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How do you manage your budget???

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#1 sezo

Posted 18 December 2007 - 12:34 PM

For those of you who have an "allocated amount" for certain things like food/clothing/bills/petrol etc....how do you manage that. Do you have seperate bank accounts for each expense or what???

I am trying to work out a budget and i want to make sure i don't spend more than i should for certain things but i am finding it hard to keep a track of everything and to ensure that i have enough money for future bills etc.

Your tips would be much appreciated.

#2 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:09 PM


Edited by hab, 05 February 2011 - 12:43 PM.

#3 Freckles

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:45 PM

I do everything with internet banking. I worked out my fortnightly costs for each bill, added a bit extra and pay that every fortnight. I never get bills where I actually owe money, they are all in credit.

For example, my monthly phone bill was around $75 to $85 when I worked it out (less than that now). I added a bit ($100) and halved it ($50) and now pay $50 every fortnight. At last count my phone bill was around $200 in credit.

Very occasionally I get an electricity bill where I owe money, but usually less than $100.

Also, with internet banking (certainly with my bank anyway) you can organise the payments to come out on a regular basis, so all you have to do it record the payment reciept numbers when they come through via email.

HTH. original.gif

#4 jaydee

Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:55 PM

We operate with several different bank accounts.  It works for me, as I can easily see how much money we really have. e.g. there might be $3000 sitting in an account, but in reality it is barely enough to cover the council rates, car registration, and kinder fees and professional registration fees that are all due in the next 6 weeks!    

There is one for groceries/food, one for "annual expenses" (e.g. rates, insurance, car registrations) and one for "variable expenses" (e.g. car servicing/maintenance, clothing and medical expenses).  We used to have a high interest savings account for long-term savings but now we pay extra into our mortgage instead.  

I pay our electricity fortnightly by Bpay.  Expenses such as childcare, health insurance, internet, phone, petrol are paid by creditcard, and I transfer money from DH's pay each fortnight to cover it.  The rest of the pay is divided up between the different accounts.  I also withdraw cash for spending money for DH and I, and for treats such as alcohol and going out for dinner or getting takeaway.  This is put in an envelope and accumulates until needed.


#5 KD7

Posted 18 December 2007 - 09:46 PM

We have all our money in the one account to save one bank fees and I have a spreadsheet that is divided into columns for: bills, groceries, fuel, savings, PHI, home loan, etc.

When we get paid the amount is distributed between the various columns (as per our budget) and every bit of spending is recorded. So say we spend $100 on groceries I would then deduct $100 from that column and at the bottom of the spreadsheet there is a total for each column so we know how much is remaining for that particular thing. It works really well especially now that dh is being paid monthly.

Buget-wise we save a set amount each week to cover all our bills for the year. Every bill we have is worked out as to how much each week we need to save. So that way we always have the money to pay our bills.

I also bpay $100 each month to pay the electrity and rates bills so that when they come they're not huge. Also, pay bills by the month where possible as that helps too.

Good luck with it original.gif

#6 Littlegreenfrog

Posted 24 December 2007 - 09:55 AM

We worked out our bills for the whole year and / that by 52 so each week I transfere $300 out of my pay into a ING account. (higher interest) the reast I have left over is for food and anything else.

My Dh pays the mortage and the money he has left over he spends on whatever he likes.

I think it's a great system for us, bills are covered. When they come in we just pay them. I rather put money into a high interest account and earn a bit more cash then pay the bills in advance.


#7 MelRaLi

Posted 30 December 2007 - 07:22 PM

i do my budget pretty much exactly the same as KD7 and it works perfectly for us.  the only difference I have is that we put EVERYTHING on the credit card to keep money in our bank account to offset the mortgage and pay the CC in full each month.  So when i take say 100 out of the groceries column i put it into the CC payment column where the payment comes out of at the end of the interest free period on the CC.

means we save around 150 every two months on the home loan.

