Author: Cheryl
•11:53 AM

This is where the magic happens, my desk at home. I thought I would take you through my budget process. Not complicated at all. But a much better one for our family than the one we had before September 2008.

My husband and I get paid every two weeks, but he gets paid the opposite Friday of my payday.
So I choose to pay our bills and figure out our budget on a 2 week schedule.

1.) Money, money, money - The Thursday night before I get paid, I check to see how much money is left over in our checking accounts. We have two checking accounts. One for all of our bills and one for our budget money. I make sure that any outstanding checks or bills came out of the bill account and that what is left in both is free money. I then add those totals to my check total, which will direct deposited into my account the next morning. My husband's check is already in one of those accounts by then. All those amounts together is what we have to work with.

2.) Savings - The funds for our emergency fund are directly taken out of my paycheck every two weeks and deposited into an ING savings account. That way there is no arguing whether we have the money to save. As they say always pay yourself first.

3.) Bills, Bills, Bills - I gather all my bills. If you look on the picture above there is a small 4 drawer plastic filing thingy sitting to the left of my desk. That holds in the top drawer all pending bills. The others drawers I will explain at another time. In a notebook I list all the bills due, the amount due and the due date. I then total all the bills.

4.) No one said there would be math - I have had the same calculator since high school and it still works. I love it. I then subtract the bills from the total money we have to use. If that number is painfully low, then I know some bills will have to be pushed off. But since we have been better with our money this hasn't happened anymore. We are actually quite ahead in paying our bills, thank you very much.

5.) The Bi-weekly Budget - Our budget for ourselves is usually comprised of four categories: Groceries, Husband, Myself, Miscellaneous. Groceries is always $100, $50 for each week. My husband's portion is for anything he needs (gas, haircuts, etc). My portion is very small, as I only need gas, and I have a small car, and I barely buy anything else. Miscellaneous covers anything else we need for the house or for the pets (dog or cat food, CVS, litter, newspapers, etc.). If we have anything outside the ordinary we make up a new category and figure that into the budget (ex. doctor's appointments, prescriptions, presents, family events). But most of the time it is just the four categories.

I use Google Docs to keep track of our budget. The reason I chose this program, is that my husband and I can both view it over the internet with passwords, so we can both see how much is left in our categories and can update the budget anywhere we are.

Once I have the budget amount, I subtract that from what is left after the bills.

6.) Credit Cards - Whatever money is left over from all of that is our snowball amount that goes to the current credit card we are working on. In the bill totals for #3 are the minimum balances for the cards I current have that are due. So this snowball money is extra that goes to the current card on my hit list.

The budget is now done.

7.) Payday - When I wake up Friday morning, my check is already deposited into my bills account. In the morning I check all the final totals in the bank, and make sure they are still matching up from what I figured out the day before. I transfer the money we calculated as needed into our budget fund. And then I proceed to pay our bills from the remaining money in the bill account. I try to pay most of our bills online, but I do have a few old time companies that still make me mail in a few checks. I also make sure the snowball money goes to the credit card I am currently working on paying off.

8.) Wrap up - I put everything down again in my checkbook to keep on hand and check our balance in our emergency fund and update the blog with the new total.

Really easy and working very well for us.

This entry was posted on 11:53 AM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


On March 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM , Sophia's Mama and Baba said...

I love this thanks for posting it. Would you mind me asking how much your weekly budget is for your husbands, yours and the Mis. portion of your budget? I am trying to come up with a budget for our home and I am stumped as to how to figure out how much we would really need to get by each week..

Thanks Susan