldi's is good if you can find someone. Example: 2%...Read More...
I'd add that Aldi only lacks in variety of different brands offering the same product. But it stocks most items and produce that Walmart does. However, the cheapest own brands of Walmart tend to be cheapest than Aldi's products. Otherwise Aldi's products are usually cheaper and similar quality. I'm not surprised Walmart CS is awful since their staff wages are awfully low. I can't talk about Publix, I don't know it.Read More...
I have been tackling the food budget for the last year as this is a controllable expense that I feel our family could do better on. We are a family of 5 and spend about $150 weekly for the big haul and then $40 a week on milk or fruit (things we run low on that perish quickly). We drive an extra 5 minutes to a less expensive grocer, the Market Basket, and I always check out the clearance sections. I can pick up yogurt for 10 cents, a pound of produce for $1, etc. I also have cut our grocery...Read More...
Last Reply By Mar Becerra Martinez · First Unread Post

Do you budget in for gift?

Bonnie Squires
i was wondering if any one budget in for birthday,Christmas or any other gifts? All so do you buy things on sale or buy gifts all year round. If i can get a good deal I'll buy a gift ahead of time. Like now the dollar store having 70% and 90 % off different things. Some things I can get for my grand kids now for birthday and Christmas gifts. Which doesn't cost much. Most things are .03 cents to .10 than bigger things or name brand like froze are $1:30 or a little more. I usually just use my...Read More...
@Faye very interesting what you give for gifts. Thanks for sharingRead More...
@KellyFromKeene that's great the way you do things.Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

School Fundraisers

FreebiePharm
As a mom of 3, I usually do not participate in most school fundraisers, but still feel guilty. Does anyone set this into their budgeting?Read More...
I was with some friends with elementary and middles school-aged children and they were talking about their frustration with school fundraisers! Schools around here have about 5 fundraisers a year. One really cool thing a mom in the group I was speaking to does, is she gives each of her kids a "fundraiser" budget for the year. They get to decide what fundraiser they use it for. They can spend it all on the jog-a-thon or buy a candy gram from the valentines fundraiser and some chocolate bars...Read More...
I use to feel guilty because I couldn't afford the fund raiser at school but usually there was all ways a teacher or some one who would buy from our kids so I didn't have to worry about it. I'm glad now that our son is older and don't do these any more. But we have a granddaughter who just started school but hasn't asked us yet/Read More...
Last Reply By Kirsten Cherry · First Unread Post

Grocery Shopping - How far away is your usual store?

I'm working on an article about food deserts: areas where there's limited access to fresh food. It's making me think more about those trips to the grocery store that I take almost on autopilot. Did you know that just 10 years ago, more than 2 million Americans who didn't own cars also didn't have a grocery store closer than one mile away? I gripe about doing this weekly task, but when it comes down to it, it's not a strenuous one for me to complete. I'm curious how far you go to do your...Read More...
@Former Member Where I use to live which was about half hour from here they was good for cereal,canned food,house hold items. I didn't buy much frozen food there and they didn't have produce there either. It was a small store. Now where I'm living i really like this dollar general it us to be a walmart store which closed down and so the dollar general brought the store because it was bigger than they had here. This one has gas. It has fresh meat which isn't bad at all and produce which i've...Read More...
@Bonnie Squires , what's it like shopping at the Dollar General that's close to you? Do you find it has enough of the essentials? I know DG is working to expand its selection of fresh food, like produce, but I'm not sure if that's actually happened in stores yet.Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

What is everyone's favorite budgeting method?

Melissa
As the new year approaches, I have been thinking about new budgeting methods. Any advice?Read More...
We use Everydollar. For the most part, I do the debt snowball. Right now I have deviated from it because I have a car payment with a high payment. I have two debts that are right around the same amount. The difference is that they have $120 a month payments vs a $400 a month car payment.Read More...
I've actually been using the 50/20/30 budget method for a while now and it really helped me get things in order. And I don't have to freak out with all the numbers. We actually did a video illustrating this! https://youtu.be/HTE6K7_PEkY But I've been toying with a method I came across called the 60/40 method! 60% goes to essential expenses (rent, food, utilities) and then 40% gets broken up into Retirement, Longterm / Short term Savings, and fun. The idea is split the 40% 4 ways across those...Read More...
Last Reply By AnnieB · First Unread Post

Everyone fails. The trick is...are you learning from it?