#8 belindam

Posted 31 December 2007 - 07:47 AM

Another the same as KD7 - have all the money in 1 account which will fluctuate from about $1000 to $10-11000 depending on what I have to pay out.  At the beginning of each calendar year I work out how much our mortgage is per week, how much is childcare, I have another spreadsheet with ALL of our bills (ie gas, electricity, insurance, PHI)on it for year, then I divide that to come up with a weekly amt.  Then each pay I allocate our pays to all of the above, then whatever is left over is left over.  This means that I have 5 columns showing exactly what our balance is in the account.  They are petrol, bills, childcare, mortgage and other.  The other column is the only one if it has funds that we are allowed to spend.  I also draw out a fixed amount of cash each Wednesday - we each get $50 spending money for whatever we want, there is an amt for food and an amt for everything else and the theory is that when its gone its gone - no more money out of the bank!

I've been doing it for about 7 years like that and it works well - takes all the stress off because you know that you have enough put away for the mortgage and bills and not worry about them.

#9 sezo

Posted 31 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

Thanks for all the replies girls - you all sound so organised and have given me some great ideas on what to do. Maybe that will be my new year's resolution....work out a budget and stick to it!!!!

#10 Freckles

Posted 01 January 2008 - 03:30 PM

Hi guys,

I think this is a really useful thread. Lots of people have questions about managing their budget so I am going to pin this thread. Keep the great ideas coming. original.gif

Emma (Mod)

ETA: Whoops, accidentally closed this when I pinned it! blush.gif It's reopened now. original.gif

#11 shadon

Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:29 AM

We also use separate bank accounts for budgeting. I like it, it keeps all the money separate, keeps fees down as the money is spread over accounts with several different banks (5 in all) taking advantage of their fee free thresholds (where applicable) or their high interest rates. Plus if there is ever a run on a bank (like on Northern Rock in England last year) we won't lose all our savings  tongue.gif   :wink:

We are both paid fortnightly into a joint bank account and this is how our money is distributed every payday:

$1000 to Mortgage,

$450 to a "Bills" account: covers childcare fees, home phone, 2 x mobiles, land rates, electricity, water, home/contents ins, Foxtel, internet, DH's work Social Club fees, DH's gym membership fee. This is an everyday account with an EFTPOS card attached but we don't use the card and all bills are either direct debited or I use internet banking to pay them so this is basically a fee free account.

$250 to a "Transport" account: covers petrol, services, tyres, comprehensive insurances, rego, CTP, E-Way Tags, etc for 2 cars. This is an everyday account with an EFTPOS card attached. We get unlimited free EFTPOS transactions a month, unlimited free ATM withdrawals from the Bank's ATM, 5 free ATM withdrawals a month from Other ATMs and no other account keeping fees if we keep within the Other ATM limits.

$50 to an "Emergency Fund" account. This is to cover sudden expenses like big appliance replacement or car insurance excess in the event of an at fault accident. This is a high interest bearing online savings account.

$50+ to "Specialty Savings" account. Currently we are saving for a new computer. This is a high interest bearing online savings account.

$50+ to a "Holiday" account. This is a high interest bearing online savings account.

$400 to "Grocery" account. This is everyday account in my name only. It has an EFTPOS card attached.

The remainder of our pay stays in our joint account to pay for entertainment, presents, DH's lunches, incidentals, etc.

Additionally, $690 a month goes into a "School/Xmas" account. This is child support I receive for 2 children and covers their school expenses at a Catholic High School (fees, books, uniforms, camps, etc) and whatever is left in the account end of November goes towards Xmas. This is an online high interest savings account.

I am pretty hopeless at tracking expenses so the keeping all money in one account and separating/recording on a spreadsheet doesn't work for me (and yes I have tried it)  original.gif  This is what works best for us. original.gif

Edited by shadon, 03 January 2008 - 09:36 AM.

#12 ~ Cez ~

Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:02 PM

I'm glad I read this thread tonight!!

You've all just given me the motivation to get my 2008 budget set up!!

I am going to do as a PP and bpay fortnightly amounts off my bills including water and land rates. The amounts I've worked out off average monthly amounts divided by 2 (paid fornightly). I haven't included 4 monthly bills as they are already direct debited and there'll be enough left over out of either fortnight to cover that.

Now to just get it into action later this month!! (next cycle).

#13 mellyelliechloandzac

Posted 03 January 2008 - 09:43 PM

I have started reading in here again as i REALLY need to get my budgeting sorted as we are building a house this year and i NEED to be strong with my budget as the mortage we currently have is alot less then what it will be very soon..   ohmy.gif

What i find hard is its all good to be doing an excel spreadhseet like i had been doing but its so easy to go off track with it

it all works out fine on the paperwork but never in reality. I so struggle with getting it right. And i guess we have the sort of home loan where all our money staying in the account the better.

