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Friday, January 17, 2014

Some Practical Steps We Took Toward Budgeting: Part 2

One of the things Dani and I have found helpful is to differentiate our Monthly Expenses from our periodic expenses, or what we call "Rollover Expenses." Understanding the difference has helped us budget more wisely for some of those bills that come up as regularly as every four or six months, or even every couple of years.

For example: Our town is weird when it comes to sending out its water bill. In fact, we're still not sure what the schedule is, but we know roughly how much it will be, so we've been preparing for that all year by setting aside a little money every month. By the time the bill comes we would have set aside enough money to cover it.

Here's an itemized breakdown of most of the things we budget for:

Health/Personal products
ID theft
Pocket money
Home needs/Repairs
Heating oil/Firewood
Car repairs/tires
Auto insurance
Car replacement

Dani and I have decided to cut out things like entertainment and restaurants for the time being, but back when we were budgeting for those things we put them under Monthly Expenses. If, at the end of the month, all the money in the entertainment budget hadn't been used we added it to whatever bill we were attacking the hardest that month. This helped us substantially with our "debt snowball."

Here's a great video from to help beginning budgeters prioritize their spending.

No matter how you chose to go about budgeting: just do it! It's like the old saying goes, "Idle hands are the devil's playground." The same could be said for money—idle money that hasn't been dedicated to a line item on your budget is money just waiting to be spent on some frivolous thing. So give your money a plan. You'll find that the more you tell your money what to do the more of it you'll end up with.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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