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Household Budgeting
While household budgeting is a very personal matter, I wanted to reach out to my flist for informal feedback. We need to get greater control of our finances and maximize budget predictability. We've tried several things and can't seem to stick with them, so- I'm thinking of moving to a cash only system of household budgeting (with online money movement for things like mortgage, car payments, etc.

Edit: This is along the lines of the plan on which I'm ruminating.

So for feedback, have any of you tried it and if so, how did it go/is it going?

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I haven't gone that far yet, but we're definitely on a budget these days. I've been using a product called Moneytracker that the credit union implemented recently. Its not bad in that it lets you categorize transactions, set up a budget, has a dashboard and other reports, and lets you manually track other assets and liabilities. I find its biggest drawback for me is the lack of adding manual transactions that will merge with debit card transactions.

There's something similar online called, although its in beta I think. It lets you set up multiple accounts and updates nightly. Still doesn't allow for manual transaction entries, though. I think there's one out there that does, and has a mobile version so you can enter purchases from anywhere as well as receive alerts when you approach certain budget limits.

I've found (at least so far) that creating a budget cut back our eating out immensely. $10 here or $30 there doesn't seem like much until you have to look at a report that tells you you spent $300 on eating out in a month. For some categories though, its just a harsh reminder of how much we're spending on things that we can't really cut back any more on.

I thinking it might be time to go that far. I'm getting so afraid that if I'm not doing a good job at money management now, how on earth am I going to manage with a kidlet? Also, I notice how much we spend on meals when we have friends over...I can leave the grocery store with $200 of stuff and then not have anything left over for us to eat during the week- and then what do we do- Eat Out!

I've tried yodlee and mint, but none of them work with my credit union (XFCU) and my credit card co's don't seem to like them either :c( I downloaded a trial of Money- and well, that just takes too much frikin time to set up!

Need: budgeting method for the lightly lazy!

You could always switch to GTE and use Moneytracker. ;)

There are some decent free online budgeting apps out there if you feel like Googling. I've never had a huge issue with getting Money set up, and I'm debating buying a new copy just because it was that simple (although it could be that I had used to for 3 or 4 years and I'm just used to it). The worst part you may find is that you'd have to manually enter some (or all) transactions.

You may want to check into some of the tips around online for reducing spending overall too, I've noticed it helps cut into our grocery bill (at least until I started regularly shopping at Whole Foods...)

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