DH said i am no way having a credit card when we do have the other mortage.  i am thinking i will be handing it over very soon. i dont wanna blow it anymore i wanna be able to get it right and know i am safe.

i am liking the idea though of just putting that money budgeted for over to the bills straight away that way we cant 'accidently' use it thus making it worse when the bill comes in...

i think i need to do a lot of reading in managing money to get myself straightened out.

Edited by mellyelliechloandzac, 03 January 2008 - 09:44 PM.

#14 Supermum3

Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:12 PM

Hi All

Well with our budget..We have 3 different accounts one is my living account, one is more my pay and other one is for dh pay and bills.

I have internet banking and have everything come out evry Thursay and also pay a little more. I also transfer money to my living account and try and stick to it, when things are coming up I try and save money in my living account so I don't have to tounch any other account..My pay doesn't get tounch atm as I'm saving as I'm going o/s this year and dh account is where all the bills come out of, plus we save a little from there too.
We also have a ing direct account with money in to get a higher interst..

But I love the other ideas so I might be changing my way a little soon..

#15 bridgy16

Posted 13 February 2008 - 01:36 PM

hi there everyone.

i did the whole budget thing, but its gone out the window. my partner is hopeless with money, and wont let me take control of the money. he spends about $60 a week on smoko, and then complains we have no money. ive tried to get him to take his lunch from home, but he wont.

i have worked out a budget, and at the end of the week when everything is paid, we still have money spare.
i have shown this to him, but he wont change.


#16 *Foggy*

Posted 26 February 2008 - 03:13 PM

I use Quicken (software) to do our budget. I wub.gif it!

In less than a year, we have totally changed our financial position from dire to... desireable!  laughing2.gif The last few months we have been practising living on only 40% of our income to prepare for the event that we get a BFP (and begin living on one income).


#17 Delayfish

Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:37 PM

Bridgy16 - did you allow some 'pocket money' for your dh in your budget? My dh and I get a certain amount of 'pocket money' which we can spend on whatever we like each fortnight and we don't have to account for it.
So if dh wants to buy his lunch every day he can, but it's out of his money, and when it's gone, it's gone! But if he wants to take food from home to work, he can keep his spending money for other stuff.
Maybe you could try something like this with your dh?

If that doesn't work, maybe the money is not the problem? Sometimes when couples argue about money issues it can really be about other things, so make sure the money is the real issue before you waste too much energy fighting about it!
Good luck, hth original.gif

Edited by delayfish, 04 March 2008 - 12:43 PM.

#18 staceyleigh

Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:59 PM

I'm not sure if you know how to use an excel spreadsheet, but that's how I do my budget. I make columns for all my expenses for the week, and there are tools on the spreadsheet that can help you add up and delete from your paycheck that your family recieves on the weekly basis, so then you can estimate how much you might have over at the end of the week. I keep all my reciepts, and check of against our bank statments, then I know I am not get the dodgy from the bank. I have been called bottom (aka) retentive in the past, but hey it works for us!

#19 Snoozie

Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:13 PM


We use quicken also and it's great.  I put in "dummy" bills (eg estimated rates) and set them up bi yearly so that I can see at a glance how our cash flow is going.  

We've hit a major pot hole recently with lots of unexpected expenses but hopefully we will be slowly coming out of that now as I get us back on budget.  It's still not ideal and there are expenses coming out that we will have to save for but I think in the long run it will be much better and we will no longer have those crunch times when there is a huge cash flow issue and money's being taken from everywhere possible to cover things!

We use the budget features of the program and I put in absolutely everything I can think of before dividing it into a fortnightly figure which is then set aside in our bill account.  We have a savings account, daily account and a bill account.  I am in the process of ditching our reliance on the credit card because it is simply evil!!!!  Our savings account is where treats and emergencies come from.  Eventually I'm hoping to be able to eke a bit more money out but things are tight and our interest rates keep going up  cry1.gif

Whenever I receive a bill I go to online banking and set up for the money to be paid on the day it's due (usually by bpay).  I have scheduled d/d for everything I possibly can and all this is recorded faithfully in my quicken software so I know the money's there to cover it.  I reconcile my accounts each month and it really helps see where the budget leaks are (eg OMG we spent a fortune on take out!).


