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This is a re-post from a few years ago, but I know we're all working to reign in things with the new year beginning! I'm still reeling from the Christmas holidays (anyone else still playing catch up?) but am so ready to start working on more budgeting posts this year – be watching as we get started.
After sharing how thankful I am that we budget for car expenses, I received numerous requests for more information on exactly how we handle budgeting around here, so here's a quick overview of our monthly budget planning. We by no means have it all figured out, but this is what's worked for us for over fifteen years . . . maybe it will help you too.
We started years ago using the Financial Peace envelope system, however, at least for our family, keeping up with cash for every single item was just difficult to manage. So, here's how we've tweaked it to work for us:
- Every two weeks (on Friday), we withdraw cash for groceries, dining out, and entertainment
- Once a month, we have an automatic withdrawal taken out of our checking account and deposited into savings for other specific items (keep reading)
- When we need one of those specific items, we transfer money back into checking from savings to cover those expenses.
- Kids sports and extracurricular activities
- Christmas gifts (we start saving every January)
- Birthday gifts
- Car expenses
- Car replacement
- Life insurance
- Home Owners Association dues
- Real Estate Taxes
- Yard Maintenance
- Furniture Replacement (I don't think my husband puts much in this one, but I forced him to add it in the spreadsheet) 😉
- Dry Cleaning
- Hair Care
- School Supplies
- College Fund
- “Blow” money
If you're new to budgeting, here are several free budget spreadsheets you can use to get you started (I'm still working on how to make mine accessible online, so be watching for it in the next few weeks!)
- PPP Free Monthly Budget Spreadsheet
- Dave Ramsey Free Budgeting Forms
- Family Monthly Budget Planner
- Personal Budget Worksheet
- Several Free Budget Worksheets
I'd love to know how your family handles monthly budget expenses, and what other suggestions you have. Leave a comment to share!