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Friday, March 8, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Finances

As we move through my original plan, we've come to March.  March is about finances, but I don't, by any means, feel that I know what I'm talking about.  I've tried many different things and I'm still looking for the best solution for me.
The thought with Titus 2 Tea was to have a group of women sharing ways that things work in their households, knowing that each one would have different ways that work, and all would be good. 

So I will share what I do currently.  I've tried many different things.  One thing I have found is that if I track my spending I do better than if I don't track it at all.  When I stop tracking my spending, I start buying things that I could do without.

I use an excel spreadsheet right now and have some of Dave Ramsey's worksheets that I use to track income.  I would like to get a program that makes this easier, but haven't found one that works with what I'm looking for.  I did get a program for Carpenter for his business but when I went to get my taxes done, I was told that what I got was pretty difficult for her to use.

So someday, I would like to have a program where I can punch in the amount spent in each category and not have to think about it.  A program that does all the work.   For now I stick to put the numbers in the right columns and totalling them. 

My suggestion, if you don't have any kind of a system, is to start with just keeping track of what you are spending.  Don't include the income on that tracking sheet.  Figure out what categories you need.  Remember that you have some things that come out quarterly, semi-annually, and annually. 

If you don't keep receipts, maybe call your insurance agent and ask if he/she can give you a run-down of months when car insurance is due.  Get out a calendar and write this information down. 

So for this week, let's just work on that.  Maybe once a year get an idea of if things are still the same or if they've changed.  I will be taking the time to make sure that I do have my numbers current.  I'm going to put  insurance payments in my home-planning notebook calendar, so that I don't have surprises. 

Do you have any great ideas for budgets?  I would love to hear about them.

Making the most of today, (why?  Only for His glory and honor)
Steph

3 comments:

  1. I use my old Money 2002 program I got free with my first computer! LOL It actually works quite well and you can track things by category and even add new categories if the program doesn't have one that suits. It tracks cash accounts, debit and checking accounts and credit card accounts as well as savings and investments. Right now, I do not have set spending limits within categories, but I do have a set spending limit as a whole each month. That seems to work best for me/us. And at the end of the year you can print of detailed reports from each category, if needed, for taxes.

    We also have used the envelope system by Dave Ramsey. It was a bit more time consuming and always hard if you were buying things from multiple categories at Walmart and had to get money from 3 different envelopes!. But when we would used only cash in our budget we would spend almost 1/3 less each month. I still occasionally go back to this system if I find myself spending too much money each month. It is good for getting me back on track with my spending. Have you read Dave's book? I highly recommend it!

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca. Money 2002, huh? I would love to get my hands on something that works. And yes, we have Dave's book. It's a great book. But haven't felt the urgent need to go on the cash system because we aren't in debt. I would like to give it a go though. No huge surprises like with a credit card. :)

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  2. We used the cash system exclusively when we were getting out of debt. Now we just use it when we feel like we need to step back and be a bit more frugal, or when we have a savings goal we are working hard to get to. There always seems to be a lot more money leftover at the end of the month when we use cash!

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