How To Budget Your Money

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
How to Budget Your Money

I have spent all morning going over my budget. I have managed to reduce some costs since last year including car insurance, TV satellite . I call the provider up every year saying that I'm going to terminate the contract so that I can get a better deal !
My electricity bill is constant and hasn't gone up. My food bill has
gone up quite drastically which means that I'll have to reduce it. Food is very expensive over here and most of the vegan options are quite pricey.
The running costs in the appartement building have gone up drastically because the board wants to overspend. We used to have a cleaning firm for 540 € per month and the new one costs 1300 €. The man doesn't even bother to go upstairs to hoover and wash the floor and sometimes leaves the dustbins outside overnight ! All of this is normal and nobody complains except for me!
They are requesting that the entire walls of the building be redone which would cost me around 4000 € !!!!
I'm fed up of living in an appartement building and have people decide on how money should be spent. This is one of the reasons why I would like to own a house.

I have another 36 payments towards my mortgage. There is no point of paying it off in one lump sum as it is 0 % interest.

Shyva's vet and medication fees have also gone up drastically due to her illness.

My goal is to reduce the food bill, try and find some odd jobs and save more money. I would really like to buy a small house or ground floor flat with a garden.

I find that it is so much easier putting everything down on a sheet of paper and seeing how much you can save per year.

How do you budget your income ? Do you try and save money and look for deals ? Do you try and reduce your expenses or just hope for the best ?

I often feel like a loner and the only person who bothers to budget compared to my friends and acquaintances.;)
 
Last edited:
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
I like to budget and read money saving things too.:D

A lot of people on financial forums seem to like You Need a Budget.

Personal Budget & Finance Software for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android

The running costs in the appartement building have gone up drastically because the board wants to overspend. We used to have a cleaning firm for 540 € per month and the new one costs 1300 €. The man doesn't even bother to go upstairs to hoover and wash the floor and sometimes leaves the dustbins outside overnight ! All of this is normal and nobody complains except for me!
They are requesting that the entire walls of the building be redone which would cost me around 4000 € !!!!
I'm fed up of living in an appartement building and have people decide on how money should be spent. This is one of the reasons why I would like to own a house.

That is the problem my friend had with her flat, the service charge doubled overnight and there was nothing she could do about it.

I read about a couple that are trying to reach financial independence and they took over the job as caretaker of the building to make money. I don't know if that is something you might consider? Caretaker: How to Earn €154 an Hour Without a Degree - What Life Could Be
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I like to budget and read money saving things too.:D

A lot of people on financial forums seem to like You Need a Budget.


I think that it is a must if you want to lower expenses and save money.
https://www.youneedabudget.com/


That is the problem my friend had with her flat, the service charge doubled overnight and there was nothing she could do about it.

I read about a couple that are trying to reach financial independence and they took over the job as caretaker of the building to make money. I don't know if that is something you might consider? Caretaker: How to Earn €154 an Hour Without a Degree - What Life Could Be

I have already discussed this with one of the board members ( she is the only pleasant one as the others are Ms Know it alls) and the problem is sick and holiday leave. It would work out much cheaper to pay a person to take out the bins ( 4 times a week) and clean the entrance and staircase every week. The board seems to think that it's not possible to find someone and that the more you pay, the better it is. Well, they are wrong about the latter as the bill has doubled.

I wouldn't be able to do the job for a number of reasons and am looking for other odd jobs. It's also not such a good
idea to work for co owners. French people are very difficult to get along with and it would be looking for trouble.
 

KLS52

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
29,067
Age
69
Location
USA
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I'm the worst with sticking to a budget. [emoji20]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
Shyvas - would it be a big jump in price to look for a house instead of a flat? Maybe you could look in a cheaper area?

It might be different being in the UK, but you can switch banks and get higher interest current accounts here to make sure you are getting more money on your savings. The banks offer perks to switch over. I've only done it once or twice but I've read some people have made money doing it time and again with different banks.

I do our budget every morning by checking our bank account and then I calculate our net worth every month, but I'm a little obsessive, lol. Each month I have different categories like mortgage, bills, pension, pet expenses, food budget and then what it left is spending money and savings.
 
