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to ask how you budget/manage your money

(78 Posts)
Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:40:19

-nc but am a regular-

Tomorrow is payday. And Before the money hits my bank I want to get advice on budgeting. DH and I get paid at slight different times but on the whole, we take money required for direct debits from our individual bank accounts, plus an agreed amount each to spend as we wish throughout the month, aswell as bits that are needed such as milk, bread etc. Any money above this is put into our joint account which is used for food shopping, extra bills and savings etc.

For the last few months, I always end up skint by the end of the month. So today, I have no money. Have had no cash since Monday.

So, what is the best way to budget? I'm an impulse buyer. I will think "Oh, it's just a few pounds" and before I know it I've gone in for something for a few pounds and have spent £10 or so.

Areyoufree Thu 23-Mar-17 11:44:59

I recently decided that for one month I wasn't allowed to buy anything. Not even something small. It was food and that was it. I'm normally out of money by the end of the month too, but that month I had £300 left. I couldn't believe it. Definitely worth trying for a month, to give you an idea of how much money gets spent on a whim!

welovepancakes Thu 23-Mar-17 11:47:32

I will think "Oh, it's just a few pounds" and before I know it I've gone in for something for a few pounds and have spent £10 or so

I think you've answered your own question. Your OP suggests that you have enough £ for the bills & food etc. Sounds like it's the impulse buys which cause the problem.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:48:01

Good idea Areyoufree Problem is, I will easily spend £5 each time I pop to the supermarket for milk. And milk is only £1. Treats for me, DH or DS.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:49:48

welovepancakes Yes it definitely is. I am very much one of those who will pick up some treats for us to enjoy. I get pleasure from giving other people things that make them happy so in all, I don't end up with anything to show for the money I've spent either.

So how do I stop it?

golfbuggy Thu 23-Mar-17 11:50:28

Don't pop into the supermarket just to buy milk then. Buy long life or freeze it.

ImFuckingSpartacus Thu 23-Mar-17 11:50:59

So, what is the best way to budget? I'm an impulse buyer. I will think "Oh, it's just a few pounds" and before I know it I've gone in for something for a few pounds and have spent £10 or so

The best way to budget is to actually budget and not do that.
I spend less money than I make, hth.

AnathemaPulsifer Thu 23-Mar-17 11:51:37

Make a list before you arrive at the shop. Stick to the list.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:51:48

ImFuckingSpartacus but how do you budget? I've never done it before.

maggiethemagpie Thu 23-Mar-17 11:51:54

This is what I do but I don't necessarily recommend it!

Every month I put a certain amount in savings and as direct debit to a credit card.

I also then use another credit card to run up debt and transfer it to the one with the direct debit when it gets to 1k.

So I'm always running it up, transferring on 0% deal and paying it off - I think of it more as a cash flow card.

If my overdraft goes too low I use my savings to bale me out.

Overall, I aim to save more than I spend, so the money in savings should be going up and the money on the card down - but I have these systems in place to help with cash flow during the bad months!

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:53:06

I wondered about having say £10 in cash in my purse for milk, bread when needed and leaving my bank card at home?

ImFuckingSpartacus Thu 23-Mar-17 11:53:42

You work out how much money you have , take off all the essentials, and then decide how you care to spend what is left over. You think about spending before you do it.
Some people do spreadsheets or make lists.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:54:30

maggiethemagpie I would not be able to do that. I dont have credit cards because I would just run up a huge debt. I almost have no self control. Many years ago as a student I ran up a big overdraft and ended up paying it back in dribs and drabs, vowing I would never have an OD or credit card.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 11:55:32

ImFuckingSpartacus Thank you. I will have a google and see what I can find. I suppose I would need to budget in things like the milk and bread and then "bank" the rest?

