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Free4Life11
08-18-2005, 08:10 PM
I'm still in college, so I don't have too many bills, however, I do live on my own and need to budget. Instead of itemizing, I've just been doing a percentage budget. Each paycheck I split up as follows:

10% - Save (for a vacation)
13% - Tithe/Charity
52% - Bills (CC's, loan payments)
25% - Food/Misc.

Has anyone else done this? What I did is make a spreadsheet in Excel with formulas. Each week I plug in my paycheck and the formulas give me dollar amounts for each category. Since my pay changes each week (hourly pay), this makes it easier. I realize it's pretty simplistic, but I am afraid it may be hard to stick to.

RichNKatHolly
08-18-2005, 08:17 PM
Sounds like a great plan so long as the percentages fully cover what you need them to. My DH's pay changes every time he gets paid (although we do know the minimum we can guarantee) so I can relate to how you feel. We don't budget in any formal way, but we do make sure that out of each pay check (every 2 weeks) we get a money order for 1/2 of the rent. That's one thing we always want to make sure is covered.

I wish I could budget so I envy anyone who has any kind - good luck and I hope you get that vacation soon!!!

canwegosoon
08-18-2005, 09:36 PM
I'm still in college, so I don't have too many bills, however, I do live on my own and need to budget. Instead of itemizing, I've just been doing a percentage budget. Each paycheck I split up as follows:

10% - Save (for a vacation)
13% - Tithe/Charity
52% - Bills (CC's, loan payments)
25% - Food/Misc.

Has anyone else done this? What I did is make a spreadsheet in Excel with formulas. Each week I plug in my paycheck and the formulas give me dollar amounts for each category. Since my pay changes each week (hourly pay), this makes it easier. I realize it's pretty simplistic, but I am afraid it may be hard to stick to.
Before children I tried to do this, but found it did not work for me. Instead I use 2 excell sheets one is my Annual Budget. It lists all categories and my estimated payments in each(or my budgeted amount).By doing this for several years I know where I miss items (like the \$300 vet bills, or the water bill etc). And for every year I make a copy and besure to add any new or discovered items. Then on my second sheet I take each pay period and using the annual budget I assign what bills I will pay when, taking into account the due dates. Origionally I found it really helped with always being prepared to pay bills, now with online bill payments I just schedule everything for the year, and presto no missed payments, and excellent credit. I think it took one afternoon to take pen/paper draft everything, and then put it on the sheets. My dad has always been after me to use a Money program, but I like to keep it simple(but maybe if my bank downloads the information I will do it, we had a recent bank merger).
Good luck on your budgeting. This was the method I used, and we were able to save for our 1st house down deposit in 3 months. Accounting for every penny makes saving very easy. :rolleyes: We would do 3 months strict budget, one month a little less strict. It really help keep motivated to save for periods of time knowing there was a reward at the end. Try to live below your means and you will always have plenty of money!!!

iNTeNSeBLue98
08-19-2005, 04:23 AM
Before children I tried to do this, but found it did not work for me. Instead I use 2 excell sheets one is my Annual Budget. It lists all categories and my estimated payments in each(or my budgeted amount).By doing this for several years I know where I miss items (like the \$300 vet bills, or the water bill etc). And for every year I make a copy and besure to add any new or discovered items. Then on my second sheet I take each pay period and using the annual budget I assign what bills I will pay when, taking into account the due dates. Origionally I found it really helped with always being prepared to pay bills, now with online bill payments I just schedule everything for the year, and presto no missed payments, and excellent credit. I think it took one afternoon to take pen/paper draft everything, and then put it on the sheets. My dad has always been after me to use a Money program, but I like to keep it simple(but maybe if my bank downloads the information I will do it, we had a recent bank merger).
Good luck on your budgeting. This was the method I used, and we were able to save for our 1st house down deposit in 3 months. Accounting for every penny makes saving very easy. :rolleyes: We would do 3 months strict budget, one month a little less strict. It really help keep motivated to save for periods of time knowing there was a reward at the end. Try to live below your means and you will always have plenty of money!!!

This sounds very similar to the Excel system I put together. It's my household financial bible - can't make a purchase or pay a bill without reviewing the numbers first.

Sheet 1 lists every bill, sorted by category, for each week of the month/year, the amount due, balance and amount paid. Each week is dated so I make be certain that every bill will be addressed by its due date.

On Sheet 2 I plug in our weekly income and then formulas read sheet 1's amounts due and paid. It then gives me a running balance for each week taking the income less the amounts paid. I know exactly how much we're spending and where the money is going.

I started using this system a year ago, modified the formatting about 3 or 4 times since I created it, but is has made such difference in spending habits, organization and paying our bills on time. As new expenses pop up I add them, or I can move payments around to make room for unexpected expenses. I've already set up 2006's budget using the same template.

canwegosoon
08-19-2005, 07:15 AM
I started using this system a year ago, modified the formatting about 3 or 4 times since I created it, but is has made such difference in spending habits, organization and paying our bills on time. As new expenses pop up I add them, or I can move payments around to make room for unexpected expenses. I've already set up 2006's budget using the same template.
That's what I love about it...."save as 2006 budget, save as 200X budget" Usually very similar from year to year...but really easy to add to or change amounts if something unexpected comes along :rolleyes:

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 09:38 AM
You also :flower: need to budget 10% in for long-term savings, not just vacations..