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I’ve been having trouble coming up with a budget, or a list of things I should consider for a budget. Not having a budget has really been setting me back… Does paying all the bills at once help? How can I stop myself from spending money for non-essential things? How often should I go grocery shopping for 2 adults and one infant, and how much should I spend in one trip?

3 Thoughts on I have questions about making a household budget?
  1. Reply
    Marie Santos
    June 11, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Try spending 1 paycheck on bills and leaving your 2nd paycheck for misc things or savings

    I would make a list of bills and when they are due. I would also make a goal sheet of how much you want to save, little rewards you have to spend on (like coffee or pedicures) and stick to those essentials.

    I think in terms of credit cards you would like to spread out your payments – it makes your credit history look better…..

    in terms of stopping yourself from spending – all it takes is discipline

    Good luck,
    Coffee Babe

  2. Reply
    dude
    June 11, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Get a notebook and write down everything you send money on, for 30 days.

    After 30 days this notebook should become the basis of your budget along with your pay-stubs.

    You will be able to analyze your spending and figure out where to save some dough.

  3. Reply
    Sean Roberts
    June 11, 2013 at 5:13 am

    You asked for a list of things to consider for a budget. Here is a list of the categories for a budget.

    Next you asked whether you should pay your bills all at once. I suggest paying your bills the same day you deposit your pay check. If you get into the habit of doing that, you will be sure to pay all your bills.

    I can’t help you with spending money for non-essential things.

    The foundation of any budget is good bookkeeping. You need to track your income and your expenses. Set up a budgeting worksheet on Excel, or get Quicken. Quicken will be easier to work with, but it will cost about $ 60.. I listed the categories to start below. Add or delete categories as needed. Each column in Excel should be one month. Each row should be 1 expense category. Make sure to reconcile your checkbook each month. Failing to reconcile your checkbook is like having a condom, but not using it.

    There are some items which are a bit harder to budget. For example, you pay for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance once a year. Take the bill divide it by 12, and add it to your expenses monthly as an accrued item. Some expenses are unpredictable. For example, you know that your car will eventually need an expensive repair, but you don’t know when it will happen. Go through your check register for the last 24 months. Add up all the unexpected items and divide by 24. Then enter that amount on your budget each month.

    I suggest you get a book called Bookkeeping for Dummies by Lita Epstein. Please don’t be offended by the name. For Dummies is a publishing company. They contract with top authors who are both experts in their field and have the ability to put concepts in simple English.

    INCOME:
    Wages and Bonuses
    Interest Income
    Investment Income
    Miscellaneous Income
    Income Subtotal
    INCOME TAXES WITHHELD:
    Federal Income Tax
    State and Local Income Tax
    Social Security/Medicare Tax
    Income Taxes Subtotal
    Spendable Income
    EXPENSES:
    HOME:
    Mortgage or Rent
    Homeowners/Renters Insurance (actual amount paid)
    Property Taxes (actual amount paid)
    Home Repairs/Maintenance/HOA Dues
    Home Improvements
    UTILITIES:
    Electricity
    Water and Sewer
    Natural Gas or Oil
    Telephone (Land Line, Cell)
    FOOD:
    Groceries
    Eating Out, Lunches, Snacks
    FAMILY OBLIGATIONS:
    Child Support/Alimony
    Day Care, Babysitting
    HEALTH AND MEDICAL:
    Insurance (medical,dental,vision)
    Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses
    Fitness (Yoga,Massage,Gym)
    TRANSPORTATION:
    Car Payments
    Gasoline/Oil
    Auto Repairs/Maintenance/Fees
    Auto Insurance
    Other (tolls, bus, subway, taxi)
    DEBT PAYMENTS:
    Credit Cards
    Student Loans
    Other Loans
    ENTERTAINMENT/RECREATION:
    Cable TV/Videos/Movies
    Computer Expense
    Hobbies
    Subscriptions and Dues
    Vacations
    PETS:
    Food
    Grooming, Boarding, Vet
    CLOTHING:
    INVESTMENTS AND SAVINGS:
    401(K)or IRA
    Stocks/Bonds/Mutual Funds
    College Fund
    Savings
    Emergency Fund
    MISCELLANEOUS:
    Toiletries, Household Products
    Gifts/Donations
    Grooming (Hair, Make-up, Other)
    Miscellaneous Expense
    Total Investments and Expenses
    Surplus/Shortage (Spendable income

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