Budget - Hartly,DE

Updated on March 16, 2013
L.M. asks from Hartly, DE
7 answers

To give you some background...my husband and I both work full time and have always paid our bills on time and, within reason, been able to afford extras (non-necessities) that we wanted. Sometimes it was tighter than others but manageable. We have a son finishing college and a daughter in K. Just before our son son's senior year in high school started I took a huge paycut when I had to change jobs and a few months later hubby was layed off. His new position was also a paycut. Since then there have been other job and pay changes and through it all we've managed. The problem is, things are getting tighter all the time as expenses have gone up and hubby never really paid attention to finanaces (thought I was overreacting/dramatic when I would tell him we didn't have the money for him to do this or that). He realizes it now but we've got debt to pay off and spending habits to curb.

Do any of you have a good "budget making" plan?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you for the answers so far. Getting a second job would be hard for either of us as hubby leaves for work around 5 am and never knows what time he will be done. I have to get daughter on the bus and am the one responsible for getting her pick up from aftercare as we never know what time dad will be home. Our daughter can't be left home alone (she's 6) so the only day one of us could really work a 2nd job consistently would be a Saturday (and hubby has to sometimes work his regular job that day too). When he has had a 2nd job (years ago) it cost us more than he made because of the extra gas and spending as much as he made. He has done side jobs but as I've explained to him "using that for extras he wants does not really help the household but only helps his wants" (which is frustrating because when I have extra it goes to the household/family). I also know the biggest excess spending is anytime he goes to the store (can't just get what's on the list) and/or his lunches. We really need to set a budget and stick to it.
**Olga, that is exactly right. Whenever we discussed finances, all hubby heard was that HE was spending too much rather than WE have to curb spending becuase our spending is exceeding our income but he thought we were making decent money we were all good. He was also always of the mindset when we got a raise he already had it spent (even if spending it was all at once now while the amount would be received over the course of the year). I have to go back and write down our income and our expenses (AGAIN)....hopefully he will pay attention this time.

More Answers



answers from Eugene on

When I was going through my divorce, I put together a budget by going through all my bills and figuring out how much I spent, and what could be cut. You can also go online to see what to include.

I love the "tightwad gazette" and "cheapskate" books. They're full of ideas on ways to save money. Many of them don't impact your lifestyle that much. Some do and are worth the effort if they can save you significant $$.

Sometimes I treat being thrifty like a game, to see what I can save. But I also allow myself little splurges so I don't feel completely deprived. Like going out for dinner (with a coupon) or stopping for frozen yogurt with my son on the way home from the bus. For this I throw my change into a little box so I can treat myself without dipping into my regular budget.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita Falls on

It depends on your where your weaknesses are. Start with a spending diary (both of you), take a notebook everywhere you go and write down every penny you spend. It's quite enlightening to see where the money is actually going. At the same time make a list of static and semi static bills: mortgage, electric, water, taxes, etc. Use your bank account for those bills, use cash for groceries and perks (eating out, movies, ect) and put the rest in to a savings account for emergencies. Once you have established an emergency fund, start paying down the debt.

The spending diary should show you the weaknesses in your spending habits and where you need to cut back. It can also help with ideas of how to save (would buying bulk help or is it a waste, can we substitute a generic, etc). It will also help you prioritize your spending ( I love my house, but is it worth that big of a chunk of our budget?)

Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I have heard time and time again about the miracle of Dave Ramsey - look him up online and see what book might be good for you. Everyone says his program is simple. Mint.com is a great online budget system and it's free. Check out sites like www.moneysavingmom.com for inspiration. Once you start looking into this, you will see there are many of us committed to living debt free - you will not be alone on your journey to get there. Hubby will have to get on board though or your efforts will be for not. Hopefully he can start seeing the bottom line clearly once you have it all laid out on a budget. Best of luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We track all our expenses on Microsoft Money (before that Quicken). We use all the category features so that we can really see exactly where every dollar goes. It really helps to see the montly numbers, for example - OMG, grabbing a sandwich out for lunch at work ends up costing THAT MUCH over a year?!?

If you are database savvy, you could do the same thing using an excel spreadsheet, so you don't have to spend $ on the software.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Can someone get a 2nd job? Weekends?
Find a way to increase more cash flow.
Cut out, any lessons that the kids may be taking.
At least temporarily.
Sell things.
Stop buying unessential foods/snacks etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I've been tracking all our spending in iBank for years. (It's for mac only, but I know there are similarly good programs for PC as well, if that's what you have.) I treat our finances almost like a business...there's a budget that's specific by category, I track every transaction and the money we make by category, we go over our finances when they fall out of line with the budget, and we sit down every year to create the budget for the following year. It makes it much easier to have a conversation about finances if you have specifics ("It's only the 21st and we're already over budget for the month on groceries...let's talk about why that happened. Was it a one-time thing (we had a big party), or did we just lose track? What can we do to save money here?") Also, just like tracking calories, just tracking your finances can make you think twice before you buy something...and it puts your spending over time in living color so you can see how little spending habits add up over the month or year.

It sounds like your hubby is used to not having to worry about every-day spending, which is totally normal when you're making a comfortable living, and even more so if he's not the one actually managing the finances. His mindset hasn't caught up with your new reality, and having concrete information about how much money is coming in and how much is going out and where it's being spent can help him wrap his mind around the new numbers. Once you see how you're spending, it'll be easier to see where you can trim and what habits you can change.

It may cost some money to get a good program (iBank is around $60 - http://www.iggsoftware.com/ibank/ I've heard good things about www.Mint.com but haven't used it...that one's free!) and it takes some work to keep it all straight, but it's worth it in the long run. I usually spend 10-20 minutes every few days entering our receipts and checking our online accounts to see what's cleared and any transactions that I didn't get a receipt for. Like I said, I've been doing it for years, so it's just part of my routine now. It really helps us make decisions big and small...should we eat out tonight, or cook? can we afford a bike for the little one? are we saving?

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, Boss:

On your computer Word Document:

Write headings for each month:

Month, day, and year


Date: From whom: Amount

Expenses that come due each month

Date: Who you owe Amount

Subtract expenses from income and that is what you can spend.
I would also advise to save some in a savings account.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions