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fidgiegirl
10-7-11, 7:04pm
It seems that on the old boards we used to have budget threads where people would bare all and then get feedback from the community? I am interested in starting such a thread but didn't want to go there if I was remembering wrong. Did people used to put just their spending, or their income, too? Am I kukoo?

herbgeek
10-7-11, 7:39pm
I only remember them in the context of someone new coming on and saying they couldn't make ends meet, so someone would ask them to post their budget and we'd all give our ideas at what they could save money on.

lhamo
10-7-11, 8:27pm
I loved the "help me with my budget" posts -- as herbgeek says, it was often new posters, but I don't see why you can't post if you feel comfortable with it. Bring it on, fidgiegirl!

lhamo

treehugger
10-7-11, 8:28pm
I don't remember seeing it here (but that doesn't mean it didn't happen). Posters at Frugal Village do that frequently; do you read there?

That said, even if it hasn't been done here, there's no reason not to, if you want to. There are a lot of smart helpful people here. :)

Kara

cx3
10-7-11, 10:14pm
Yes,over the years on the old boards we had threads where people would post their budgets.Some of these would turn out to be exciting threads.

RosieTR
10-8-11, 3:41am
I remember that too. Especially since I was always amazed at how little people managed to spend on food!

daisy
10-8-11, 1:05pm
I always liked those budget threads, too. They always helped me find little ways here and there to save.

Spartana
10-12-11, 2:14pm
Yep, we use to have budget threads all the time. They were great! I, being one of the people who lived on a small amount of money, found that it was helpful to others to not only post how much you spent for something, but why. For instance just saying that my electric bill was $10/month last month (it was) didn't give anyone an idea of WHY it was that inexpensive. So I would put the number of watts I used that moth (around 60) and why it was so low. I found that to be more realistic then just posting a dollar figure.

jennipurrr
10-12-11, 4:49pm
I remember that too. Especially since I was always amazed at how little people managed to spend on food!

Me too...sorely need inspiration in that area!

Bastelmutti
10-12-11, 5:58pm
Yes, we sure did. I liked those threads, too. Very useful.

treehugger
10-12-11, 8:53pm
Hmm, everyone wants them to come back. So, someone needs to jump in and post their budget! :) Um, yeah, not me.

Kara

heydude
10-13-11, 3:02am
i would like imput on my budget, etc. but to post it, well, it would be like posting a picture of me naked.

Rosemary
10-13-11, 7:41am
Perhaps posting a budget in percentages rather than dollars would cause less of that "naked" feeling.

iris lily
10-13-11, 9:52am
My red wine bills is approaching $100 a month. Now, that is a freekin' lot of money. I will be strategizing how to get that down. That is our entire alcohol bill, only red wine is drunk here, and only by me. Some of that includes a bottle or two going out the door to parties.

I'm not being smart *ss here, I really do need to trim this down. :(

Bastelmutti
10-13-11, 10:38am
I hear ya! That's only about 2 bottles per week - not excessive at all (by our standards, anyway!) I don't know where you buy, but I did just discover that Costco here sells a wine for $6.99 that is $11.99 at Whole Foods. Some places also give 6-bottle or case discounts, but that means drinking a whole lot of one wine for a while. Takes a little of the fun out of it.

Spartana
10-13-11, 12:24pm
My red wine bills is approaching $100 a month. Now, that is a freekin' lot of money. I will be strategizing how to get that down. That is our entire alcohol bill, only red wine is drunk here, and only by me. Some of that includes a bottle or two going out the door to parties.

I'm not being smart *ss here, I really do need to trim this down. :(


"Two Buck Chuck" from Trader Joes. You could drink a whole bottle a day and still be under $100/month. Of course the hospital bills to pay for your liver transplant might add a bit to that amount :-)! Also check out BevMo as I hear they give great multi-bottle discounts.

Spartana
10-13-11, 12:29pm
i would like imput on my budget, etc. but to post it, well, it would be like posting a picture of me naked.

Well since we don't really know who you are (are you, in reality, Batman?) then get naked and post your budget. As a voyuer, I'm always curious about other peoples...er... budgets ;-)!

treehugger
10-13-11, 1:40pm
My red wine bills is approaching $100 a month. Now, that is a freekin' lot of money. I will be strategizing how to get that down. That is our entire alcohol bill, only red wine is drunk here, and only by me. Some of that includes a bottle or two going out the door to parties.

I'm not being smart *ss here, I really do need to trim this down. :(

Well, do you feel you need to trim down the money spent per month or the amount of red wine drunk per month? Or both? Those are different issues.

Kara

ljevtich
10-21-11, 12:02pm
Just wondering where should we put these budgets? Should it be in personal finance or some other place? I for one think it is a great idea!

And two buck chuck is usually ~ $4 or you could go the boxed wine route. I used to be such the connoisseur with wine, and then found Oak Leaf (at Walmart) for $3 a bottle. They also had 3L for $7.77! It is good drinking wine, whites and reds. And for us, in a RV, a perfect way to go, as it fits in the door of the refrigerator and you can store it nicely.

reader99
10-21-11, 4:14pm
Batman's 2011 Naked Monthly Budget:

Property tax $58.08
Condo fee 255
Groceries 287 [this average will go down, as I have started getting foodstamps]
Cell 28 [this will go down to $5 in Nov when I switch to teh subsidized cell service]
Church 34 [this was earlier in the year, not giving any more]
Childfund 30 [my late husband's sponsor child. He had three and I've gradually reduced]
Car repair average 124 [my car sucks, but the cost of used cars right now is insane]
Gasoline 65
Car registration/license 8.80
Medical average 143 [no health insurance]
Meditation/Yoga 61
Misc 60
Eat out 35
Cash 8.8
Taxes and penalties IRA 258

Total 1497.57

I track everything very carefully because I'm an unemployed widow and am living on premature withdrawals from my IRAS and want to withdraw as little as possible.

ljevtich
10-21-11, 5:42pm
What are your Misc and cash categories? Because they both probably should be put into the other categories that you have. The Misc seems high, is this mostly your fun stuff that you do? Books or newspapers or something else?

By Medical and car repair averages are these since January 2011? So the averages will go down. If your Medical average is $143, is there no way that you could get insurance for that amount? DH and I both spend ~ $102 a month for extreme catastrophic insurance, so you are averaging higher than our monthly payments!

I think you are doing a good job with your budget, $1500 a month would mean 18,000 a year.

The highest parts are stuff you probably can not do too much about: Taxes/penalties - obviously this was from before, and you can only do so much about them. You might try getting the property tax down a little, doing a re-assessment of the place, and the condo fees are high, but that might not be able to change.
Good Luck,

Maxamillion
10-21-11, 7:37pm
I'll bite...
Rent...$95
Electric...$60 (average)
Water...$30
Gasoline...$100
Internet...$38
Cellphone...$22
Food...$177
Debts...$50 (student loan)
Medical...$30
Vehicle...$65 (I averaged the yearly total out over 12 months;car is paid for, this covers repairs, maintenance, tags, and inspection)
Car Insurance...$35
Pets...$20
Crafts...$20 (I sell the occasional craft so this category ends up paying for itself)
Household...$15
Entertainment...$20
Savings...$10
Misc...$15 (gifts, garden, etc.)

That's a total of $802/month. My income is usually less than that. The entertainment, debt, savings, and misc categories frequently end up suffering a reduction. Followed by medical and food if it's an especially hard month (car repairs, family crisis, etc). I try supplementing the food category by gardening but the garden didn't do well at all this year.

EarthSky
10-21-11, 10:34pm
Maxamillion - Can you share how your rent is so very low? That is Amazing!

Maxamillion
10-22-11, 2:17am
I live in a low-income housing project. So my rent is based on my income. I desperately want to own my own place but don't know when/if I'll ever have the money.

reader99
10-22-11, 2:12pm
What are your Misc and cash categories? Because they both probably should be put into the other categories that you have. The Misc seems high, is this mostly your fun stuff that you do? Books or newspapers or something else?

