Tons of people in the PF community will tell you that you need to give your money a job. Not just set aside money for bills but also set a number for your fun money and stuff too. The zero based budget is an example of one where you assign EVERY SINGLE dollar and at the end of the month you should see a budget of $0. (Check out L Bee and the Money Tree, she wrote a short and sweet post about various budgets, the zero based budget being one of them.)
The one thing that I’ve noticed about budgeting is that budgets need lots of attention and almost constant tweaking. Kinda like a baby. What a weird comparison! Hahaha. You sometimes have to try lots of different methods before you find one that you like and can stick with (unlike babies). I have noticed that you can use a few different methods and make a custom budget, you could probably also trademark it and try to sell it and become a millionaire… Dave Ramsey, anyone?
I have been using the envelope budget for a bit and I really like it. Just to be clear I am not following the Dave Ramsey method per say, I’m kinda just making things up as I go along and putting cash in envelopes with labels on them… Well that’s pretty much what he says to do but I’m doing it the Spunky way not the Dave way. Anywayyyy, I like the idea of using cash but I’m not going to sugarcoat that shiz and tell you it’s a cake walk because that would be a lie. The hardest part has been the few weeks that I’ve been between jobs and pay schedules. My first pay check at my new job was not enough to fill up my envelopes (because it was only one week AND I didn’t get to work 40 hours that week).
I have decided to tweak the Spunky method a little bit and see how it goes. The new plan is that I’m going to give my different accounts jobs. This is something I have tried in the past and it didn’t really work but I don’t think I was all that motivated when I tried it. The reason that I’m doing this is that I’m just so tired of carrying all my cash around. I like the idea of using cash for “fun money” so I can know where it is going and for groceries so I have a set limit but as it is I am having to carry 2 wallets and it’s making my purse really heavy! As always I am definitely willing to hear any opinions you guys have on this subject. I have 3 debit cards that I plan on giving specific jobs….. the jobs are as follows: one is for doctor bills/pharmacy bills, one is for all other bills, and then one will be for auto related expenses like gas and oil changes and stuff.
The plan is that I will deposit money into those accounts when I get paid this week and then put the remainder of my money (minus my allowance-which will be in cash) into my savings account. I’m hoping that this works out for me. Fingers crossed.