Rob Loftus
For those of you that have read my posts here, or visited my blog, then you know I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck and wondering where all my money was going. I got on a budget, using Dave Ramsey's EveryDollar budgeting tool, which is free. I stumbled a bit at first, learning true restraint and impulse control. As I became more focused and aware of the state of my finances, I couldn't believe how much money I had left at the end of each month! I got to a point where I was living off...Read More...
I recently had to break my lease and cover the remaining two months at my old place while accruing the fees of moving somewhere new during that time. OUCH. During this time, I did not eat out once. I bought groceries and cooked food at home. I was so dedicated that even when my favorite store had a MAJOR online sale, I didn't buy anything. Now that I am recovering from those sizable bills, I don't even have the itch to check out what's going on at J. Crew. When you go through a couple months...Read More...
"What I really became aware of is how easy, even after a year of sacrifice via a strict budget , that a person can be pulled back into the materialistic spending habits they previously had. But rather than beat myself up over it, I thought, 'Hey! I recognized where I am going wrong and I'm going to take a deep breath, readjust and refocus on my financial goals.'" -- this is so relatable!!! Knowing that we're all human, we're all going to make mistakes every now and then, is such a critical...Read More...
Last Reply By ERoberts · First Unread Post

Cutting the Cable Cord - how to save $ and cobble together the right streaming services

Just read the 'Cut the Cord' article by Kelly Gurnett on Penny Hoarder today. It's very true that people are spending at least $1200 per year on cable and hate the fact that they are forced to pay for channels they don't want and don't watch. But with 200+ streaming services out there, it’s difficult to figure out which streaming services to use. So I thought I'd pass along that there is a free website and app called CobbleCord, which helps you cobble together the best combination of both...Read More...
Update: Love Hulu Plus Live TV ($49.99) (I get all news channels, plus a plethora of must watch channels, i.e., HGTV, H, ID, FX, Nat Geo, TNT just to name a few. Still have Netflix ($8.99), but not too happy with the movies on there, so I will probably cancel it. Love Amazon Prime for the obvious reasons ($10.00) and ATT fiber optics internet for $70.00 promo 1 yr. After promo I believe it will go up to $80/$90 which I will then maybe go to a lower fast internet. Unless you have a home...Read More...
UPDATE: I am extremely happy with HULU Plus with Live TV. I get the news channels I like to watch plus Live TV and can watch on any cell, TV, Tablet, computer I own. It's $49.99 for everything I want and like to watch instead of getting 50 million channels I don't care for. Yes, I pay for internet on the side $70 promotion for a year for fiber optics and yes it's very fast. After the promo is done I think it goes up to $80 or $90 which I will then go with a lower service. I really don't need...Read More...
Last Reply By Isabel · First Unread Post
Hi all, I'm curious if anyone out there has tried teaching their kids about budgeting. I have a 10-year-old who's (fairly) good about dividing her birthday money into saving, spending and giving categories. But somehow her "spending" amount disappears quickly, and she can't seem to get the idea that just because you have the money doesn't mean you need to spend it that month. Anyone have creative suggestions for handling this? Thanks!Read More...
@TiffanyConnors your welcome. You do have to get create some times with kids and money. But that is what worked for us.Read More...
I love the family jar idea, Bonnie! Maybe a visual representation of what the family is saving will encourage my daughter to think long-term, too. Thank you!Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

Credit Cards Good For Emergency Fund YAY or NAY?

