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My husband and I are trying to make a new budget/spending system. we make enough money but keep overdarafting our accounts we have tried the whole cash system as well as started having some of our bills automatically withdrawn we have some past debts from before we got married that don't have regular payment amounts though and right now we are just sending them what we have when we have it which is keeping them satisfied but is going to take us forever to pay anything off. how can we make a budget that will not just make the minimums but still have money for groceries and stuff so we can break this cycle? what have you done that works? has anyone ever combined cookie cutter systems?
We don't have children and I get paid the 3rd working day of the month and he gets paid every other friday. he is our primary money earner because I am a full time student and a part time employee. I don't want to fight with him over this because I don't want money to taint our marraige but I have a hard time getting him to cut back on currents to pay off the pasts. I have two credit cards with good intrest rates and balances in the $500 range which I don't use and pay more than the minimum on. (I charged them up when I went to school in Hawaii before we lived together or combined our finances) most of our debts are accounts that were written off in his name from when he was 18 & 19 and I just don't want to ignore them like he has been. and I do try to go shopping only 1 time a week because I shop at the chepest store and I hate trying to park there. my car is also a paid off peice of crap and my work pays for the gas while he has a 800 truck payment than uses 500 atleast in gas etc.
I suppose what I am trying to get at is that I don't want to fight over it and I am a firm believer that we share the past debts just as much as anything we have accumulated since we got marraid I just need a system that I can put into place that can pay off some of these bad debts. I have a hard time automaticaly having things paid to guarentee that it gets done because our paydays always change but our due dates don't. we are moving somewhere more afordable today which should help but I just can't figure out how to get ontop of all this and not be late on payments or overdraft our account. which I am trying really hard not to do the fee's alone from last year would pay off some of this stuff that I strugle with today.
Sit down and look at those bills that have a steady (or at least some what steady) balance every month: Rent/Morgage Electricity Gas Look at the "min" payment due on each credit card you may have. Try to double it or at least pay $10 more than the min. This will help keep your interest rates down and believe it or not, unless money is sooo tight you will not miss that extra $10. Look at how much you spend on groceries, do you have kids? Gas unfortunately is "ouching" everyone right now. See if you can find any alternative ways of travel. (Consider only going grocery shopping once a week or if you can make it, once every two weeks)-- Make a list and stick to it (unless it is something like "Oh we are almost out of toilet paper, or other basics) Try to pay your self each month 10% of your paycheck if you can. Put 1/2 in Savings and keep 1/2 in cash for movies, treats (convience store items, coffee, etc). And then after you do a budget and stick with it you will start noticing little things that happen only once a year or once in a while and track these and try to find a way to "save extra" for them or what we do is take our tax return and put that amount in Savings for the little hick ups. -- Car Registration, Birthday and Holiday spending (not including christmas), a yearly "sale" you can't miss. Set up a Christmas Account at your bank. Or just do an auto transfer each month of $10 to savings that you earmark for Christmas. Once you get in the habit of doing this. You will start seeing the best way to split your bills. Make sure you sit down on the 1st and 15th of every month and pay the bills for those two weeks. It will become a habit. If you have problems with keeping a check book. Look at getting software to do it (I use Wyoming Excel to do my bank register, and I check my on-line bank log in once a day so that way I can see my charges (debt card) and my husbands). Try to make those "old charges" part of your budget. You may want to look at the Total Amout Due on each and the interest rate and try to do the following: 1. Take the lowest balance one first. Try to pay it off in like two payments if you can. Then take the money from that one and roll it over to the next one. 2. Repeat. 3. Contact the debtors and your credit card companies and see if you can negociate a lower price (debtor) and a lower interst rate (both). A lot of companies will work with you if you ask. If the first person you talk to says "No" try asking for their supervisor or Account Specialist. Because I always pay on time and double the minimum, I have been able to get them to reverse late payment charges, over the limit charges and annual fees by doing this. Some companies will settle for a "smaller amount" if you "can't pay the full amount" or are willing to set up 4 to 6 payments that will automatically come out on X day every month. Lastly (sorry this is so long), when I do my budget this is what I do, so I know where the money is going and if an issue comes up (they say they don't get the payment, etc) Create a simple word document or other wordprocessing document. These are the column headers (I just use tabs, not a table) Bills (name of who I owe or what I owe) Amount Due Amout I paid Date I paid it Again, I have certain bills that I pay the 1st - 15th, and the other group I pay the 15th - 30th (or end of the month) I have some bills that I pay the 15th-30th that are not due until the 1st, but since the first of the month is usally my "biggest grocery buying time" (family of 5), I budget them in for the 15th - 30th when I have the extra money.
There is only so much money in your household from which to pay for needs and your wants so it's important to communicate with your spouse so that you are on the same page with your goals. It sounds as though you are both spenders which is not a good thing. You each want what you want... we all do. You need to find ways to increase your income and/or reduce your expenses. You can't both have it all and while savings is important, look into tax-free savings whenenver possible (401K plan for example) which needs to be a long term planning vehichle. You know about setting up a savings plan that comes off the top. You can't spend what you don't have (except for the overdrafts and credit card purchases that is). Stop the insanity because it's only going to get worse. You have to live on cash and get rid of the debts even if it's slowly but stop using credit. Don't cancel your credit cards but don't use them. Check the library for books by and check your cable tv listing for the program(s) by Dave Ramsey. We are talking practical advice here. You know what to do but choosing not to do it and as a result none of us can help you. Denial is the worse thing for you and your spouse using tomorrow's income before you earn it. You've got to get serious about getting debt free. Others have and you can also. When you change your attitudes about money, you can change your life but don't expect that your situation with change without doing something to change it. You CAN succeed in debt repayment not you didn't get into debt overnight... it won't come off overnight either.
Well first off for get the bonuses. Put those in a savings account and watch it grow. Now take your salary and make a list of all your bills to see how far your money will go. If it doesn't cover them then see what you can cut out to pay them. I'v done this for years and you should see my savings account.
Track all debit and credit and if your budget is in the negative you're spending too much on many redundant things...