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Budgeting Tips? - Page 2

post #31 of 37
I always fill up the car on payday even before gas got so high. It's been ages since I filled up, other than on long road trips, because I needed to. I also buy whatever meat is on sale that week. I don't know about in London but here supermarkets have what I call teaser adds. They will have a few things really marked down to get people in the store hoping they will go ahead and buy all their groceries there. The grocery I usually go too has a couple different meats on sale like that and whatever is really marked down is what I will be eating.
post #32 of 37
There are programs that can help you with your personal budget, even have charts and graphs. I was AMAZED on how much goes where! And made some big changes..
post #33 of 37
You answered your own question, you would be fine if you didn't buy three cd's or go to dinner two nights in a row.

You can still do those budget breakers, but at a price you can afford. for cd's go to the second hand cd store, or yard sales. go to the twilight movie, or the early matinee, and go to happy hours for free food. For free wine and cheese go to an art opening. I do all of the above, plus I always pack my lunch.

You don't have to sacrifice, just be frugal, take advantage of sales. Also, you should save every single month! 50 bucks minimum, try to make it 200.
post #34 of 37
Originally Posted by blondrebel76 View Post

Exactly what I was thinking.
post #35 of 37
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
That's why you reverse and start with savings, then the rest. I used to do the opposite and seemed nothing was left. When I reveresed it, I was surprised that there WAS some savings money there

You can use jars, envelopes, etc. - as long as you don't "borrow" from one to the other you are ok. That's the difficult part
That's a good point. Most people don't and that's where they find that they don't have anything for emergencies or retirement. As the saying goes, always pay yourself first, then bills, etc.
post #36 of 37
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
I do write everything down..every single time I get paid. I take out the money for bills..and then with the leftovers I lump the groceries, entertainment, gas all together. I think thats where my problem is...you see if I do too many "entertaining" things, it ends up cutting into my grocery money..and this is where I end up. I use my debit card all the time and lose track that way.

This is why I thought maybe seperate jars of cash for groceries/gas/entertainment..so when my entertainment money is gone..thats it..no more fun for Nat
I did this method for ages and it just wouldnt work. I was spending $400 a month on groceries for just me - that is ludicrous! Not to mention all the little extras.

I went old school: The envelope method. I acct for how every dollar will be spent for the month before a paycheck even appears. Then I do the cash in envelopes thing and when it is gone, it's gone. I reduced my spending dramatically this way - and I'm not overspending on non-essentials. (Note: I budget 'blow money" too - it isnt totally without fun )

Oh, and the OP mentioned being short a few days before payday - I can relate! With the envelope method that didn't happen anymore, but before I moved onto that method, I automatically took $40 cash out on payday and threw it in a pitcher as my "broke till payday" fund. That way on Monday or Tuesday before pay Friday I had enough emergency cash for gas/groceries, etc "just in case". I found I rarely needed it so it became fun money! Well, it was mostly spent on hard to budget for things like new glasses.

I got into this habit when I was breaking the CC habit that got me out of my "emergency" jams too regularly.
post #37 of 37
I'm getting to this thread late, but you have been given a lot of good advice.

Rob and I were the King and Queen of savings when we lived on our own and then after we met. Our goal was to purchase a home/condo as soon as we could since we saw renting as throwing money away.

We didn't buy a car until much later since we wanted to save up that money for the house. We ate at home most of the time but we would go out as well. We often would go to a more expensive restaurants for lunch instead of dinner. That way, it was still a treat, but not as expensive as dinner would be.

I found great recipes and buying tips on the internet for good food at low prices. Also, staying away from brand names on some items also helped us save. Chatelaine and Canadian Living have great recipe databases.

We also tracked our budget and even made up some charts to show us how close we were to our goal. We placed this on the fridge so every day we would see that our efforts were helping to get to our goal.

We also used a similar system of jars/envelopes for different items. We put 'x' amount of money each month into them and once the money was spent, we would have to wait until the next month to use it.

We also never used credit/debit cards. It was all cash purchases so you see what you are buying by handling the cash (not plastic). Also, limit the amount of money that you have with you on a daily basis. Every day when I head into work, I have emergency money on me only. You can't spend it if you don't have it on you. Plus, I always bring my lunch/snacks with me. I refuse to pay downtown food prices for something that costs half the amount.

See each purchase as an investment. If you were a business, would that purchase be a wise investment or will put you in the hole?

We bought our first condo at 24 and I didn't have any University debt by that point because of our budgeting. We had no financial help from our parents but sacrificed the little things to keep us on track to our bigger goal.
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