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Old 07-29-2011, 02:59 PM
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Default What should I do after bills are paid?

I have used the budget calculator, and my budget is pretty simple. We do not have any debts, just a car payment of 150.00, and a credit car that we pay off each month and use it for gas. After bills are paid, we should have about 800 dollars for food and extra stuff.
How much should I be spending on food? I try to use a coupon for every item I buy, and I usually end up saving 50% at the grocery store or more. How can we save up $$$, buy groceries and have money for fun stuff?
Any ideas? What would you do?

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Old 07-29-2011, 03:43 PM
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How much money you need for groceries totally depends on your situation. How many people are you feeding? Do you eat organic? Etc....

With that in mind I would monitor how much you spend each week. After a few weeks of keeping track, do an average. Say its $100 per week. The next week try to only spend $85 (or some amount under that average). After a week or so of doing that, lower it some more. Eventually you will see that you dont need quite as much as you were spending, that you just need to be willing to give up something here and there to keep it within budget. Do the same thing for entertainment. Try to find coupons and discounts for the things you like to do. If you find that you are doing things 3 to 4 times a week, cut back one thing a week. Before you know it, you will have free'd up some money!! Depending on how bad you want to save, keep doing this until it gets to the very minimum you can do!! Hope that helps!

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Old 07-29-2011, 03:57 PM
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Well we have three people in our household. I think I will take up your advice on writing everything down. We like to eat out, but I think I want to limit that to once a week. I am trying to learn how to cook more healthfully, but my husband is a very picky eater and it is hard to please him with normal food! So that is why it is easier some days just to eat out. Everyone eats what they want and we are happy. But it costs so much!

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Old 07-29-2011, 04:05 PM
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Default What to do after bills are paid?

Do you have an emergency fund of at least 3 to 6 months worth of your monthly expenses? Pay your account every payday or monthly as if it were a bill and do not touch that money. My family has several extra accounts. We have an emergency fund, car repair fund, home improvement fund, vacation fund, etc. You can have whatever accounts you want, but definitely save. After you get your emergency fund set up, you should really think about setting up a retirement account or Roth IRA.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:07 PM
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Have everyone pitch in with ideas for meals etc. People don't always understand how much $ it cost's to eat out, and kids have a hard time wrapping there brains around money. But if you can put it into terms they can understand. Say no eating out for 2 weeks may add up to a weekend away. Cheap rooms can be had for 40 - 60 a night, and with restaurant.com you can still eat out on the weekend away. There are always coupons for attractions when you are away, and some of the best attractions are free or close to free. State parks, state historical sites, etc.

If nothing else and eating in is a hard thing to do for you also look into Restaurant.com to buy discounted meals for while you are home too.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:09 PM
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What should you do after the bills are paid?

Do you "pay yourself first" BEFORE the bills are paid.

The concept is simple, you pay into your savings before you pay anything else. The effect is the amount after that we'll adjust to as our income.

Sort of like how the taxes are taken out BEFORE you get your check.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrsandy View Post
Do you have an emergency fund of at least 3 to 6 months worth of your monthly expenses? Pay your account every payday or monthly as if it were a bill and do not touch that money. My family has several extra accounts. We have an emergency fund, car repair fund, home improvement fund, vacation fund, etc. You can have whatever accounts you want, but definitely save. After you get your emergency fund set up, you should really think about setting up a retirement account or Roth IRA.
Thankfully, my husband has a retirement fund, and he puts in 16% each month.
How much would be a responsible amount to put in an emergency account (out of our extra 800$)? We would still have to buy food, gas, ect...

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Old 07-29-2011, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keidrensmom View Post
Thankfully, my husband has a retirement fund, and he puts in 16% each month.
How much would be a responsible amount to put in an emergency account (out of our extra 800$)? We would still have to buy food, gas, ect...

How much do you typically spend on food, gas, etc..?

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Old 07-29-2011, 05:10 PM
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I would say about 20 dollars a week in gas, and probably 75 a week on food?

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Old 07-29-2011, 05:58 PM
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ur lookin for answers that only u, yourself can find..its ok for sugggestions/ideas but really YOUR the one who is gonna have to manually sit down,pick up pencil/pad of paper and figure out what YOUR needs versus wants are. Its tougher w/a husband who is a "finicky" eater which will lead to MORE problems with children mimicking daddy (my world that led to me saying "you arent hungry? Ok kitchen opens back up for breakfast in the morning See ya!): One piece of advice from an "older" woman(wife and mother too) u learn to do what our parents and their parents and their parents did before the brilliant concept of "fast food"," sit down restraunts"(let US take care of YOU concept, we wont mention what its gonna COST ya tho) did: it was "sit down and you WILL eat whats on ur plate or go to bed hungry" I followed the same guidelines and it does work. Personally anyone who is a finicky eater just hasnt gone to bed hungry enuff times in their life. That being said I do have a suggestion myself !! (smiles) continue eating out if u and ur SO choose to, BUT on the one night u decide to stay home and eat from ur kitchen,, take the money u would have spent and pop into a tin. After a couple of months u have now established a SMALL emergency fund now it becomes a game to see how much u can put back,, best of luck !!
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