I usually plan to have $200 extra in my checking account every month in case there is a need. Some months I don't have much money left but usually I come fairly close. I want you to know that I do have a budget and that $200 is part of the budget. Now if I had $300 left I might invest it. I have a very tight budget and have cut out some of the things that are just not affordable right now. I appreciate reading what you have done with your money. There are many different plans to follow.
I don't do anything with it because I don't watch paycheck to paycheck - I try to keep a minimum amount in my checking and as long as i have that minimum, anything over just stays in there. If I do get an accumulation consistently, I may increase how much I auto transfer to savings, or stick in my investment account.
It appears that the majority of folks answering roll their leftover money into next month's budget. I invest mine. My question for those folks are: 1. Do you have a written (or digital budget)? If you know where your money is going then you know how much you have left over each month. I suggest investing in your retirement or a total stock market index fund, like Vanguard's VTSAX. 2. Are you spending more than you make? And that's why you are rolling over money to the next month? If so, it...
It depends on how much it is. We use cash for gas and food. Any leftover change goes into a jar. It is set aside for non budgeted giving. Any left overs in our budgeted non cash expenditures is put towards a fund, currently earmarked for a down payment, but in actuality covers unanticipated expenses as it's actually our cushion also. The movement is still upward.
I put 10% of my take home pay into savings right away, then I pay my bills, then I see if I have any fun money. Most often, any money that's left after bills are paid gets rolled over to next month. Once a significant amount of money gets accumulated in my checking account that gets rolled over, I transfer a portion of that money to savings.
I actually rotate thru several of the listed answers. It's a game to me to see if I can still have money left when my next paycheck arrives (weekly). I like to either make a bigger payment on a debt I'm trying to knock out; put it in savings, or split between the two. Once in a while, I'll use the money to treat myself.
I am a huge fan of the 50/20/30 method but I keep it fluid too so it's not too restrictive. I stick to it mostly but also allow myself the freedom to adjust the percentages some months as needed. Budgeting is like following a diet or any other regimen where flexibility helps one to stay the course -- if the rules are too right, it's very easy to feel deprived and fall off the wagon.
I haven't had a chance to pick up the book yet, but I love how Tina Hay illustrates the 50/20/30 budget on the napkin above. I particularly like the examples at the bottom of finding ways to cut back on seemingly small treats or conveniences so you can save hundreds of dollars each year. Like Nicole, I really like the tip on setting aside money for savings before spending money. Although I've never been the best about keeping a formal budget, this year, I'm prioritizing saving as much as...
I haven't loaded the book yet to Kindle (will do that on Friday). I had heard of this book before when Michelle Obama was doing some promotion I think for it, and took a look around their site and liked the illustrations. It was actually quite addicting, sort of like that Notecard finance book. So, when I heard PH would be discussing, that meant that instead of being on my backburner, it became on my front burner. I use Mint app because I like the automation (sometimes, it's off), but I also...
@Theodora , you're so right — flexibility is KEY when it comes to budgeting! And @Sushil , I'm cheering you on with your savings journey! Those small things do add up and it's easy to not notice what an impact they make on overall spending over time.
@sthom , I love your debt paydown sticky notes idea! I'm sure whenever you see the notes, you're reminded to stick to your debt payoff plan. Also, kudos to all your budgeting methods! It sounds like you've got things covered using an app, spreadsheet and a pen-and-paper ledger.
@Nicole D. , I use three methods so I can watch what I'm spending closely. Obviously I'm a bit anal but it also forces me to always be thinking of how I'm using my money. Yep, @Sushil , that's exactly right. There's something about hand-writing that helps me retain things. While I will use technology tools if they help me see things clearly, I am still pretty old-school (thus, the checkbook register, and the color coding in there actually helps me at tax time). Once I get the physical book,...
@Michael J , when you create a new spreadsheet in Excel, you can actually select from various budget templates. There's a "personal monthly budget" template, which is a great option -- but if you have specific needs like budgeting for a small business or budgeting for a wedding, there are other budget templates you can choose from. Tiller Money is also an excellent spreadsheet budget software. It comes at a cost, but you can test it out with a free trial.
I am a pen-to-paper kind of budgeter, and I live by The Budget Mom's method! I have been using it for about 3.5 years and it has worked wonders for me. I find budgeting for myself to be easy enough, its when you have to mix in other people (partner, kids) where it is a challenge. (But I'll happily take those challenges 🙂 )
Yes, @Brigat ! Let 2021 be the year you try it! And @KellyFromKeene — I love The Budget Mom, too. :-) Maybe if you can get your partner and kids interested in The Budget Mom videos or show them the cool graphics from "Napkin Finance," they'll jump on board too. Good luck!
Hey, everyone! What’s the best tip you’ve learned from “Napkin Finance” so far or any other budgeting tips that have worked well for you? I hope you’ve all had a chance to pick up a copy of “Napkin Finance” by Tina Hay. Even if you haven't, the book covers so many different aspects of personal finance and I welcome you to join in on our discussions! For those who are reading: How are you liking the book so far? I really like how “Napkin Finance” uses graphics to illustrate different...
If you invest your savings, you can leverage the power of compound growth and multiply the value of that one time saving over time. You will have much more money to spend in the future on something perhaps more important (such as in your retirement, kid's college tuition, etc.). If you simply save it, you will more likely simply spend it on something else (perhaps next month) and not be working for you longer term priorities and have your money start to work for you so you don't have to.
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