Questions tagged [budget]

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

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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
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
84 votes
11 answers
26k views

What to do if I can't trust myself with monthly wages?

I work in the UK, like most people here I get paid once a month. I've been doing this for about 2 years now (on a modest income) and my ability to make the money last has not gotten better (if ...
Jalapeno's user avatar
  • 999
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
76 votes
16 answers
19k views

How to prevent myself from buying things I don't want

We all buy stuff from time to time that only satisfies us for a short time. I was able to locate a few expenses that fall under that category. Unfortunately, there are a few products I've wanted to ...
Swizzler's user avatar
  • 1,283
56 votes
20 answers
15k views

Are there any financial disadvantages to living significantly "below your means"?

By living "below" your means I'm asking about spending significantly less than you could, rather than living "within" your means which of course is sensible if you are able to do it! So for example: ...
seventyeightist's user avatar
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
45 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is keeping track of your money and having a budget the same thing?

I check my bank account every single day, just out of habit in case there's fraudulent activity. As a result, I always know generally how much I have in my accounts (i.e. if I have $140.25, I'll make ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 10.2k
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
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
37 votes
12 answers
8k views

How to do the maths on affordability?

I have a bad or no idea on how to budget. We are moving but I don't know If I can afford the rent as the family grows and I need my own study. How can a person measure how much to spend on food, car, ...
localhost's user avatar
  • 595
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
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
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
27 votes
11 answers
17k views

Is there any financial benefit to being paid bi-weekly over monthly?

I have read in many sources that it's generally better for an employee to be paid bi-weekly than monthly. I have been performing some calculations and can't see the benefit to this. Say I was on a $...
LeopardSkinPillBoxHat's user avatar
26 votes
7 answers
9k views

Emotionally driven to buy a house. Does it make financial sense?

I am a US citizen living in Europe, so this question might be complicated by tax laws, but let's just ignore them for now. Basically, I am really emotionally driven to buy a house but am realizing ...
lambda's user avatar
  • 583
24 votes
4 answers
7k views

How much of my income should I put towards paying off student loans vs saving for a house?

New grad here. I finally got all the wonderful mail from the student loan companies informing me I need to start making loan payments. I never realized how much the interest on these things could come ...
Daniel Jacobson's user avatar
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
22 votes
11 answers
8k views

What is the purpose of budgeting if all I need to do is look at my bank/credit card statement?

I have read over Reddit's wiki on budgeting. I rarely pay with cash so I already have a record of transactions I made with payment cards. My pay stubs are e-mailed to me. So what's the point of ...
titchseason's user avatar
  • 1,109
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
21 votes
6 answers
16k views

Should I pay off my 50K of student loans as quickly as possible, or steadily? Why?

I was an idiot in college. I basically just used student loans and got very few grants. I also spent way too much time in there. I now have two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree. About 7 ...
SoftwareSavant'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
12 answers
11k views

How to manage expenditure when billing cycles and paycheck cycles are not aligned?

I get paid on the 15th and the last of the month and my husband will be getting paid weekly when he starts a new job after the one he has been working at for 25 years will be closing soon. How does ...
Stephanie Grohol's user avatar
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
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
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
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
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
19 votes
2 answers
19k views

What's the difference between 'cleared' and 'reconciled' in my financial accounting software?

Been using GNUCash for the past four years, and I'm slowly learning the more advanced features over time. Until now I've never needed to bother with future dated transactions, but recent large ...
jldugger's user avatar
  • 7,437
18 votes
8 answers
6k views

What are some possible reasons that a heating oil rep would be anticipating oil prices falling?

We are planning on prebuying heating oil this year to avoid high costs if the price rises over the winter. We can buy now, or wait until fall. The person I spoke to over the phone said she would ...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 1,999
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

I'm 23, living at home, and still can't afford my own property. What could I do?

Most of my friends have their own places, either rented or mortgage. Should I be concerned that I still live at home? I bring home around £1300 after tax, £400 of that goes on car finance+tax, £200 ...
James's user avatar
  • 2,034
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
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
16 votes
13 answers
989 views

What are some good ways to control costs for groceries?

I find groceries to be one area where I have a hard time controlling costs. We want to eat well, buy healthy foods, good cuts of meat, etc. and limit eating out. I find it hard to know what is a ...
Little Miss Mocha's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

What do I need to know before getting a loan?

Recently, due to a series of events, I've been finding myself... uncomfortable with my financial situation. I'm not in debt, but my account balance did drop into the low three-digit figures a couple ...
Niet the Dark Absol's user avatar
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
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
15 votes
11 answers
2k views

How should I save for a down payment on a house while also maxing out my retirement savings? Is that not feasible at my income level?

I see questions and answers like this one that make a very good point: Keep in mind it is easy to get a loan for a car, or for a house, or to pay for college; but very hard to get a loan for your ...
Michael A's user avatar
  • 1,948
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

What professional should I seek out to get financial advice on how to make ends meet with my current budget, expenses, and retirement accounts?

What professional should I seek out to get financial advice on how to make ends meet with my current budget, expenses, and retirement accounts? My situation is that life is hitting us hard and fast: ...
jason's user avatar
  • 303
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
15 votes
6 answers
9k views

How can I help others plan their finances, without being a "conventional" financial planner?

I've helped a few people in my family get their finances in order, just with very basic tips and with money-saving tips I've gleaned from personal experience. I think I've made a significant ...
bill's user avatar
  • 1,027
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can someone help me understand my student loans?

I have more loans than these but I am wondering how to handle these three (all with the same bank): 3%, last payment ~$36, current balance $6153, original amount $5500, payoff balance $6170 2.5%, ...
MyNameIsKhan's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I budget a 'conditional reimbursement'?

To start off, I don't know the correct term for this situation, which limits my research options. I have looked for 'conditional loan', 'conditional reimbursement' and such, but none of the results ...
Loid Thanead's user avatar
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
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
7 answers
775 views

Are my monthly commited expenses out of whack?

Okay, my wife and I struggle with our finances and we are trying to get them in order. My net pay is approx $1300 every two weeks (my wife does not work) That is after health insurance premiums ...
rodey's user avatar
  • 275
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
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
12 votes
7 answers
15k views

Why do mortgage affordability recommendations use gross income?

Whenever I see someone ask how to calculate how big a mortgage he can afford, the answer almost always comes back as a percentage of gross income. Why use gross income as the baseline? Why not net ...
splattered bits's user avatar

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