Ecureuil Thu 23-Mar-17 11:56:15

Just don't spend the money. You've identified your 'weak spot', i.e. Going to the supermarket for milk and spending money on treats. At the risk of sounding simplistic... just don't do it.
We have a rule that in between weekly food shops we can only buy bread and milk. So once the food in the house is gone, it's gone. We always have enough in to make meals (we meal plan although quite loosly). Any treats are bought as part of the weekly shop.
My weak point is buying clothes for the DD's... so I've stopped going in clothes shops!

Belle1102 Thu 23-Mar-17 11:57:38

Have a set day once a week where you can buy you and your family a small treat to enjoy. Apart from that try and just carry small amounts of cash around with you and leave your bank card hidden away. After a month or two of doing this it will become second nature and you won't feel such an urge to spend everything

newnoo Thu 23-Mar-17 11:58:53

What about if you looked at it the other way around?

If you saved that money instead of spending it - what would or could you be putting it towards?

I always feel more motivated to go without 'short-term' treats if I know I'm saving for something bigger and more pleasurable.

So for instance if you knew that if you put £100 aside this month and that in 12 months you'd have £1200 - you could spend that on a holiday? Or put it towards something bigger?

DH and I don't really go out at all, like erm, ever... but we do have nice holidays with our kids.

Tobuyornot99 Thu 23-Mar-17 11:59:41

This is old fashioned but works for me. Out of your agreed amount each, say £300 for example. Tomorrow is Friday. Work out how many Fridays til next pay day, 4 or 5. Divide your available cash into 4 or 5 envelopes. Write the date of the Friday on each one. That's your spends for the week. Cash card left at home. Once it's gone it's gone.
If you pick up cheap clothes / cosmetics etc as treats then think about it overnight and go back tomorrow if you still want it, chances are you won't. If you're going to the shop for milk then take a pound coin with you, nothing else.

Babbaganush Thu 23-Mar-17 12:00:03

Use cash only - you will spend a lot less!!!

Instead of lots of little treats put money aside for a day out / cinema trip etc.

Purplesquare Thu 23-Mar-17 12:00:30

Ecureuil I wish I couldnt do it but it just seems to happen - it makes me, and the recipients happy.

I like your suggestion Belle1102

Feckerlino Thu 23-Mar-17 12:02:02

If you only need milk, and milk costs £1 - only take £1 to the shop. This way you cannot be tempted to but more. This approach works for me!

Feckerlino Thu 23-Mar-17 12:02:22

*buy not but, obviously!

donogue Thu 23-Mar-17 12:02:50

I get pleasure from giving other people things that make them happy so in all, I don't end up with anything to show for the money I've spent either

IMHO one of the best ways to make people happy is to give them your time. So e.g. instead of buying a magazine and a chocolate bar for your DS, commit to playing with him, uninterrupted, for 10 mins. He'll love it. Same with your DH - a big hug is a lot cheaper than treats from the supermarket. Might sound cheesy but the best things in life are free!

YourHandInMyHand Thu 23-Mar-17 12:02:59

Whenever you do a big food shop buy a few cartons of long life milk to stick in a cupboard and always have a couple in the house. I don't like long life milk but it's very handy as a back up so you don't go to the shops and spend lots! Also a loaf of bread in the freezer too.

Or go to a corner shop for milk or bread with £2 cash in your pocket.

Me and my partner get paid different times of the month too. Each month when we are paid we both transfer half our household costs into our joint account which all our bills go out of.

Then what's left in our own accounts is for going out, holidays, meals out, clothes, etc. I'm very sensible and cautious with spending, DP is a little less so but still always has money at the end of each month. I do the food shop and do it online for delivery as I stick to a list then and don't impulse buy.

I'd say a challenge to not spend for a month is a fab idea. Then the next month log everything you spend so you can see it all add up.

Another option is a weekly envelope of cash for all those little spends, and if the cash envelope is empty that week no more little spends.

BewtySkoolDropowt Thu 23-Mar-17 12:03:04

I 'invested' in a supermarket delivery subscription. I shop once per week spending as close to the £40 minimum as I can (it does vary). I've saved at least £20 per week probably more like £30, just by not seeing the offers and buying junk as a result.

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