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View Full Version : Making a Budget


TarzansKat
06-21-2011, 05:06 PM
Hey, fellow budget boarders!

I find myself in the position of really needing to review our monthly budget. I'm a stay at home mom again, and I think there must be ways to curtail our spending. We're actually pretty thrifty, and I've learned some great tips here, but I am sure there is more that can be done.

We're debt free with the exception of our mortgage. We love the local library and don't spend money to eat out, very rarely go to the movies or things like that. We really like to save as much as we can so we can take those coveted Disney vacations, and next year, I'd love to splurge a little bit since it's our ten year wedding anniversary.

I'm wondering if you can point me in the direction of a good budget making program...I know sometimes there's been mention of other message boards devoted to budgeting...and things like that. I'll take any tips and advice you'd like to give me.

I've already compiled a list of the necessities: mortgage, electric, water, insurance, and subtracted it from our monthly take home. Then I've subtracted our extras, which include the phone, internet, cell phones, and cable. We still have a lot left over and quite frankly, I can't believe that I'm spending the majority of it every month. Well, let me rephrase that. Obviously I can believe it, because I'm the one doing it, but it just needs to stop, and I need the will power to know that unless it's a need, there's no reason to purchase it. I know part of it is really reigning myself in, and I went through something similar the last time I decided to stay at home, I think my brain hasn't caught up with my income not existing any more.

I'm trying to figure out what reasonable amounts are for a monthly grocery budget, gas budget, etc, and I'm not sure how to figure that out.

Since it's summer, we won't be going out as much, there's plenty to do at our house, and like I said, we love our library, and they have great programs going on. We belong to our local Y, which is a membership I'm not willing to give up since it provides a great deal of fun and healthful exercise our family.

Would you then take how often you think you'd go to these places, figure out the mileage, and calculate your gas? Then take my husband's mileage to and from work and calculate that as well?

As far as groceries, I used to plan our meals for the week completely around the sales flyer, so that we were never spending more than $40-50 a week for our family. We've had a lot going on lately, and I haven't been doing that, so I need to get back into the swing of things.

Anything else I'm missing? I just want to get back into the swing of really being budget minded and not feeling guilty about wanting to go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary when if I'd planned better it could have been part of our monthly budget. Savvy?

Anyway, thank you in advance. I appreciate all the budget board tips I've accumulated here over the years, and really credit this board with helping me to pay down my debt, especially my and my husband's student loans, well before their due date.