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How do you work out a decent budget- and stick to it?

(11 Posts)
poshsinglemum Thu 08-Oct-09 23:00:55

Can anyone tell me. Even when I write it down I always see something else I'd like. I need to develop an iron will.

Do you write it down and stick to it? What do you prioritise? are you ever tempted to stray? How do you afford treats? How do you save?

I need a good kick up the arse as I splurge at the beginning of the months and scrimp at the end towards rent day.

Ivykaty44 Thu 08-Oct-09 23:02:38

I shop online - then jot down what is on the list and the cost. Go to the supermarket and draw out the money in cash to the nearset note - that way I have leeway, but not a lot

MavisEnderby Thu 08-Oct-09 23:14:39

I am main breadwinner for family.I hold budget,dp has his IB but I let him do what he likes with it as he has been so sick so discount that,I wouldn't feel right about asking him to contribute really.most of his spent on car/petrol money.We live on my pt wages and tax credits.

I dd our mortgagge and bills into our joint account on payday,there is no temptation to spend.

I then look at what is essential to live on food/napppy/toiletries/cleaning products/school dinners/trips out wise and put that aside.

Anything left is a bonus.Itry to save a little £20 each each month into dcs bank accounts for the future.

Haeven't been out for 2 years!No takeaways,nights out and so on.I budget by shopping in Aldi,Lidl etc and put money away weekly in a bank account to pay for Birthdays/Christmas.

I cook frugal but healthy meals and bulk freeze.

I look out for special offers,ie take dcs to cinema on sat mornings for £1 each,go to free museums and so on.

God I sound like a boring bastard!

Shop for clothes at Primark blush

Go to library instead of buying books

Have no debt tho

mazzystartled Thu 08-Oct-09 23:23:48

Do the moneysaving expert spreadsheet
It is very good, very sobering, it leaves you nowhere to hide. It helps to see how easily you could rack up a debt just by overspending a bit each month.

We have different bank accounts for different things
Fixed outgoings - Mortgage, bills & childcare (all on dd)
Variable outgoings - food, family days out
DH account - car, work travel & lunches, going out/disposable (such as it is)
My account - mine & kids clothes, travel, activities with kids, disposable

It really helps

We sit down and review it every 3 months which we both hate, but hate less that the previous spiralling out of control frittering the rainyday money approach we had previously

Ambi Fri 09-Oct-09 08:54:57

I'm a bit budget crazy, due to my accounts job but try to keep it as simple as possible.

We have 2 bank accounts for bills; a Direct Debit current account which rarely varies every month, and our Debit Card current account. I budget for food, petrol and misc spends every month such as the odd magazine or takeaway. Any larger purchases like days out or Car expenses come out of savings. Our savings account is treated as a bill so it gets paid first before the D/Ds go out.

I have a monthly cashflow spreadsheet (Bank Reconciliation) as all our purchases are made by card, I enter the receipt on the bank and deduct from whats left. For example, £30 petrol rcpt, knock it off the budget to £170 for the rest of the month.

Here's an example =

Wages £ 2000
Tax Credits £ 42
Child Benefit £ 80
TOTAL = £ 2122

Savings £ 422
Direct Debit Ac £ 1000
Food £ 300
Petrol £ 200
Spends £ 200

If I go over budget, then I jig the budget in the following month to account for the variance.

Ambi Fri 09-Oct-09 09:00:44

Oh and we rarely buy anything other than Food or Petrol. Just don't buy anything, if I want something I tend to agonise over it for about 4 months before finally buying it. I've turned into a tightarse due to neccessity and I don't particularly miss the frittering of cash that I used to do. I'd rather be financially stable than have things. smile Good luck with it all psm.

Booooooooooyhoo Fri 09-Oct-09 18:48:46

i second ambi. its what works for us.

my OH is useless with money and i have had to set it out in this format for him to see exactly what he can spend on silly things like a game for his moile!!!

poshsinglemum Fri 09-Oct-09 19:07:33

Thanks all. I am off to make a spreadsheet.

My problem is that I do like nice things- mostly clothes and nice stuff for my house such as pictures and kitchen equipment. I have started painting my own.

I am also finding it hard to shake off the mentality I had when I was working- without kids. It's a big wake up call now I am not in work at the moment.

Even when I am back in work I hope to save a lot more than I used to.

I can't go out much so at least I am not spending my money in the pub.

cat64 Fri 09-Oct-09 19:14:36

Message withdrawn

Mousey84 Mon 12-Oct-09 17:19:54

How did the spreadsheet go poshsinglemum?

Didnt see this thread on friday, but thought I would add another small tip, which you may find helpful. Try starting with writing down what you spend NOW, and then try to beat it next month, and beat the 2nd month in the 3rd month etc etc. Within a few months you will know what you need to spend and be able to see patterns in shopping habits.

ramblingmum Mon 12-Oct-09 17:28:21

I find that using cash for all day to day spending helps. It really makes me realise what I am spending and if the money is not there I cant spend it. I try to stick to taking cash out once a week

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