Thursday, August 14, 2008

We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident

... that soon after you get married, there's going to be a conflict over finances. I've been volunteered to set up a booth for the Emergency Preparedness fair on how to "get it together" financially. Simple solution, "spend less than you earn, put 20% of each paycheck into savings," but often complicated to carry out.

What has been your solution? For us, what has made things work is a spreadsheet and automatic billpay. We both do the finances, set up the bills to go out, and things run pretty smoothly. What works for you? I'd love any and all ideas about making it work. So, if any of you have any ideas or websites that have helped you to financially get it together, please share - I'd love to hear about it!


Sarah E. said...

The things that have worked the best for us is to auto bill pay anything we can, use the debit card for gas and any medical (that always comes up!), credit card for emergencies and take out a set ammount of cash each pay day to cover anything I go to the store to, clothes, anything we need in the house, going out to eat, dates, etc... That way when the money runs out we know it and stop buying.

Danika said...

During the first FHE of the month Brent and I do a financial summit. We talk about our projected major expenses and then he configures everything into our budget for the month (I LOVE being married to an accountant!). The first thing we plan is our Friday night dates and we make sure to include something fun at least once a month. Then we look at travel, dinners out, etc. When something comes up we both know how much wiggle room we have so we're on the same page. We also have little contests on who can save more money with coupons, comparison shopping, etc. Saving money is definitely a passion for us!

Meredith said...

I learned this from a friend who used to be in our ward, several other ladies in the ward have done it too...its called a cash allowance. Sometimes using a debit card, one can be guilty of swiping and swiping and not necessarily keeping track. I started getting a cash allowance per week. This cash is enough to cover groceries, minor household items and small-ish purchases (that are not an already planned for line -item in a budget.) The keys: 1 - I am not accountable for every nickel and dime, just the total. As long as my family has food to eat (including but not limited to milk and dorritos) I can spend how I wish. 2 - if I want to go out to lunch, (or banana splits) it would come from that budget. If the kids need yet another (or 31st) pair of flipflops, it comes that cash. So, it really makes me stop and think what I am spending my money on if I watch the cash disappear.

I find it hard to budget food/clothes/household items/school stuff/frivoulous craft crap as seperate items. I used to get questioned for every trip to Michael's or Old Navy. Now, I just need to account for my total cash for the week. Seriously, no questions asked as long as we meet the appointed minimum requirements, like i said, milk and dorritos!

I have done it off and on and really like the weeks I am on my "cash budget". It really works for me.

Cicily said...

I used to do what Meredith does. I would have a coupon folder and have it separated into sections and carry my cash in there. It makes it way easier to stay on budget visually seeing the money disappear. It kept me accountable and I was always able to have a surplus for "rainy days."