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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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Household budgeting

How are you all doing. I was checking on you at my space and went here to your live journal.
Jess and I use microsoft Excel to begin with and keep the budget with in that. There is software and fancy stuff like that out there but if you have freshman understanding of excel you can format it the way you want and I think it is more predictable because I have programed it to do what I want it to do. Nothing more, nothing less. So, we use that space and type in all that bills that are predictable, i.e. car payments, mortgage, utility bills, all those items that are relatively consistent and only fluctuate by about an average of $10.00. We also list any of our savings projects that come out monthly for deposit here. Now the next part takes some discipline; we budget our spending. We have a budget for groceries, household needs and repairs, car needs and repairs- oil changes, maintenance. We also list this on our Excel sheet. Then I set up Excel to do a little basic accounting: add debits. subtract total debits from total credits; that kind of thing. Then hopefully in the end there is some money left over that we can roll into savings, a home renovation or maybe a date :).
We tried to move to cash only to control our spending but with that kinda cash in hand I tended to think I had more cash than I did. For me spending became easier. So, we moved to re-loadable cards. But before we did this we became more comfortable with the corporate practices of Wal-mart but that is a whole other story. We grocery shop at Wal-mart and we get our gas there so we have re-loadable Wal-mart cards. It makes us more conscious spenders and shoppers. We don't stop everywhere and just spend and not realize because first the money is already spent on the card, second we have to think before we spend. It works for us and I think we are happier for it. Takes all the guess work out.
Hope that was not to long winded. How is everything going? I saw you added grad school to your profile; how are you liking that? How is the better half? I do hope that all is well.
We have moved back to Pensacola and aside from a few needed home repairs all is well. Donovan is in 1st grade and smart as a whip. Jess has been trying the stay at home mom thing and she is great at it but I think she is getting restless. I went back to school for an engineering degree. the transition is going well. It feels as if life is progressing as it should.
I would love to hear how things are going and what you are up too. Peace from Paul

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