Thursday, May 10, 2012

Budgeting With Mama

Lessons from mama is a weekly guest post from my mother, sharing different lessons on homemaking she has learned over the years. This was inspired after I interviewed her for the series "Teachers of Good Things."  You can head over to her interview to see a more complete list of the topics we will be covering (it is under the 5th question, What would you have done differently as a single woman to prepare for this?).

For budgeting I highly recommend either checking out the book by Dave Ramsey called “Total Money Makeover” OR take his Financial Peace seminar. The thing that has worked the best for us is to use the cash in envelopes system. Figure out your budget and with each pay check set aside cash to put in envelopes for the categories that you will be paying cash for. We have the following cash categories: Groceries, Gas, Giving, Date night, Savings, and allowances for Jeff and I.

It is easy to stay in the budget for groceries. When the cash is gone, you quit spending.

The best tip I can give you is: Don’t spend more than you make. This means don’t use credit cards. Learn patience and pray about needs.

When figuring out your monthly budget, here are things to consider:

SAVING (Emergency Fund; Retirement Fund; College Fund)
HOUSING (Mortgage; Real Estate Taxes; Homeowners Insurance; Repairs; and Furniture)
UTILITIES (Electricity; Water; Gas; Phone)
FOOD (Grocery and Restaurants)
TRANSPORTATION (Car Payment; Gas and Oil; Repairs and Tires; Car Insurance; License and Taxes; Car Replacement)
CLOTHING (Children; Adults and Cleaning/Laundry)
MEDICAL/HEALTH (Health Insurance; Doctor Bills; Dentist; Optometrist; and Medicine)
PERSONAL (Life Insurance; Toiletries; Hair Care; Education; Gifts (including Christmas); Date night; Miscellaneous; and *BLOW $$)
RECREATION (Entertainment and Vacation)
DEBTS (Hopefully -0-)

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