Bonnie Squires
Do you think its good to use credit cards for an emergency fund? I my self say no. Save money up for emergency. Here my story. Reason I say no is I'm in 12k credit card debt. Why because I had nothing saved up. I had all most all our kids living with us. Yes they did help out but every thing went into the house for bills food ect. Well last year I wasn't expecting my husband to have a heart attack. Yes I was working and did get a small amount from SSI. But once my husband had his heart...Read More...
@Nicole thank you and yes i had to do what i needed. But i did learn my lesson and i've all ready paid 2 credit cards off around $1,500 so far and put $1,000 up than i paid off a bill where i use to live. I was paying $10 a week I paid off $112 on that. So i've got some thing paid off. The $10 a week will go i with the $1,000 i;ve put up and the 2 credit cards i paid off will pay other ones off. I'll keep going till they are all paid off and I'm dept free. Than I'll pay off my house after that.Read More...
Hi Bonnie, I think in your specific situation, you did what was best for your family at the time. Don't be hard on yourself for this, you needed to be with your husband at the hospital. The connection to people is much more important. And as you have stated, you have learned from this experience & have a plan going forward. Awesome Job!Read More...
Last Reply By Bonnie Squires · First Unread Post

The envelope budgeting method - Does it work?

Briana
Popularized by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey, the cash envelope system encourages you to toss aside your cards and rely solely on pre-labeled envelopes full of real, physical money. . Here’s how it works: 👇 ◾️ Take out a set amount of cash at the beginning of each week. ◾️ Set your budget, and divide the cash up accordingly. ◾️ Put the cash into labeled envelopes for each of your weekly spending categories. (This shouldn’t include fixed expenses like your rent or monthly car payment —...Read More...
I never though that this was a particularly good budgeting method (what are you supposed to do with a million nickels and dimes?) until I tried it. During the process of moving last month, I decided to sell some of my extra furniture on Facebook Marketplace. I was too lazy to drive across town to deposit the cash I had earned, so I chose to keep it in my wallet as my "spending" money. I felt like I was keeping a secret from responsible, boring Emily who would normally keep watch over her...Read More...
@AverageJoe that is great to hear that she did it for the lord. My prayers are with you all.Read More...
Last Reply By ERoberts · First Unread Post

How do you "budget" when taking a Vacation?

Lucy
We all need a break from daily life at least once a year? How do you cut costs when vacationing? I noticed one time when we went to Disneyland families brought in their own lunch - so we started brining an ice chest with us on vacations so we can have lunch on our own. (We do splurge on dinner however.. I mean you have to live a bit - especially on vacation!!). I also like cruising because food is one of the biggest expenses while vacationing and you can do a 4 day cruise - with food and...Read More...
You have to anticipate what your biggest expenses will be and go from there. As mentioned above, vacations are a time to relax and enjoy outside of your everyday life! It's time to splurge on something special and label it as your "big ticket item". This indulgence could be dinner for two at the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo, a day trip exploring glaciers in Iceland, a night at that five-star hotel you've been dreaming of, or a special souvenir you've been saving up for to buy for mom. Once...Read More...
when I have travelled to Europe in the past, I have purchased some snacks & fruit at 'farmer's markets & grocery stores' rather than cafes to save some money. I keep a list of people I would like to buy gifts for, so that I don't forget people or don't over buy for a specific person. In the US & Canada, I have visited tourist information centres that sometimes have coupons for local activities & restaurants and they can give you some local recommendations as well. For camping...Read More...
Last Reply By ERoberts · First Unread Post

Step to take to plan a business trip

Kristy Hoy
I have ADHD and I have some many squirrels in my head when I plan something. I need basic steps to plan a trip from my home to the place I'm going. I also have some traits of OCD. This has prevented me from alot. I'm on a budget. I don't know where to start to look up the plane and where to stay. Too much information and I'm overloaded. Thank you for your time and help.Read More...
Glad I could be of help! Let me know if there are any other things you could use some tips on as you plan your trip! @Kristy HoyRead More...
Thank you! This is awesome!Read More...
Last Reply By Moore Income · First Unread Post

Earn. Save. Invest.

Moore Income
This is the simple 3 step approach I have begun taking with my finances and what I believe are three keys that lead a person to financial freedom. If you read any of my posts here on the forum, you will constantly hear me mention the phrase "create a better financial future". This is becoming my goal in life, to create a better financial future for myself and in turn to help others do the same. To do this, I am taking this 3 step approach which I will be sharing more in detail in future...Read More...
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