Edited by Snoozie, 19 April 2008 - 02:15 PM.

#20 ~Bec~

Posted 18 May 2008 - 04:33 PM

I use Microsoft Money (software) and it is brilliant. I set up my budget and can track it day to day. It also tracks my transactions, loans, and any savings goals.

If one bill is over budget, I can reallocate funds from another area (eg if the phone bill is $15 over budget, I can reduce my grocery budget by $15 to cover it). It calculates projected balances, produces heaps of different reports and I love it to death!

I also have an Excel spreadsheet which is mainly used for playing around with figures without messing up my Money budget.

#21 ~~VSB~~

Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:17 PM

I pay my electricity, phone, gas, water & rates each fortnight at the post office and now most bills coming with nothing to pay or very little.

Also a good way if you want to have an account for different savings and keep the separate, eg, rego & insurance, christmas club, savings, other bills, we have a credit union account with a S1 amd am S8 account, the S8 is the savings part and you can get them to make sub sections like 8.1 for your rego, 8.2 for your other bills ect.

#22 eamber

Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:22 AM

High interest savings account with minimal bank fees.

Alo limit the amount of ATM withdrawals each more so your not charged extra.

Installed Gas in the car

#23 Gussax

Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:43 AM

For those who use an excel spread sheet, would anyone be willing to email me a copy of yours with any sensitive information removed?

I love the idea but need a further point in the right direction.

Also how often do you sit down and 'recalculate' (ie move the money in the column)


#24 emskies

Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:46 PM

This is the spreadsheet I use for our monthly budget:
You can change the names of income/expenses to suit your situation. Before I used this one I created my own, but I find this much better. I update my spreadsheet every fortnight.
At the beginning of each month I withdraw our grocery money and personal spending money and put into envelopes, but absolutely everything else goes on the credit card. When the credit card is due I transfer the entire balance owing from our mortgage offset account. That way I maximise the amount being offset against the home loan and I maximise the reward points earned on the credit card.

#25 rennas

Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:55 PM

This is a great thread! Theres a few ideas that I have read here that I might put into practice!

Now I would like to add my two cents worth...hehe

My partner and I have a joint bank account. Its a Police Credit union and the nearest bank is half hour away so we have to minimise the number of withdrawals from the ATM and also the number of times we use EFTPOS. We recently went from two full time incomes to me studying part time and working part time, so money is a bit tight with paying of TAFE fees but we manage.

The good thing is that we don't smoke and very rarely drink or go out for dinner/have takeaway so we save a lot of money in this area. The hardest thing has been sticking to the budget and going without our luxuries for a while.

Each fortnight, I take out the required amount in cash and distribute it between jars: My petrol, DP petrol, Food, Childcare fees, and Ancillary, for anything else that can be paid by cash to reduce EFTPOS transactions, such as things like clothes, haircuts, etc.

I use an Excel spreadsheet which I have put in formulas to add certain amounts together so I can play around with figures.

It adds mine and DP's income, as this changes from pay to pay, It adds all the bills in the list - petrol, food, child care, utilities etc. Then it takes away the amount for bills from the amount of income for the fortnight, leaving a "left over" amount.

The bank account is set up like this:

Morgtage and Personal loan gets paid on pay day, we don't even see the money come into the account.

Each Friday after Pay day, a bunch of preset debits are taken from the account - Gas, phone, water, radio rentals, rates, electric and school fees.

Like some of the other PP's mentioned, this results in credits on our bills.

Other debits that the companies debit from our account - mobiles, foxtel, broadband and unions are broken up into fortnightly instalments to cover the monthly amount and it sits in the bank until they decide to take it.

We have an "offset" account, if thats what I call it, its a secondary account off the original where I transfer money for upcoming large bills such as rego, insurances, and other large bills. (We pay these yearly and with the "left over" money each fortnight work towards having the money ready in time to pay the bill) I keep a list of the dates of bills due so I can prepare for them. I can transfer money back and forth between these accounts if something unexpected pops up, and just change the details on my spread sheet.

We also have a credit card for emergencies but have never used it.

I'm proud of my budget as in the past, I was absolutely hopeless with money. I would use my bank card to pay for everything and rack up 10 transactions in the one day! We have had to give up our luxuries for now, but in the long run when I finish studying, we will be much better off.

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