Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ok... so I know it's been far too long for a post.. and I gotta just post otherwise I won't remember how to do it, not that I am really sure I do now... but let's just get started, ok?

Finances. Budgets. Cash. Money.

I'll be honest. Sometimes I do great in this area. I managed to pay down almost $40,000 in debt in the past year, which required me to get pretty careful with our family cash. But now, I am down to one income and 3 mouths to feed (if you don't count the pets!).

I am a firm believer that if we don't keep this area of our lives in check, it only wrecks havoc in other areas of our lives. Keeping a balanced budget and living below our means is a great way to start finding balance in our homes and to live a more simple life!

I'd love to know what you use to keep track of your family budget planning. I used to be a Quicken fan... then moved to a homegrown spreadsheet. Now, I am trying to use You Need A Budget... but I am not 100% sold...

Please share!


  1. I estimate how much money we spend on each bill each month(power, phone, internet, emergency, insurances) and then divide it for the weeks in the month and then put that money away each week in a seperate account, and keep a track of it in a drawn up table, then each week, i add the money onto the previous weeks total, and watch it build up. as I pay them, I subtract what I have paid from each category, and then I end up with a new total. Does that make sense? I find it is a good way to make sure I have enough money when the bills come in, and I don't have to worry about them.

  2. We use to keep track of our money and I have a home finance organizer for the paper bills. I've been bad lately because of grad school, 2 small children and illness had wrecked havoc on our home the last 2 months. I can't even keep up with my blog But I am striving to make my life as simple and clutter free as possible.

  3. I have a two-fold approach.
    First, I'm still a Quicken fan. I've been using it since 1994. To make it work, I put EVERYTHING on my debit or credit card. Since I've been using Quicken forever, 99% of my transactions are able to be imported from my bank already categorized (all accounts are with the same bank, so downloading is easy). I have a $20 cash per week allowance for Starbucks, etc, but that's usually the only cash I spend. That way, I know that cash is for my misc category. It only takes 10 minutes, twice per week and I'm completely caught up. I usually run a report every two or three months to make sure I'm spending within the budget I set up or if I need to adjust it for some reason. Also, it would be a little easier/faster if I would pay for the automatic download service that Quicken and my bank both offer, but I don’t. It’s just a few extra clicks and that’s $10 a month would rather spend on other things.

    Second, I am lucky that for the past few years, most of my expenses are pretty consistent and so is my pay (salary). I have three bank accounts--Savings, Recurring Bills, and Everything Else. My direct deposit is divided between them. I have all my recurring bills auto-drafted from the Bills account. That way, I know they get paid on time and I don't have to think about it. I have all the statements emailed to me so I do have a chance to check them before the payment is drafted. Plus, not dealing with all the paper saves time and money--I'm terrible at getting things in the mail. Groceries and all other variable expenses come out of the Everything Else account. If the recurring bills gets too much extra money in it, I move some out to savings. It's a quick way to keep on budget without having to examine it daily.

  4. I'm trying to use Quicken, but having a hard time because of our farm. This is definitely on my to-do list, too.