Questions tagged [budget]

for questions that relate but are not limited to, budget planning, budgeting practices, budgeting software.

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9 votes
2 answers
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how do you verify your household budget?

I have a monthly household budget where I track income and expenses broken down by category. It's just an Excel spreadsheet where I enter the amounts from all receipts into the appropriate category. ...
Eugene's user avatar
  • 93
97 votes
9 answers
21k views

Do people tend to spend less when using cash than credit cards?

I know this is a popular theory on this site and finance blogs/media in general, but I'd like to know if there is any reliable research on the subject. I can share personal experience that makes me ...
D Stanley's user avatar
  • 133k
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Need advice about my financial situation

Here is my living situation in a nutshell Live in California 2 kids (7 and 11) Ex-wife I am almost 40. I rent Financial situation: Make about $170k (includes regular job + moonlighting) before ...
NeedAdvice's user avatar
  • 3,817
50 votes
8 answers
17k views

Paying off debt and living within means vs. long term planning

My husband and I are divided as to the best way to handle our current financial situation. First, a little background. We are in our high 20’s, have been married for six years and have three kids. ...
anon's user avatar
  • 627
31 votes
3 answers
7k views

What are the advantages of doing accounting on your personal finances?

What are the advantages of keeping track of your personal finances? Is it only worthwhile if I earn "enough"? Why should I bother?
Psirus's user avatar
  • 436
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

What are the primary expenses I should account for in my budget upon college graduation?

I'm 22 and about to graduate from college in Chicago, Illinois with a bachelor's degree in a few months, and I'm creating a detailed budget based on my anticipated expenses. After significantly ...
John Bensin's user avatar
42 votes
7 answers
5k views

How to help a financially self destructive person?

My ex-wife is a mess, financially speaking. After the divorce, her house that she won in the divorce was foreclosed on, filed for bankruptcy, owes money to pretty much everyone that tried to help her ...
NeedAdvice's user avatar
  • 3,817
13 votes
4 answers
1k views

Where can I find an example of a really basic family budget?

It's about time that I took my family's finances seriously and built a budget. I'd rather not start from scratch, and am thinking, "surely, I can benefit from someone else's work?" - can someone ...
Nat_Rea's user avatar
  • 8,683
30 votes
2 answers
2k views

What percentage of my budget should the mortgage be?

What percentage of my budget should the mortgage be?
z-boss's user avatar
  • 433
23 votes
8 answers
17k views

How do I know when I am financially stable/ready to move out on my own?

Some background information: I'm 23 and living at home. I have a good full time job as a web programmer that I've been at for over one year. It includes benefits and 401K (which after one year I ...
Bryan Denny's user avatar
  • 1,357
21 votes
11 answers
2k views

Can't get started with budgeting -- no discipline! Any ideas on getting out of this rut?

I have had very little success with managing money. I have gone bankrupt once ($50K in credit card debt) and since then I no longer have credit cards (just a debit card) but my spending is still ...
Bart's user avatar
  • 582
19 votes
5 answers
7k views

What percent of my salary should I save?

Here is my situation: right now I am living in Puerto Rico, and I am planning to relocate to the mainland US (probably to Seattle, WA). Although Puerto Rico is a territory of the US, almost everything ...
scubaFun's user avatar
  • 875
15 votes
6 answers
12k views

Should I have separate savings accounts for various savings goals?

I have read through some personal budgeting articles and saving tips. Most articles and books mention saving money for emergency funds, large purchases, etc. Should emergency funds and saving funds (...
kitokid's user avatar
  • 961
12 votes
9 answers
2k views

Does it make sense to buy a house in my situation?

I've been in a pretty crappy financial situation. I've described my situation in detail in the past and I am greatful for all the great advice I have received here. Since asking that question 8 ...
NeedAdvice's user avatar
  • 3,817
10 votes
3 answers
22k views

Are savings counted as part of expenses in a personal budget?