By Medical and car repair averages are these since January 2011? So the averages will go down. If your Medical average is $143, is there no way that you could get insurance for that amount? DH and I both spend ~ $102 a month for extreme catastrophic insurance, so you are averaging higher than our monthly payments!

I think you are doing a good job with your budget, $1500 a month would mean 18,000 a year.

The highest parts are stuff you probably can not do too much about: Taxes/penalties - obviously this was from before, and you can only do so much about them. You might try getting the property tax down a little, doing a re-assessment of the place, and the condo fees are high, but that might not be able to change.
Good Luck,

Extreme catastrophic insurance that I looked at has a very high deductible, $5,000, thus it does not cover doctor visits and medication until that much is spent in a year and in 10 months I've spent $1,431, it is for extreme catastrophes. If I bot such insurance, it would be on top of my actual medical expenses. The average in medical and car repair will only go down if neither my car nor my body requires servicing in the last two months of the year. Could happen.

Misc includes replacing my sheets that wore out, replacing the sewing machine that broke, replacing the kitchen sink faucet in preparation for selling the condo, buying a microwave to make the condo more sellable (they usually sell furnished - condotel) a pair of shoes, a housedress. Not really any fun stuff. I could have Household and Clothing categories, but when I was setting it up it seemed they would be pretty small as separate units. I get my books from the library and information online.

The premature withdrawal from IRA penalties happen every time I draw from my IRA, in effect costing me 10% of my income. It's income taxable, so amounts over the $9,400 combination of standard deduction and personal exemption are taxed in addition to the 10%.

The property tax has dropped dramatically, in tandem with property values. I was surprised I didn't have to request reassessment, they just did it, maybe because other units in the building have sold and they use that information as a basis to change everyone's assessment. Down from $2,000 a year in 2005.

The condo fee includes water sewer and garbage, electric, television, property insurance on the building, maintenance on the building. The condo complex I may possibly move to has a condo fee of $200, but one pays one's own electricity, so it may be about the same, or a little more in August (hot in Florida).

I notice I left out car insurance at $22.50 a month. A monthly buspass would cost me $40 a month, barely a third of what it costs to run my car, but the prospect of standing out in the brutal heat and pouring rain, and dearth of service evenings and weekends makes me cling to the car.

Aqua Blue
10-22-11, 5:39pm
reader99, isn't there a way around that penalty? It seems like if you are (?) in your 50's you can do some sort of equal payment where you avoid the penalty. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that was true. It might be worth checking with a CPA to see. When your on a limited income(and even when you are not) 10% is a lot of money.

Otherwise, your budget puts me to shame. Mine is about $1500/mo and I often feel like that doesn't go very far! My $5k deductible health insurance , with five riders I might add, costs $310/mo.

ljevtich
10-23-11, 12:19pm
Misc includes replacing my sheets that wore out, replacing the sewing machine that broke, replacing the kitchen sink faucet in preparation for selling the condo, buying a microwave to make the condo more sellable (they usually sell furnished - condotel) a pair of shoes, a housedress. Not really any fun stuff. I could have Household and Clothing categories, but when I was setting it up it seemed they would be pretty small as separate units. I get my books from the library and information online.
...
The condo fee includes water sewer and garbage, electric, television, property insurance on the building, maintenance on the building. The condo complex I may possibly move to has a condo fee of $200, but one pays one's own electricity, so it may be about the same, or a little more in August (hot in Florida).


These could go in the same place. Making a household category would make it easier for you, as you can see where you are spending money for your house. Even though these are small amounts it still shows were you money is going. We don't buy very much in clothing either, but I have it separated as DH, Mine, and All - I don't know why All, will have to go back to see why :)


The property tax has dropped dramatically, in tandem with property values. I was surprised I didn't have to request reassessment, they just did it, maybe because other units in the building have sold and they use that information as a basis to change everyone's assessment. Down from $2,000 a year in 2005.
Nice!

reader99
10-27-11, 1:45pm
reader99, isn't there a way around that penalty? It seems like if you are (?) in your 50's you can do some sort of equal payment where you avoid the penalty. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought that was true. It might be worth checking with a CPA to see. When your on a limited income(and even when you are not) 10% is a lot of money.

