How far in advance do you budget?
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  1. #1
    Registered User hmcart's Avatar
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    Default How far in advance do you budget?

    Okay I know that there are unexpected expenses that can arise at any time but in general how often do you look at your budget and how far in advance do you write it out. I sat down since we are halfway through the year and worked on a rough budget to get us through the rest of the year! I realize stuff will come up but I like to be able to have a basic budget in writing to start with. It also helps give me a sneak peak at the big picture to keep me motivated!
    Holly

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    i have a flexible budget each month with the annual and unexpected items worked in. I use mary hunt's idea of the "freedom account". she does a better job than dave ramsey at explaining how and why to do this.

    for example, i know that every july the car inspection tag needs to be replaced. it costs about $40. so i take that 40 and divide by 12 and put put roughly 5 dollars a month into a special savings account for this purpose.
    baby step 2- see blog for actual amounts

    "stop being a victim, you are a perpetrator, taking things without paying for them is stealing, you are not a victim, you are a perpetrator. PAY THE PEOPLE YOU OWE, pray for the people you owe, and make it right. " hard nosed AA person, thumping his big book, addressed to me in AA meeting 7/30/2013

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    jas
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    I do exactly the same thing! I have a 3 ring binder that I keep everything in and I know what bills are being paid now and have them written out for all the remaining weeks ahead! I like to see the big picture too!!

    Now that we have a savings account set aside for the usual once a year things like the hoa, the car registration and the dogs shots and flea stuff they are now NOT the things that sneak up on us.

    This was the first year we did the flex spending for medical things like copays, deductibles ect. We have already blown through the set up amount. Yikes! That is what a bout of kidney stones will do for you. At least it was set aside. Now we have to just get through the last part of the year.

    great post can't wait to hear what others do.

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    jas
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladykemma2 View Post
    i have a flexible budget each month with the annual and unexpected items worked in. I use mary hunt's idea of the "freedom account". she does a better job than dave ramsey at explaining how and why to do this.

    for example, i know that every july the car inspection tag needs to be replaced. it costs about $40. so i take that 40 and divide by 12 and put put roughly 5 dollars a month into a special savings account for this purpose.
    Thanks for reminding me! The state of florida has just doubled the amount for car registration. From 45.00 a year to 90.00. I can still get the 45.00 cost for this year and if I do it for two years I can still get it for the 45.00 for next year. This deal will end starting in Sept. My dh will not be able to get the two year rate so I have to now double the amount put aside for the cars!! Plus my dd will be driving soon.
    It is a good feeling setting it aside and knowing it will be there when you need it.
    Last edited by jas; 07-19-2009 at 11:00 AM.

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    Registered User danni's Avatar
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    In December I work up the budget for the following year. I write out all the lot rent cheques and tithing cheques and then I have everything recorded by month. Every month I mark off things that were paid and sometimes I need to rearrange a few things. But that's what works for us.
    EF $703.21
    STARTING DEBT $40,567.12

    DEBT TO DATE $5,571.24

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    ~I budget a year in advance.
    In December I'll use the amounts spent from this year, which I write down in my financial binder when they're spent, to plan for the next year.
    I boost the actual amount spent in each category by 10% and then round it off to a number divisible by 12. The 10% cushion is for inflation and variability. For example, one year we may buy very few clothes but the next we may need quite a few.
    My favorite page in my binder is a chart with every expense category on the left and the months along the top. I pencil in lines to make a grid. In each box I'll put the total amount spent in that category for the month. With certain expenses, like car insurance, that we pay once or twice a year, I put a line through the all the month's boxes in which we don't make payments. So at a glance I can see what is due what month. This is very handy for moving funds online between checking and savings.
    I spend a lot of time planning the year's budget(usually 10-20 hours)so that I know how much extra there will be for improvement projects, savings or extra principle payments.
    When all the decisions are made in advance, the execution of the budget is much simpler. It takes very little time(about 20 minutes a week)to keep up my detailed plan.~

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    Registered User Jamielane's Avatar
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    I do our budget monthly. There a few bills that are due quarterly and I make sure to keep them in mind. The water bill and life insurance for myself and the kids for example. I also take into account that the 1st of the month dh's check will be less due to union dues. Thats always a killer week for us. Some bills of course are yearly like the car and van plates (ugh) and I always plan for a fat water bill in June from filling the pool since it takes 14,000 gallons to fill it.
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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Anywhere from 1 month to 1 year in advance. Expenses for things like property tax and car insurance are planned for each year and money is set aside. I know my operating budget for each month. If we decide to take any trips or have any known upcoming expenses I may start planning anywhere from 1 month to 9 months out. Pretty much as soon as I know it is going to cost money I start planning for it.
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    I do my budget at the beginning of each month.