Last edited:

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Shyvas - would it be a big jump in price to look for a house instead of a flat? Maybe you could look in a cheaper area?

It might be different being in the UK, but you can switch banks and get higher interest savings accounts here to make sure you are getting more money on your savings. The banks offer perks to switch over. I've only done it once or twice but I've read some people have made money doing it time and again with different banks.

I do our budget every morning by checking our bank account and then I calculate our net worth every month, but I'm a little obsessive, lol. Each month I have different categories like mortgage, bills, pension, pet expenses, food budget and then what it left is spending money and savings.

It would be a huge jump if I were to buy a house in this area. Small houses cost around 260 000 to 320 000 €. A house at the cheapest end would mean moving around 15 km away. I also have to take into account car and petrol expenses to drive to work. Plus I start very early in the morning. I can't move until I retire because I need to stick to this job.

I have already switched banks and have 2 accounts. One is where I pay my mortgage and the second one is online. I get free a free debit card, cheque book and most of the services are foc. I also have a savings account ( I have a few) with both of them. I have just spoken with an advisor who suggests that I shift most of the money onto a 'life insurance' sa which would give a yield of 3.7 % or more.

I am also working hard on how to lower all my expenses. Food is really N° 2 after the mortgage.

I am determined to find some other way of making some extra cash. It would be great to find something that I could do from home as I'm in all afternoon as I do an early shift.

My mortgage, rates, running costs, electricity, phone and TV are the same every month. Food, Shyva's vets bill/medication, petrol and other health costs may vary from month to month.

It's always interesting to discuss how to budget with someone who has a lot of know how like you.:up:
 
Last edited:

KLS52

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Reaction score
29,067
Age
69
Location
USA
Lifestyle
  1. Other
So, how do you NOT budget your income ?:D
Too much impulse buying I suppose. I'm always looking for something to make things easier...whether it's for meal time, house cleaning/organizing, the kitties...I'm too stressed and tired so I look for the easy way out. If the money is there (husband works intermittently), I spend it. I should be making a budget and sticking to it, even on the weeks where he's bringing in some income. I guess that's how I see it, anyway.

I do manage to prepay a good chunk of our taxes since husband is, technically, self employed, when he does work. And I pay for some of my disabled sister's expenses every month. That can be $100-200/month. So I'm not totally irresponsible, I guess, lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
I am determined to find some other way of making some extra cash. It would be great to find something that I could do from home as I'm in all afternoon as I do an early shift.

It seems like you should be able to make money using your cooking skills. :)

What about dog walking if you are taking your dog out anyway? Have you got any spare stuff to sell on ebay? I have read that some people get stuff people are giving away for free (freecycle) and then resell the things on ebay or Amazon etc...
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
Too much impulse buying I suppose. I'm always looking for something to make things easier...whether it's for meal time, house cleaning/organizing, the kitties...I'm too stressed and tired so I look for the easy way out. If the money is there (husband works intermittently), I spend it. I should be making a budget and sticking to it, even on the weeks where he's bringing in some income. I guess that's how I see it, anyway.

I do manage to prepay a good chunk of our taxes since husband is, technically, self employed, when he does work. And I pay for some of my disabled sister's expenses every month. That can be $100-200/month. So I'm not totally irresponsible, I guess, lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I wasn't implying that you were irresponsable. You only live once so it's more of trying to balance being savvy and making the most of your money.;)

To my mind, being irresponsable is spending money that you don't have. Many people have huge credit card debts. I couldn't live like this and I would get stressed out.

I also like to treat myself to holidays and have nice things for my home. However, I really need to budget my income and make the most of what I have.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
It seems like you should be able to make money using your cooking skills. :)

What about dog walking if you are taking your dog out anyway? Have you got any spare stuff to sell on ebay? I have read that some people get stuff people are giving away for free (freecycle) and then resell the things on ebay or Amazon etc...

It's strange that you mention dog walking as that is what I was planning to do. I'm going to put up a few ads in the local shops.
I don't have much stuff to sell. Just a few books.

Concerning cooking skills, I would have a hard time finding a job over here. Most people just buy ready made meals and are extreme omnis. Furthermore, as a Brit, they would assume that my cooking is bad. I also need to find a job that I could do from home as I already work a 5 hour shift and don't want to overdo it.

