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Newbie budget...what do you recommend.: Thrifty Ray's Blog
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Newbie budget...what do you recommend.

August 18th, 2012 at 07:28 pm

Not for me, but for my DD2...a little more on that in a minute...

I am so glad it is the weekend. It is tough to work when you are as run down as Ive been. The cold/cough was no fun but add in this heatwave and I was drained all week.

I am feeling better today. I have cleaned out my fridge and scrubbed it down, which feels great. It was needing attention. It never fun to see waste..and my fridge had several expired and even science experiment worthy items. But, now its nice and sparkly again. I am washing my sheets and cleaning...After feeling so useless, it feels good to be productive.

The one good thing about being sick is that Ive reduced my appetite and Ive been eating much healthier. I plan to continue on this course and see if I cant lose some weight for the rest of the year.

Tonight we have been invited to our friends house for dinner. They went deep sea fishing several weeks ago and want to share their cod with us. We have this couple over fairly often, and they are treating tonight, so we just have to show up! A free, relaxing evening with good friends sounds wonderful!!

I sat down with DD2 today to try to help her get budget focused. She is a struggling single mom, who tries...but she could do better. I suggested she read Mary Hunts "Freedom Account" article for starters. I know I have used a freedom account for years and it has been very useful. Im not sure if she will look at it or not. But I will keep tossing suggestions her way. To her benefit, she has no debt outside of her rent and utilities and cell phone. She could just be better at allocating what she gets so that she isnt in such a pickle when things like new tires and dr visits come up. I know there is so much out there to guide her to...what do you guys recommend??? What has worked for you?

The hub is back home until Wednesday. It is nice to have him here- he is changing DD3s brakes right now...but after, it will be a relaxing afternoon and evening.



5 Responses to “Newbie budget...what do you recommend.”

  1. crazyliblady Says:

    The things I have found most useful include: 1) automatic deposit of a portion of my paycheck to savings and retirement. 2) I make out a budget each payday and write it on a post-it note. I put the post-it note in my check register to remind me of things I need to keep in mind to leave room in the checking account for. For regular expenses (mortgage, lawn mowing, chiropractor visits, etc.), I pre-allocate in my check book by writing the expense in as if it is a check so that it is "spent." This has helped me tremendously in recent weeks. 3) Asking myself when I am thinking of buying something (coffee, soda, lunch, or "shinies") whether I really need it, or just want it. That has cut down on excess purchases greatly. Also, do I already have something else at home like it. Where can I get it, borrow it, etc. less expensively? For example, any books I need I mostly borrow at the library or get from paperbackswap or alibris. The recycling center is my town has a thrift store of sorts where they sell still useable stuff (mostly things housewares, flower pots, glass jars, plastic buckets, books, and other stuff) very cheap. 4) I also put notes in my online calendar about upcoming expenses if it is something major. 5) If your daughter is the mom of a very young child, she can go online and search for used baby clothes and get stuff like cheap. It is more than just ebay. She may even be able to swap clothing with friends or relatives. I have heard that baby clothes are very expensive.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Mary Hunt has several books, the one I remember that worked best was The Cheapskate Monthly Makeover. It actually helped DH and I get started on the right path financially.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Mary Hunt and the freedom account concept is what helped me get back on my financial feet way back in 2001. I actually subscribed to her forums for a number of year (which gave me access to her freedom account calculator thingy.) Then I found YNAB and started using that fairly faithfully, and that is what I've pretty much stuck with ever since. Smile But I would say that Mary Hunt is a great place to start.

  4. baselle Says:

    So is the problem no EF or difficulty in saving monthly for large purchases? Some people treat them the same, but it depends on your mindset. If you hate tapping into the EF for those large purchases, then you need to separate the large purchase saving from the EF.

    Sounds like her internal budget is pretty okay, she's at stasis (routine in and out is equal) and needs to create a savings line in it. I'd ask that she create an automatic transfer of some constant amount to savings so she doesn't see it, then budget for the new amount. If she commits to working with the new amount, cost savings tend to "appear" especially before the next paycheck.

    Love the Freedom account, especially if you think in terms of paychecks. As soon as you save one paycheck worth, you already can claim that you are not living paycheck to paycheck.

  5. snafu Says:

    I found the more planning I did, the easier money management. Planning/writing menus of what she & child will eat based on what's in the pantry + loss leaders at the grocery store. Don't buy non food items [cleaning/paper goods/candy] at the grocery chain, buy these items at Discount or Dollar Store. Create a list and only buy the list. Give herself a weekly or bi weekly cash allowance but once the $$$ is gone, spending stops. Create a list of clothing needed for the upcoming season. Only buy on sale or at Thrift shop.

    Double up travel; plan errands to use the least gas. Watch Gas Buddy for cheapest price, cheapest days. Look for free/nearly free entertainment. Cancel cable and use streaming hooking computer to TV. Track spending by noting every dollar spent to see where there is leakage.

    Snowballing Credit Cards, she can't afford to pay interest. What can she do to bring in a bit more money? Can she babysit, dog walk, rent a room/share apt?

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