“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ten Day Countdown

This week I entered our budget on my computer program's spreadsheet (Microsoft Works Monthly Home Budget).  This has proven a much better option to pen and paper as I can do a little fudging with the numbers much easier than erasing and correcting the paper version.  Also, at the beginning of the month I can enter a minimum (fixed) salary amount ... and in the next column enter the actual salary after payday.  This is very helpful for people that have fluctuation in their monthly pay.  I set the budget on the minimum fixed amount so I know the least amount of money to budget.  It's a blessing when I can go back later and enter the actual salary and fatten up some of the categories if we get more income.

We're in the final stretch of April.  I have exactly $50 grocery money to last to the end of the month.  I think this is doable!  This means our family of four (often 5 & 6 from son and grandson) survived on $370 worth of whole food groceries ... a family record!  Do you keep track of spendingIt's amazing how much more aware you become when you have a budget worksheet to keep you on track.

picture image from here

11 comments:

Maria Stahl said...

I use Quickbooks, but so far have not used the budgeting function, and probably should. It is still helpful to be able to know exactly what amount we spent on groceries, that's for sure.

Good thing April is a short month, huh? :)

wv: unotal. When you can't get your spreadsheet to run you a total.

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I don't write down everything I actually spend but I do have a budget that I usually am able to follow pretty closely.

Morgan said...

I'm sure that you can do it on $50 as you are thrifty and make good plans. Good luck!

Ed and Tonya said...

That's funny that you wrote about making a budget. I just talked to Greg yesterday about helping him with his and he has started step 1..tracking his expenses in a little notebook that he can carry with him everywhere. Then, we will head to Step 2. Budgeting must be in the air this Spring.

Mr. H. said...

I love the budget, we always do a mental one and it does make a big difference. It really becomes second nature after a while, but one does have be stick with it as it is very easy to slide back into the abyss of spending too much for things we do not really need.

My motto, is to "stay home and spend less." :)

Mrs. Mac said...

Funny Mr. H .."Stay home and spend less" ;0) I stay home because I have less to spend;)

Tonya & Ed ... I think your son and my daughter have been collaborating ... makes for a good couple, eh?? when they are on the same financial page.

Morgan ... got my list .. checking it twice;)

Yes ... Maria .. good thing April is a short month.

Cindy ... writing things down is a good way to keep the family on board with the plan. Mine are all concrete learners!

The Younger Rachael said...

I use a computer based spreadsheet, but I tend to enter recipts at the end of the month... I can be quite lazy sometimes! I do pretty good at staying in the budget anyways. I do plan for my food budget, especially, to fluctuate drastically month to month. Say this month chicken is on sale, and I buy enough for a months worth of chicken dishes. My food budget will be HUGE that month, but the next several months will be low, 'cause I won't need to buy chicken. thus, my spreadsheet is also set up to give me the monthly average; I aim to have the 3 or 4 month average to be within budget. Anyhoo, my two cents!

It's me ...Mavis said...

I am a BIG FAN of budgets! Hey... I found a way for you to get free toilet paper. Next time you are at the grocery store look and see if they carry a brand called Marcel. It's a yellow package. You are looking for the 4pk or single roll. Let me know if you find it and I will send you a boatload of coupons. Apparently this is the toilet paper all the coupons ladies get for free... I can't find it in my area... maybe they sell it where you live. Let me know!

Star said...

Yes, I keep track, on Quicken. It makes you realise where exactly the money is going and it helps you to be more frugal.
Incidentally, I got some different flour and made a successful loaf, which L and I have been enjoying all week. Thank you for your advice.
Blessings, Star

MAYBELLINE said...

No budget.
Pay cash.

Mrs. Mac said...

Mavis ... I'll check the TP brands next week ... thanks for the generous coupon offer (really:)

Star .. I'm glad you had success with the new flour

Mabelline ... nothing speaks like good hard cash for keeping track of spending ... it's so hard to part with;)