When I budget for me, I usually count savings part of the expenses. Is it the correct way to do it? Because of this, when I look at my budget at the end of the month, it feels like my expenses are a ...
kitokid's user avatar
  • 961
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Checking/Savings accounts that have sub-accounts

I like to use the envelope system for budgeting, but I can't escape the convenience of debit cards, so a few months ago I set up 5 debit cards, one for my primary account, food, gasoline, household ...
kenwarner's user avatar
  • 191
6 votes
2 answers
397 views

How to deal with variable income in the budget

We have a budget planned out for various categories, and in order to make ends meet we count on child support for my wife's child from a previous marriage. However, lately we have not been receiving ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 845
5 votes
4 answers
599 views

Best personal finance strategy to control my balance

I would like to get some insight inside my balance. It's not too complicated: I have very few sources of incomes, very few accounts, nearly no portfolio, etc. Yet it looks like I manage to save much ...
DeltaIV's user avatar
  • 717
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

Strategies to earmark money for large expenses

Like most people, we have several large expenses that we only have to pay once or twice a year like homeowner's insurance, car/home repairs and improvements, and saving money for a vacation. What's a ...
lizziv's user avatar
  • 1,746
95 votes
15 answers
35k views

Spouse wants to pay all debt in a month but I don’t. Is this a good idea?

Between both of our student loans and car loan, we are in the hole about $48,000. My spouse is adamant about paying off all debt in the next month or two since we currently have about $55,000 in the ...
jo13's user avatar
  • 1,053
90 votes
15 answers
20k views

How to spend more? (AKA, how to avoid being a miser)

I was blessed growing up to have a father that greatly impressed upon me the need to save. I am very thankful for his influence, it has allowed me to make smart decisions with my money and I am ...
Eddie's user avatar
  • 1,023
82 votes
8 answers
24k views

Company stopped paying my salary. What are my options?

UPDATE 4: I'd be remiss if I didn't update this post with the outcome: I was able to recover about 1.5x lost wages (after employment attorney fees). The advice below I followed included: (1) finding ...
Scott Skiles's user avatar
  • 1,193
43 votes
12 answers
19k views

How to manage monthly salary

I am a 22-y/o guy starting my first job. I am interested to know how I should manage my monthly expenses. Keeping in mind that I need to pay for my rented apartment, food, water, etc., save money for ...
Debanik Dawn's user avatar
33 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why do personal finance apps focus on outgoings rather than income

I am looking at using a money management app, rather than just my own Excel spreadsheet, for my personal finances. The way I've always thought about my money is "I have a fixed amount of income which ...
simonalexander2005's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

Multi-user, non-US personal finance and budget software [closed]

Hija, I realize that there are any number of these questions on here. I didn't manage to find one that related to my specific situation, however. First, I am outside mint.com territory. Second, I ...
Rune Jacobsen's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
5k views

Should my rainy day fund be fixed or should I increase it by a little every month?

I've just started working and I'm building up several of my investments (mortgage preparation fund, general savings fund, rainy day fund, wedding fund). As for the mortgage, wedding fund, and general ...
Zaenille's user avatar
  • 4,334
20 votes
9 answers
30k views

How much is a typical food budget per person?

In planning out a budget, what is a realistic amount to budget per person for food expenses per month? EDIT: Thanks to Ether's answer, here's a clarification: What guidelines or warning signs are ...
Don's user avatar
  • 859
20 votes
10 answers
7k views

How to save money by shopping at a variety of grocery stores?

I am living close to a mall with several grocery stores. I would like to save money on the food I buy. I have tried using apps that show me the best prices, ads, and coupons from multiple stores, but ...
titchseason's user avatar
  • 1,109
19 votes
7 answers
5k views

Can I hedge my household expenses using the financial markets?

Apparently farmers can hedge against high raw material prices and low crop prices by using financial instruments such as forwards and futures. Can I use financial instruments to similarly hedge my ...
Flux's user avatar
  • 17k
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

How does the envelope budgeting system work?

I have seen a little bit about the "Envelope System" for spending, and while I think I have the rough idea of it, how does it work in detail. I know there is http://www.mvelopes.com/, but this site ...
MrChrister's user avatar
  • 25.2k
17 votes
8 answers
998 views

Pay off credit card debt or earn employer 401(k) match?

Should a person with high credit card debt pay it off before contributing to a 401(k) with matching?
jldugger's user avatar
  • 7,437
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to start personal finances?