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    We have a regularly scheduled meeting every Sunday to update our spending accounts (sinking funds) so we know where we can and can't spend money. Monthly we close out the month, allocate the monthly expenses, and calculate the snowball. Quarterly we review spending and adjust our allocations.
    If you could kick in the pants the person responsible for your problems, you wouldn't be able to sit for a month.

    Did you know that a 4 year student paying $20,000/year who finances their education graduates with over $103,000 in debt to start? But a student who works and pays cash and takes 6 years to graduate ends with $6,300 in their pocket! So much for "getting a head start by financing!"


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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    We have a 'skeleton' budget, assessed every year. It includes things like property taxes and homeowner's insurance (our mortgage is paid off and so we pay these ourselves) car insurance, and items we KNOW we have to pay every month like gas and groceries, utilities.
    Monthly, we look at special financial needs like swim club fees, trips, outings, tuition and the like.
    We try to set up the monthly budget pretty much like Dave Ramsey says, it seems to work for us. That emergency fund is a life saver!! (Says the lady whose washer broke last night!!!)

  12. #12
    Registered User frugalwarrior's Avatar
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    In December latest Jan I sit down and project what expenses we will have that year. Certain are truly fixed like the mortgage and loans. Utilities and life ins. get 10% added. Certain things i know such as tuition this fall and a car will be needed by fall. School too. One time bulk payments are anticipated. I reveiw every month to adj. I show my DH where we are as he is not the planning geek,I am. We have goals discussions though. I project how long to pay off certain bills. Medical,pets and car repairs always throw kinks in the system even though they have a budget line.
    Our goes something like this. Certainties in certain months
    Jan-DH b-day,Hw test (dog1),4 dental cleanings
    FEb.-Me b-day,H.W. test (dog2)
    March-H.W. test (dog3),Utilities increase hits from budget, H.W. pills 12
    April-Easter dinner
    May-Mortgage stortfall,car ins.,Prom
    June-Graduation DD gift,
    July-Vacation,4 dental cleanings
    Aug,-High school supplies,college tuition due,my life ins.
    Sept-Car ins. Nov,
    Oct-DD/DS b-day,Halloween,Xmas gifts
    Nov. Xmas gifts,
    Dec.-finishas many medical bills as poss. if near write off

    We never get it completely right. We never anticipated 2 sets of wisdom teeth,as many car repairs,my eye surgery costing so much,cat injuries. But each year we get it down a little better. Sometimes reality is dipappointing but helps you react before things get bad.

    WE also use a binder w/ a budget page for every month. A file cabinet for those paid. A clear storage tub for those that must be saved after two years.

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    Registered User Rangia's Avatar
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    Right now my skeleton budget is planned to the beginning of 2011. It includes annual fees, extras, spending sprees, vacations and whatever else we tend to be guilty of. I use excel for it.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    We actually look at our budget every week. We look at our profit/loss category and see if there's any need to adjust our habits. We also review our Miscellaneous expenses and see if there's any room for improvement there. We review each expense within the Miscellaneous category and decide if it's something we can do without or if we'd need to include it into the Slush Fund budget.

    As far as bill payments are concerned, we adjust the payments that we make every two weeks if the bill increases. If it goes down, we continue to pay the same amount and end up being ahead. For example, our utility bill is $200 one month. We pay $100 every two weeks. If the next bill is $150, we still pay the $100 per week and have the other $50 carry over to our next bill.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    When I was doing 'serious budget' work I kept a general budget a year out. More detailed for quarterly, monthly was within 10 to 20 $ and daily was DOWN TO THE PENNY!

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