Monday, January 14, 2013

Budget Geek

Back in the day, when I was single, I remember when I was thrilled to have $100 in my checking account. I thought I was sitting pretty. I also had money in savings, but not a lot. When a paycheck came in it was like I was rich and flush with cash.

How silly, single lady.

Thankfully, I was blessed to marry a man who is a budget hound planner and insisted that creating a monthly budget was do-able. I hadn't a clue where to begin or how to follow every.single.dollar. I spent. 

Over eleven years later, we still follow a monthly budget and I take care of a large portion of it. Budgeting has become our way of life and I know/record most every dollar coming in and going out of our house.

I recently ran into an acquaintance and mentioned the economy and how it's hard to keep a budget. She chuckled and said, 'oh, we haven't budgeted since sometime back when we just had one child.' I thought about that later and even contemplated how easy it would be just to buy things and not jot down every dollar. I'm not talking frittering away money, just not worrying about it as much. A conversation with hubby about it made me rethink the idea.

Living with a family on one income can be tough and I think budgeting has kept things in focus over the years to keep tabs on our money.

Does it mean that we NEVER overspend or put less than the desired amount in our savings account? Not at all. Things happen. Life happens. But when those things do happen, our budget sheet reflects that and we see the depletion or loss.

While we've always stuck to pencil and paper, we've thought about making changes and going electronic. We just never have moved forward.

Well, well, my friends, I've got to say that I just found a budgeting app that even makes budgeting seem fun.

A quick search online for best budgeting apps, a hop on my tablet to the Andriod app store and presto:

MoneyWise is very user friendly and fits our personal budgeting needs perfectly. We gave Mint a try, but found that we couldn't personalize it as much as we wanted. We weren't able to itemize and write specific budget categories the same way we had for years on the old paper. 

I started exploring MoneyWise free version and then we took the leap up to the Pro version ($7) of the app to be able to add more functionality that fit for us.

Thus far, giddy with geekiness. 


  1. I need to check it out - I keep thinking I should post our budget and debt payment schedule, but then chicken out because I don't want people to see my finances. Maybe I should just use fake numbers? It's such a simple Excel sheet that people would be like, duh, we all can do that.

    1. I forgot you had that. I remember "back when". I am ashamed to say that I dont' even know how to set up an excel spread sheet. Wanna come over and help?

  2. I need some serious help with actually keeping a budget. I know! Cheapo lady here and no actual budget! We get paid once a month and I spend until there's "some" left, and then that "some" goes into savings. Isn't that insane? Anyway, do you do a "zero base" Dave Ramsey style, or....? Help!

    1. Hey Dweej! My hubby gets paid every two weeks and our budget follows his paycheck to the cent. Yes, we are the zero base type. We don't do Dave Ramsey as our debt is essentially our mortgage and one car payment (only about 6 mo left on that. woot!).

      Our budget has about 19 categories, including Savings. We alot the money in all the categories where bills and payments take place. This goes all the way down to our netflix subscription, internet/phone/cell, electric, heat, car payment, gas for our vehicles, charitable giving, etc, etc. We also include putting aside the money monthly to allow for our twice yearly real estate taxes that are due, our LP fuel bill (even though it's mainly filled in winter), kids' lessons (music and otherwise), etc. Even my money I put in monthly in an IRA since I don't currently work. We leave the rest to get dumped into savings. Ideally, we don't dip into that, but there are months when we have to a bit due to unforseen things or when the misc budgeted amount took a plunge for one reason or another.

      Does this help? Let me know if you need more. We're not experts, but we are living on one income and try to keep on making it work. I'm not sure if I am worthy enough to write a whole post on how we budget, but maybe if there was more inquiry?? We'll see.


You're so kind for dropping me a line!

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