I'm 24 years old, and haven't ever spent a second thought on money. My parents were not rich, but they had enough to keep me totally away from all business-stuff. When I was 19, I finished an ...
RaspiWaspi's user avatar
12 votes
13 answers
1k views

I can make a budget, but how can I get myself to consistently follow my budget?

I'm able to sit down and put together a budget. My problem is following it. After about a month of being strict, I lose sight of things, and get off the budget. It's then a couple of months later ...
James Mertz's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
13k views

Does my net paycheck decrease as the year goes on due to tax brackets filling up?

I am trying to budget my money for the next few months to save up money to move out. In a month, my taxable wages for the year will have crossed the bracket from 15% - sub $37450, into the 25% bracket....
BulletB's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
3 answers
597 views

How should I make a budget?

How do you go about making a budget? Where do you start (ie: with income or expenses)? Related: Where can I find an example of a really basic family budget?
C. Ross's user avatar
  • 7,856
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Personal budget forecast/tracking solution [closed]

I am using mint.com for tracking my money, and it works quite well, with one exception: mint.com is mostly backward-looking, i.e. it captures only stuff that already happened. So I am looking for a ...
StasM's user avatar
  • 3,296
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

I've tracked my spending and have created a budget, now what do I do with it?

I have spent considerable time this year tracking my expenses and income so that I can have confidence in my household budget. I've been using an Excel spreadsheet that I found to track everything ...
dpollitt's user avatar
  • 293
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to represent mortgage overpayments in household budget

I keep a household budget spreadsheet, one tab of which represents our savings. Some of our savings is in traditional savings vehicles (ISAs etc.), but some of it has been used to overpay the ...
Vicky's user avatar
  • 24k
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Should I lease, buy new, or buy used?

I'm looking for an answer based on quality (they don't make 'em like they used to), price (are new cars even worth the $), and/or reliability/low maintenance (where leasing is attractive) which option ...
MDMoore313's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
782 views

How can I come up with a good personal (daily) budget?

I've read a bunch of posts about how to create a portfolio, investments when starting out on your career. I know that a lot (almost everyone) goes through the same kind of things that I'm going ...
user7186's user avatar
  • 267
5 votes
4 answers
182 views

Multi-Account Budgeting Tools/Accounts/Services

Every time I get paid, I take some of the money and allocate it for certain uses. I track this in a spreadsheet. This works fine, but it's not what I want in the end. Basically, I think what I want is ...
three-cups's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
304 views

How to manage paying expenses when moving to a weekly pay schedule and with a pay increase?

I'm terrible at managing my money. This is likely the cause for this entire issue. I'm being moved from a bi-weekly (1st and 15th of the month) pay schedule, to a weekly pay schedule. At the same ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
475 views

Logistics of managing the daily budget

My wife and I have historically struggled with managing our budget. Not because our money priorities are out of whack, or we have too much debt, etc. Rather it's just a time issue. One person has ...
wadesworld's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
958 views

I am moving to a new city. How do I plan and prepare - financially - for the move?

I am planning to move to either Maryland, near D.C., or Boston at the end of the school year for work. I have salary quotes for both jobs already, so I can plan around a specific income number and how ...
samoz's user avatar
  • 1,114
4 votes
3 answers
510 views

Do card bonuses lead to increased discretionary spending compared to more basic cards?

Some credit cards offer bonuses on spending in particular categories, such as cashback bonuses or "free" upgrades. These credit cards tend to come with an annual fee. A consumer may ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 3,213
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

What is the most effective saving money method? [closed]

Sometimes people realize that their salary suddenly disappears before the end of the month. What are some tips on how can I save my money, or how can I increase my income besides my full-time job?
blackcornail's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
241 views

Does working in finance firms improve a person's finance knowledge?

I would like to know whether it is possible to gain personal finance knowledge if a person works in a good finance firm where he comes across many financial models.
RGR's user avatar
  • 153
0 votes
2 answers
285 views

Healthy money saving tips for a young person [closed]

I'm 19 and I always spend my money on stuff I don't need and I'm trying to save enough money to build a tiny house in the next two years. Any advice on how to save up about $10,000 and stay ...
user37498's user avatar
-6 votes
1 answer
140 views

How can I effectively track my expenses? [closed]

How can I effectively track my expenses?
Arunabh Bhattacharya's user avatar