How about being a meal planner ? Does that exist ?:D
 
  • Like
Reactions: PTree15
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
I have another 36 payments towards my mortgage. There is no point of paying it off in one lump sum as it is 0 % interest.

I was half asleep when I posted earlier so I just realised what you said. Wow, that's really good. I'm jealous.:p Our mortgage is due to be paid off in 2025, haha. We have cut three years off the 25 year term with some overpayments, but it's still going to be there for ages.
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
I was half asleep when I posted earlier so I just realised what you said. Wow, that's really good. I'm jealous.:p Our mortgage is due to be paid off in 2025, haha. We have cut three years off the 25 year term with some overpayments, but it's still going to be there for ages.

Don't be jealous ! I'm much older than you will have less time to make the most of my home. My last one will be a paper mach box !!!:D
 

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
As I have previously stated, it's always a good idea to view the monthly/weekly expenses. I have just checked my monthly grocery debit card transactions and it looks like I am overspending at Lidl's.
They are very crafty and do special offers on set dates. I always go in on those dates to buy cheap vegetables and fruit. However, I have also been tempted to pick up other items.

I have decided to only go in twice a week and stock up on vegetables and fruit.
 

silva

Forum Legend
Supporter
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
11,899
Location
USA
You may not find a job as chef, but your cooking skills are some of the best i've read, whether from cookbooks or blogs. Do you even have a blog? Appartently theres some compensation for having ads on them, although I don't know anything first hand. You could try self publishing a cookbook. I know people who have gone through amazon and one called lulu.com that get some return
It would futile to give you my advice as Europes living is so different. I'm pretty naturally frugal. Save anything reusable, never eat out, rarely buy convience products. When I do buy a convience product i look for a reuse, like can I use the container for something else?
 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

shyvas

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
29,725
Location
Somewhere in the South
Lifestyle
  1. Other
You may not find a job as chef, but your cooking skills are some of the best i've read, whether from cookbooks or blogs. Do you even have a blog? Appartently theres some compensation for having ads on them, although I don't know anything first hand. You could try self publishing a cookbook. I know people who have gone through amazon and one called lulu.com that get some return
It would futile to give you my advice as Europes living is so different. I'm pretty naturally frugal. Save anything reusable, never eat out, rarely buy convience products. When I do buy a convience product i look for a reuse, like can I use the container for something else?

You're too kind. :smitten: I certainly know how to cook and make up recipes but don't have the time or incentive to blog. I'm not keen on writing. Who would have thought so as I was a very good essay writer when I was at school.

I really
would have liked to be a personnel chef and have 2 or 3 clients. I don't want to deal with any more stress at this point. My current job is tiring and stressful but I only have a few years (if lucky) before I retire.

You are right, life is so different in Europe compared to North America. Even more so over here in France. Everything is so
conservative and they don't like anything new. If I were to cook for locals it would mean having to prepare meat and this does not appeal to me.
There is definitely more money in the US and it looks like people earn higher salaries. We have to subsidise all the welfare over here and have high taxes. I had to have 2 jobs and scrape to be able to buy my own property.:p

I also never eat out when I'm over here, never buy convenience food. I find that I still spend far too much.

I certainly need to investigate the food idea in more detail……….
 

Poppy

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Reaction score
7,814
Location
RVA, USA
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Great thread, folks. I need to budget more than I do and I'm looking at that You Need a Budget site. If any of you use it, I'd love to know your opinion. Basically we'd like to save more - a lot more - than we currently do for retirement. It's funny, neither one of us are big spenders on little stuff, but we eat out A LOT and our annual vacation when Kelly goes to camp is usually quite nice. (And Kelly's camp is expensive - $3000/yr).

Still, retirement is a worry. I have't worked in 20 years (other than to sell a painting here and there), so it's all been on hubster to get us there. We got a 30 year mortgage on the house we bought 3 years ago, but we're scheduled to pay it off in 9 years when DH is 65 and he wants to stop working the kind of job he has now, which is in software sales. He travels a lot and it gets old.

