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Starting next month, budgeting in earnest begins.

3 cheques a month, $869, $787 and $869.

Want to envelope, except the bills I pay online- hints on this....

No mortgage, just line of credit, small credit card debt.

Family of 5, 3 kids under 13, with hub in so so health, and probably not able to work full time, realistically. Though we live on the land, and grow garden and chickens on 65 acres.

Also, the biggie is to quit smoking.

Any hugs and advice most welcome. I have made a budget, and so want to recover my sanity and get control of a situation I have grown to worry about each day.
 

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Hi there...congrats on wanting to take better action with your money...and a great idea to quit smoking...I used to smoke so I understand how hard it can be. Did you want to post your budget so others on the forum can give advice...you don't have to, but others may catch something and ask about it that may save you money in the long run...all in all a budget is a great start.
 

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Being on a strict budget is worrisome too. I tried it and it made me crazy. Well.. more crazier than I already am. lol. Give yourself some breathing room in your budget.

The envelope system works excellent for assisting and retraining in money management. I did it and it worked very well. Then aftera while - you'll come to know what you can and cannot spend. so the envelopes won't be needed anymore.

also a ghuge plus not many of us have is being able to live off the land. So, excellent for you. Hang out with us and focus on living within your means.. so there will be no more worrying. :hugz:
 

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For me the biggest question is "how did we get into debt in the first place". It is like trying to lose weight. It is easier to get back to a healthy weight when the pounds first start to creep on, not when you already have 100 lbs to lose. So, give yourself a pat on the back for realizing you need to clamp down on the debt while it is still small.

And good luck quitting smoking. Just keep looking at that cigarette and think to yourself, "Why am I literally burning money." It would actually be cheaper to roll up a dollar bill and light it on fire.
 

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Oh.. right .. the smoking. Forgot about that. I fun way to quit, is to take the money you spend on cigs.. and put it right into the savings account. watch it grow. Then do something real nice for yourself with it. Like... take a vacation. Yes, cigarettes are so expensive that you could potentially take a vacation with the savings.
 

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Think of something you feel is more important to you than smoking then put the money towards that

My husband quit to put our oldest in private school. I felt we didn't have the extra 100 a month it was way back then. I wasn't catholic didn't go to catholic school turned out just fine from public school system so I wasn't going to leave the kids more often to work more to pay for it

He went to that school wanted ds in there for 1st grade bad enough he quit smoking and most of his weekend beer .

With prices now you could quit a one pack per day habit and go on a nice vacation with the money saved
 

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Good luck if you want to quit smoking. Apparently it is very hard (sorry, I have never smoked a cigarette and have never desired to, so can't 100% relate). The one advice I want to give you is don't overshoot. Maybe smoking and just watching what you spend your money on might be enough to start with.
 

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As for the smoking,it is very hard to quit, I found that it took several tries before I was successful. But, just keep on trying if you fail at first. Actually, for me " cold turkey" was the one that worked. Also, when I became very stressed, if possible I took a nap! I swear by this. I know it isn't alway possible, but sleep as much as possible (it's better for you than upping your eating).
 

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If you use Quicken or Mint.com to manage your finances, you can "move" money in to sub accounts to act as electronic envelopes for the bills you pay online. There are also multiple free smart phone apps that do the same thing. I rarely carry cash and keep track of my debit card expenses this way.
 

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OH!! then welcome back tillergirl :wave:!! and do stay. We like to see people progress.
 

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I'm a big fan of envelope budgeting! I carry envelopes with me in my wallet at all times (dinner out/fun, clothing, grocery, camping). Those envelopes take care of any everyday need.

As for a strict budget, make it realistic! And try to think of everything. Over the next couple months you will think of tons of budget categories to work in, so be prepared to adjust it often in the beginning...pet expenses, yard care, house care/repairs, Christmas/gifts, dinner out, family fun, vacation, etc.

I keep all my living expenses in a separate checking account (my online bank envelope) with no debit card or checks. Every bill is paid online through bill pay at our bank. Our everyday checking account is only used for gas for the vehicles. If we make big purchases (those purchases are always preplanned), money is transferred to everyday checking account to cover those expenses.

As for smoking...best of luck to you!!! It was the hardest thing I ever did when I quit!!! My daughter was in 4th or 5th grade, she's now 20 years old. I know if I picked up a cigarette today I would be a smoker again!!

Good luck with everything!
 

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Great to know that you would want to quit smoking cause it is good not only for you but for your whole family.
Good thing you can have sources of foods with your garden and poultry. I think the first thing to really settle are the credit cards to avoid interests.
 

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Oh.. right .. the smoking. Forgot about that. I fun way to quit, is to take the money you spend on cigs.. and put it right into the savings account. watch it grow. Then do something real nice for yourself with it. Like... take a vacation. Yes, cigarettes are so expensive that you could potentially take a vacation with the savings.
I smoke Clippers. their $10.64 for a carton
 

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Wow! Good for YOU!

While I don't smoke, my dad quit cold-turkey when I was a teenager and I always admired him for quitting. I would say set small goals for yourself, even with the smoking. Maybe say, I'll go without smoking for one week and put all the money I save in a jar (where you can see it!). At the end of that period, seeing how much you saved can be a huge motivator to keep going!

I am working on the envelope/cash system this year too. There are certain things we have to pay by check or card so I put that amount of cash into those accounts but I'm working to use cash for everything else.
 
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