Christian Weddings

Budget Planning?

I mean for every day life, not the wedding. Anyone know of a good resource for working on budget making/tracking? FI and I, though a while from the wedding, want to start really making this all work. Going from a totally broke student to a mostly broke newly wed will be different and we defiantly want to be good stewards. So if you could suggest a website/book/ anything honestly that would help us get this started it would be awesome. Oh and to super cheap is better. As I said, totally broke college students ( I just had to buy $1000 worth of books and clinical supplies!!) So something like Dave Ramsey is pretty much out. 
My baby Buster. FI is jealous cause I love him more.
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Re: Budget Planning?

  • MissyCeeMissyCee member
    edited December 2011
    I actually just discovered this website, yesterday and registered. It's legit, and free! You have to input your bank info, credit card info, any loan info and investment info (it will ask for your online sign-in information and retrieve it that way) and it puts it all together and tells you your debt, net value and has a breakdown of all your information. It also will list all of your transactions from your cc's and bank account, and even has this awesome pie chart that tells you where all your $ is going (fast food, shopping,electronics, gas, travel, etc)

    There is also a section where you can set goals like get out of debt for example, and it will help you set a goal and tell you how you can do it. Anyways, theres' lots of fun stuff on there and I found it to be really helpful because you can see where your money is going and where you can cut back.

    I"m making an essay out of it but I wanted to tell you why it's so great! Don't be nervous about inputting your log in info for your bank/credit cards becaue the site is very secure and is a "read only" site, so even if somehow your account got hacked into, no one can move any money, make any charges, or have any access to those accounts.

    I would highly recommend it! Laughing
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  • edited December 2011
    If you want to PM me your email, I just did a financial class my last semester of college that had a super detailed breakdown for the budget -rather than just housing, food, entertainment, that gave FI and I a much better sense of all of the areas where we need to budget money. We just did ours this past weekend. Also, Crown Financial has a good website with some free calculators that will give you and idea of what you should be spending in each area. Let me know!

    Good luck, just remember that you and your FI are in this together, even if your numbers look very low like ours did!
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  • edited December 2011
    I PM you Anna. Thanks everyone!
    My baby Buster. FI is jealous cause I love him more.
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  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Are you looking for something to track your budget or to figure out what you have left each  month?

    We have an excel file with every bill and the basic amount it is each month.  obviously, some things vary each month.  We started with the things we know we have to pay every month. We also included things that are paid only once or twice a year but that we want to be saving for each month:

    Natural gas
    Insurance (home and auto)
    Property taxes

    Then we added in all the other stuff that could be reduced or increased based on income:


    Once we figured what was left after all those things, we designated an amount for savings and an amount for disposable income - dinners out, new clothes, etc.  It has worked really well for us so far.
  • edited December 2011
    I use and I've used it for almost 2 years now.  Pretty great, and free.  

    A book I would suggest that may fit your lifestyle is Suze Orman's "Young, Broke, and Fabulous."  I finished reading it, now FI is reading it, and it's really on point for people who can't live like Dave Ramsey suggests.  Honestly I'd like to live more like Dave Ramsey suggests, paying with cash for more stuff, etc, and I'm working on that.  I just cut out the last penny of my credit card debt last week, and now all I have left are car loan, student loans, and home mortgage.  FI has a credit card that has to be paid, in addition to a truck loan that is almost paid off, so we are definitely working on getting to that point.

    I have a "Home Finance Bill Organizer" spiral bound notebook -- it has pockets for each month and on the front of the pocket it has 2 tables where you can list your monthly expenses.  One side I use for set monthly expenses - the stuff that isn't going away (electricity bill, phone bill, mortgage payment, car payment, etc), and on the other table I put the stuff that either has very flexible amounts each month, or isn't necessarily a monthly expense I can predict (and fill in the amounts later).  I use the pockets to put my mortgage and car loan coupons in, and I also have kept track of my tax statements in my "April" folder so they're all in one place.  

    I used to keep a crate of files for that kind of stuff, but using the crate all the time wasn't realistic for me, so I am now only using that crate for historical filings (tax documents after they're sent, pay stubs from work, etc).  

    I definitely don't profess to have all the knowledge about managing a personal budget at home, but I've gotten a LOT better with the tools I mentioned above.  I started on this quest with a spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel with categories like DramaGeek put in PP.  

    Let me know if any of that isn't clear or if you have any more questions, I'd be glad to send you a picture of the items I mentioned! :-) 
    July 16, Our Wedding Day, is also International Juggling Day!
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with (I don't have it, but I have heard FI talk about it and he is very good with financial matters). Also, before we even got engaged, he encouraged me to open an ing account ( It is a savings account that earns interest (I know you probably don't have much to put into it right now, but even if you put a very little amount each pay, you will make money in the long run). Also, it is super easy to manage, transfer money, etc. It's always good to have that money there in case something happens where you need a lot of money at once (i.e. home or car repair). 
  • edited December 2011
    FI and I took the Dave Ramsey course at our church and it was amazing. We too are both broke students (well I just graduated, but still broke lol) but it is totally worth the 100 you spend to take the course. If your church offers it, see if they can sponser you to take the class (bascially meaning they give you the supplies and allow you to attend the course for free). The principles are unlike anything we have seen offered from other financial "gurus". Here is a link to the 7 Baby Steps as he calls it-
    Even if you can not take the class, I would recommend getting your hands on a copy of his book The Total Money Makeover (even getting it from the library!) and reading that over, because it covers everything he does in the class. It will teach you how to budget your money and work with your spouse to manage your money properly.
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  • DramaGeekDramaGeek member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    AshNoel reminded me.  Two things we do to help us save money:

    1 - $1 a day savings.  We have it set up so $7 gets transferred once a week from our checking account to our ING account.  This means we are automatically saving $365 per year, no matter what.  Most of us have $1 a day to spare.  It might mean no lunch out that day or cutting back on Starbucks, but the majority of us who are on this site could do that.

    2 - Zero balance budgeting.  Yes, I took a cue from my school and went with a use it or lose it mentality. :-P  We are fortunate in that I get paid monthly and H gets paid weekly.  Each month, my check covers our mortgage, insurance, taxes, tithe and then the rest goes in savings.  Each week, H's check gets direct deposited.  The first thing I do is send a check to church for tithe and the second is pay a bill.  Then, I transfer enough out into our savings that we have $200 left - $100 for incidentals and $100 for groceries.  On the next pay day, I do the same thing. So, if we only spent $75 on groceries and $50 on incidentals, we'd have $75 leftover that gets put into savings.  We've really seen our savings grow this way.
  • edited December 2011
    I prefer the pen and paper method for tracking expenses.  After the first few months I averaged each category to see where I might be overspending.  Based on that, I sent a budget for each category for each month.
  • azdancer8azdancer8 member
    edited December 2011
    I learned my budget system from some Christian friends of mine, the Economides family, and I LOVE it!  It's savings-based rather than spending-based. (Rather than saying "I have $x, what can I pay for?" you set aside a certain amount in each category when you get paid so when bills are due, you already have the money there. I have found that it helps my savings grow much faster than it would otherwise, and DH is already excited about getting his finances on my system too. ;)

    Check out their website, it has all kinds of money saving tips. (They also do TV spots and have written several books on saving money.)
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