Otherwise, your budget puts me to shame. Mine is about $1500/mo and I often feel like that doesn't go very far! My $5k deductible health insurance , with five riders I might add, costs $310/mo.

If one takes premature w/d as "substantially equal periodic payments" there's no penalty. BUT, doing that means drawing it out over the course of what the IRS presumes will be my lifetime, so the monthly amount would be maybe $100. To take out enough to actually live on will drain the account in 2 to 3 years. Stretching it til I;m 80+ makes the payouts too small.
There is also provision for penalty free withdrawal for education costs and to purchase a first home, neither applicable to me.

Spartana
10-27-11, 3:14pm
If one takes premature w/d as "substantially equal periodic payments" there's no penalty. BUT, doing that means drawing it out over the course of what the IRS presumes will be my lifetime, so the monthly amount would be maybe $100. To take out enough to actually live on will drain the account in 2 to 3 years. Stretching it til I;m 80+ makes the payouts too small.
There is also provision for penalty free withdrawal for education costs and to purchase a first home, neither applicable to me.

I also heard recently that the Obama admin is proposing a way that people can withdraw their IRA's = maybe 401Ks and 457's too - penalty free. It might only be for people who are facing extreme financial hardship (i.e. no job, out of unemployment benefits, about to lose the house, etc...). So that might be something that people can use soon. You'll still have to pay taxes on the money withdrawn though but if you only withdraw the amount that is just below the taxable amount (that amount will vary depending on your situation - about $9000 Fed for a single person under 65 with no dependants) then you won't owe taxes either.

sidebar: When you guys talk about "your budget" are you talking about the amount of money you spend or the amount of money you plan to spend and then try to make the effort to keep within that budget? It seems most here are talking about the actual amount you spend rather then the actual amount you budget for - can be a big difference between the 2. For exampl, I take out X amount of dollars each month to cover food, gas for the car, etc.. Sometimes I spend less then that amount but don't allow myself to ever spend more because I won't go outside my budgeted amount except for an emergency. I did the same thing in my working years - X amount for house payment, X amount for utilities, x amount to live on, X amount into savings etc... I very strenously adhered to that budget. So is your budget what you spend or what you want to spend?

fidgiegirl
10-27-11, 7:29pm
I mean actual spending. In the spirit of YMOYL, I never do a "budget" in the sense of planning my spending. I used to at one time when my cash situation was tougher. But it never worked - the 3 questions of YMOYL did for reducing my spending.

Aqua Blue
10-27-11, 8:19pm
Bummer Reader99 For some reason I thought it was that you had to decide what you wanted to withdraw for the years until you were 59.5. So say you had 5 years, and you figured you needed 20k per year, you had to commit to that, but then when you turned 59.5 you could revert back to what everyone else can do. Boy, was I in lala land about that one!

Mine is actual too, it is actually actual from the past year and then divided by 12 to get the monthly. I do have money for emergencies, but it would have to be a real emergency like the furnace going out in the middle of winter. This year all of the emergencies(car worked on, small plumbing issue) have been within my monthly 1500. Some monthes were a couple hundred over but other monthes were a couple of hundred under.

ljevtich
11-4-11, 3:06am
On my website we show actual expenses. We do not use a budget as we have gone through the steps of YMOYL too. I do discuss what we might not want to pay, but of course we do. But we are also are FI, so I do not feel too bad about our expenses.

Aqua Blue, are those expenses just for you or a family? Thanks!

Aqua Blue
11-4-11, 11:10am
It's just me and a small terrier:D. My house is paid for. I have no outstanding bills.

Property taxes and Healthcare are by far my biggest expenses, roughly $600/mo (for both).

I could go a lower if needed, but at this point I am comfortable with that. One area I spend more than I would have to is eating out, but it is my social thing too.