It's just so hard to know what we'll need. As most of you know, both DH and Kelly have chronic health problems. We'd love to get Kelly securely off into a group home, but to do it ourselves is cost prohibitive ($70 k/yr), so we continue to wait for her turn on the government waiting list (Virginia is horrible. We keep getting pushed back because we aren't abusing her or threatening to make her homeless. :( And I know there are people in serious trouble out there, but Kelly's been on the URGENT waiting list since 2000 when her father was diagnosed with cancer).

Neither one of us is likely to inherit anything substantial. DH's parents are gone, and his one wealthy, bachelor uncle has a lot of nieces and nephews. My parents are financial stable, but also very healthy for their ages, and probably have long-life genes. I'm sure they'll use their savings - and that's what it's for! I'm just glad it won't be likely that either one will have to live with me. :)

So yeah, I'll be interested to see what this discussion brings.
 
M

Moll Flanders

Guest
Great thread, folks. I need to budget more than I do and I'm looking at that You Need a Budget site. If any of you use it, I'd love to know your opinion. Basically we'd like to save more - a lot more - than we currently do for retirement. It's funny, neither one of us are big spenders on little stuff, but we eat out A LOT and our annual vacation when Kelly goes to camp is usually quite nice. (And Kelly's camp is expensive - $3000/yr).

Still, retirement is a worry. I have't worked in 20 years (other than to sell a painting here and there), so it's all been on hubster to get us there. We got a 30 year mortgage on the house we bought 3 years ago, but we're scheduled to pay it off in 9 years when DH is 65 and he wants to stop working the kind of job he has now, which is in software sales. He travels a lot and it gets old.

I haven't used YNAB myself, but I have heard really good things about it. I went old school and just started writing down every expense with pen and paper at first and then tried to reduce what I could.

This thread is actually a helpful reminder to me as my grocery budget has crept up over the past year. We were saving up to move house and when we didn't our savings rate dropped.:rolleyes:

These are some good early retirement blogs and I regularly read a few of them. The Best Early Retirement Blogs They obviously focus on ER but the advice can apply to retirement generally.:)

It was actually a thread on this forum that gave me the idea about retiring early. I had it in my mind as something to focus on one day and then my husband got cancer and I started taking it very seriously. The rule for the number you need is 4% or 25 x your expenses.

US - Meet Mr. Money Mustache, who retired at 30. | Vegetarian and Vegan Forums @ Veggie Views
 

Wolfie

Forum Legend
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Reaction score
497
Too much impulse buying I suppose. I'm always looking for something to make things easier...whether it's for meal time, house cleaning/organizing, the kitties...I'm too stressed and tired so I look for the easy way out.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Same here. I tell myself I am going to cook from scratch, clean the old-fashioned way, etc. But it always seems I have more things to do in a day than I have time, so I end up buying convenience items (mostly food and cleaning stuff).
 
  • Like
Reactions: KLS52

beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Reaction score
2,512
Location
In the Church of the Poisoned Mind
1. First and foremost you need to see if you can afford your basic living expenses. Do this by calculating your annual after tax earnings (your net pay). If you get a regular paycheck, it's simply a matter of multiplying the net pay amount by the number of paychecks received in a year (usually 26 for people paid bi weekly, for example). If you work on commission or have sporatic hours, then just use the the income you earned last year.

2. Next calculate the annual cost of predictable monthly expenses, such as mortgage/rent, car payment, insurance, cell phone, student loans, etc. Simply take one bill and multiply by 12.

3. Then calculate the annual cost of expenses that are regular weekly/monthly but vary a little such as electricity and other utilities, gas for the car, groceries, etc. Do not include optional/unnecessary/entertainment expenses in this step. The point of the first 3 steps is to see if you have any money left over after paying for necessary items. If your having trouble figuring out an average weekly or monthly number, just use last years totals.

4. Then calculate your net savings from these standard items (income minus expenses)**.

5. If the result is a positive number then determine the cost of all the infrequent/optional spending. Examples of these type of items: dining out, fancy coffee, entertainment, vacations, etc.(anything, you really don't need). Then subtract these expenses from the savings calculated above. Hopefully it is a positive number as well.

**If the result of this calculation is negative, then don't bother with step 5. Try to figure out if you can live without any of those expenses.

If not, you may want to try debt consolidation, renegotiating loans, or bankruptcy.
 
Last edited: