Tuesday, March 4, 2008

WFMW - 3-5-08

This week is a Backwards Edition of Works for Me Wednesday. Last time was such a great help for me when I posed the question about making bread.

I would love to hear from those that keep a written budget, either pen/paper or computerzied. I have always been a little leery having the information accessed on my computer. I have never been sure of the security features of software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money. We have Dave Ramsey's software and I have saved a few templates from Microsoft in Excel. So my question is for all of you that have a monthly budget, how do you do it? Paper, ledger, Excel, Binder, Software.....please fill me in. Also if you have success with the envelope system I would love to hear about this as well. Come on everyone....I know you have great ideas!


Briggie said...

I have Quickbooks and Money and stuff like that, but I've found that keeping it all in an Excel file works best for me - besides I'm trying to eliminate as much paper as I can. You don't have to keep it on your computer, you can store it on a flash drive and keep it in a safe place and you can also password protect the Excel file.

Angie said...

I have an Excel template that I downloaded that I really like for keeping track! I'm about to fall asleep, so rather than type it all out, I hope you don't mind if I refer you to a posting on my blog about it, in case you want to read more: http://randomangie.blogspot.com/2007/10/works-for-me-wednesday-family-budget-on.html .

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

For years we've used an Excel spreadsheet for our budget. However, I'd really love to try out software like Microsoft Money or Dave Ramsey's software; I'm just too cheap to buy it! :>)

I can't wait to come back and check out all the other answers!

Kristy said...

I'm just getting started with being diligent about a budget (on month 3). I use Quicken to reconcile my checking account and love it, but I really don't like their budgeting software. So, I use Excel - specifically, the IYM Spending Plan Spreadsheet Page found here:

Good luck!

simple mom said...

Hey there! We, too, use Dave Ramsey stuff. I also use pearbudget.com. While I'm not nervous about having bank stuff on the internet (I, for one, love the convenience!), pear budget is good in that there's no specific bank info on it - you manually enter everything.

At the end of every month, I print all our monthly records from pear budget, and then start over. Nothing fancy or complicated, but it works for us. The envelope system seems to work well for us, too, though there are some hiccups every now and then.

I love zero-based budgeting - it has saved our financial life. I'm so thankful for Dave Ramsey.

I'm actually doing a series on his baby steps on my blog.

Cindy said...

We use the same Excel budget workbook that we offer for free download on our Web site (see www.ValuesDrivenFamily.com and go to the Freebies page). We love it--saves paper, lets you see your budget status on-the-fly, and is very easy to change as circumstances (income or expenses) change. Feel free to give it a try if nothing else has worked for you.


Donielle said...

I totally use the envelope system. It works great for us! You just have to STICK W/ IT. Our envelopes have changed over the years and the amounts sometimes monthly. I've learned that as income and expenses change, to change our budget instead of trying to squeeze into the old one.
Kind of like the muffin top on pants that don't fit. Something is sure to overflow!! :-)
After many years of using pre-printed budgets or quicken, I actually use my own Excel sheet that really works for us. It's easy to change and has everything we need on it. Really, it's a paper budget on the computer, but it adds everything up for me.
I posted a link to my budget in google docs on my blog awhile back. The link: http://www.raisingpeanuts.com/2008/01/new-year-new-bugdet.html
That's what works for us!

Terry said...

I use quicken to keep track of my finances... we don't even use a paper check register... just Quicken. But as far as a budget goes, I use Excel. Each month is laid out into the 4/5 weeks, with when we get paid and what paycheck each bill has to come out, plus amounts for day care, tithe, household expenses, groceries, etc.

I then run reports out of quicken to keep up with what was spent. This has helped us not overspend, you know you have 300 and your all excited cause you can afford something you've been wanting, just to find out after you buy it, that it was actually for a bill 2 weeks later.... oops.

We've been doing this for about 5 years now, and it works great, though not sure you can really figure it out from this post.

Wifey said...

I use Quicken and Excel. I made the budget in Excel, then in Quicken I made an account for each budget catergory and when the paycheck comes into the bank I divide the money (in Quicken, not in the bank) into the different accounts. Kind of like envelope budgeting. I don't allow Quicken to connect to the internet or feed it any of my bank account numbers, so I feel it's secure.

Pinkaholic Mom said...

Great advice. I'm going to check out those websites. Anyway, I also have used Excel for many years just to keep track of the due dates and amounts. I enter as much detail as possible,(date paid, check number, or ref number if paid online). I'm always open to better ideas though. I'll check back later for newer comments.

Vickie said...

Thanks so much everyone for your great comments. It seems that a lot of people really utilize Excel. In the past I have done it the old fashioned ledger style but would like to move to a more technical/formula style on the computer. I really appreciate everyones input!!

Anonymous said...

I keep track of all my accounts in Microsoft Money (and have for years) without problems. However, I don't really like the way that their budgeting is setup.

For budgeting I use an AWESOME spreadsheet from pearbudget.com

They've actually opened up an online budgeting system, but I still use the old Excel spreadsheet that the application started as. It just works better for me. You can still access that spreadsheet on their website.

Anonymous said...

Girl - you know I have been budgeting forever. I am now including budget coaching in my counseling ministry. I use QB for keeping up with everything. But, I use an Excel cash flow projection that projects out how many months to pay things off. We don't keep credit card debt. But, we occassionally do a 12 mos not interest on a purchase. The cash flow projection helps me stay on top of that. Let me know if you want the template. AMARIE