Tips for budget?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by scienceteach82, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2008

    For some reason I have a hard time writing out a budget and sticking with it. While I'm not living paycheck to paycheck...I want to save, and not continue to spend. I just looked at my bank account and I haven't gotten this low in funds in a while. I looked at why...eating out...buying clothes...buying stuff for house. Stupid things!

    I know I shouldn't buy it when I stand in line, but I do anyway. I got myself in a lot of debt and have been trying to climb out...but in no way does my spending help.

    Any advice on sticking to a budget? I don't use credit anymore...this is all debit card stuff.

    I appreciate any help :)

    :help:

    :thanks:
     
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  3. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I struggle with this as well because money is so minimal it's hard to keep it.

    What I've been doing that's really helped is put the "extra" cash into savings and so when I want to spend it, I have to go to the extra mile to transfer it back to checking so it's slowed my spending down considerably.
     
  4. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Is there any way to attach files to these posts? I have a budget spreadsheet I created that automatically figures totals for everything and it has really helped me. I can put everything I KNOW I am going to spend (rent, cell phone, car payment, etc) and see what I have left over. If someone can tell me how to attach (or if it's possible) I will.
     
  5. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Jul 22, 2008

    Does it work in a PM? Maybe you could just PM ALL of us ;)
     
  6. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    I tried to PM and couldn't attach... any other ideas?
     
  7. Laini

    Laini Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2008

    I highly recommend any books by Dave Ramsey to help with finances. I even took the class. I will say that not only my budgeting issues were alleviated, but dealing with my DH about finances has become a non-issue (we have not argued about money since!). The idea is that when you spend cash, you spend less. I can see a difference.
     
  8. TX Teacher

    TX Teacher Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Laini,
    We are using Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan. We have paid off $5000 in credit cards and student loans so far. We hope to be completely debt free within the next 5 years (house and everything.)
     
  9. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2008

    Thanks for the tips :)
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 26, 2008

    Just stay dilligent in not spending unnecessarily. Here's what I do...or try to do:

    - Leave all, but 1 credit card at home (& that's for an extreme emergency).

    - Don't be tempted to buy the goodies: Coffee or smoothie at the coffe/beverage shop, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

    - I love Target, but I may be going to Walmart a little more often because their prices are better.

    - From now on if you go clothes shopping, try not to buy clothes that say DRY CLEAN ONLY. It's like you have to pay to continue to wear your clothes, which you definitely don't want.

    - Go to the hair salon, nail salon, movie rental, etc. a lot less.

    - If you haven't really clipped coupons before, now's a good time to start.

    - Go grocery shopping when you're not hungry. You tend to spend less.

    - Pay cash for things as much as possible & when your cash is gone, that's it, do NOT turn to putting things on the credit card.

    - When my bf & I go out to dinner & we don't want to spend a lot, sometimes the appetizers are cheaper than the entrees & we get water rather than juice. Do you know you save several dollars alone if you get water rather than juice/soft drinks?

    - At the AMC movie theatres, if you see a showing by noon or before on wknds & holidays, the ticket price is $6 rather than the high evening price.

    - Go through all your household bills & see where you can save. For example, for that cable TV bill, can you get along w/o those extra channels?
     
  11. teachertexas

    teachertexas Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    I find that I can spend a lot more money in the summer because I have the time to go shopping. During the school year I have limited time to run errands so I shop less often.

    I use onlne bill pay through my bank. I love it because it is so easy to see how much I spent last month on each bill. If it is a lot higher or lower I look at the statement more carefully.

    I also have my bank put a certain amount into savings each month right after I get paid. I don't miss it because it never was there. At the end of the month, whatever is left over goes into savings.
     
  12. ByCandleLight

    ByCandleLight Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2008

    This is really hard for me too, and I do live paycheck to paycheck. A lot of my debt comes from having to buy furniture for my house, since I moved here directly from my mom's house and came with nothing but a bed and a set of dishes. I'm afraid I went a little overboard and went ahead and decorated it all at once instead of gradually getting pieces together as I could afford them. :blush: Add to that the fact that I got a paycut by taking this job (they take out social security and put me on a 13 month salary...mandatory even though I was not a brand new teacher and just new to the system), a car payment when my college ride blew up, being in a one income household, and I'm pretty much holding on my the skin of my teeth.

    Now I'm trying to claw my way out of debt, but it's so hard. Living at home, I had the luxury of buying whatever I wanted. My mother does this all the time too...actually, her spending habits are worse than my own...so I'm not really good with money.

    I've started to incorporate some tips to help me along the way and would be glad to share them with you.

    1. Get rid of any credit cards. If you don't want to cut them up, than at least put them in an inconvenient place where you won't use them.

    2. I would get rid of the debit card as well. I tend to spend without thinking when I have a debit card versus checks.

    3. Have your bills all due around payday. Since we get paid once a month, it's nice to be able to pay all of the bills and know exactly what you have left to work with.

    4. Bring a lunch. I have no problem doing this since our school lunches are beyond horrid. But at my last school, those lunch ladies kicked some major culinary tail. Delicious beyond words. If you teach middle or elementary school it's even worse b/c you have to be in there surrounded by it all, and most schools usually supplement activity budgets by selling candy and ice cream around this time too. For HS it's a little bit easier. I can eat in my room or at least be surrounded by nothing but teachers in the lounge...most of whom are on a diet and don't bring anything appetizing. Invest in a good and convenient lunch set like Mr. Bento, Laptop Lunch, or Lunchopolis.

    5. Make it inconvenient to eat out. I live alone, so the lure of takeout always weighs heavily on me. To counteract it, I usually make large and multiple meals during the weekend, freeze the leftovers into individual or convenient portions, then eat these for lunch or dinner throughout the week. My kitchen looks like a disaster area after one of these mega-buffet-cookouts, but it's worth it to not have to chop, peel, saute, or any of the other stuff on my feet throughout the week.

    6. If you spend a lot of money on entertainment, think about joining one of the online services like NetFlix or rent movies/shows via Amazon. I use to spend over 40 dollars a month in video rentals and late fees. Now I spend 18. If you can give it up entirely than more power to you, but the flesh is weak in my case.

    7. Carpool. Find someone that works with you and lives close by. Alternate cars every week. I use to do that when I worked at a school that was located in another town. Not only did it save gas, but we always got to the school earlier than everyone else b/c we had that extra motivation to get out of bed. Now I live five miles from work, so it's a moot point.

    8. Set your thermostat when you leave. This is a great way to save money if you live in extreme climates. Here in S. Georgia, it gets hotter than you-know-where in the summertime. I love my AC, but every morning before I leave, I set it to about 80-85 degrees. I have two small chihuahuas (if you have a longhaired or hot natured pet, I wouldn't recommend doing this as it would be uncomfortable for them but my dogs are cold natured and actually prefer the warmer temps) or else I'd set it higher. In the evenings when I return, the sun is starting to set and it's a lot easier/faster for the unit to cool the house down. It takes ten minutes to get back to my preferred 75 degrees, but between this method and my CF lightbulbs, my electric bill for a small, three bedroom house can get as low as 50 dollars a month even during the height of the heat wave.
     

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