Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crunching the budget - again

First off, I still haven't fully recovered from the eyeglass disaster. I'm angry that it cost so much. I'm angry that I didn't say no and go somewhere else (although circumstances with DS would have made that difficult). But most of all, I'm angry that our finances are in such bad shape that we couldn't just pay the bill and move on.

At the same time, I'm very thankful for the unexpected support I've received from my new PF blogging friends. I appreciate every one of you!

But on to the subject at hand - the budget. We've had to do some shifting and rearranging and cutting back (no grocery shopping this week), but we're figuring it out. As we were taking pen to paper, I started wondering how everyone else tackles their budget. I've heard an awful lot of mention about You Need A Budget (YNAB) software. I've glanced at their site, but haven't tried out the free trial yet. I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to paying for budget sheets anyway. I know a lot of people use Excel or Quicken, too.

What works best for you and why? Has anybody ever tried something like YNAB? I'd love to hear how you do it.



  1. I had the trial of YNAB and it was ok. I made my own budget sheet on excel and found it much simpler (at least for now). The list you see on my posts is basically my excel spreadsheet. I also had issues in my mind paying for a budgeting tool. Although, like you, I have heard great things about some of them. I would like to be able to afford Dave Ramsey's TMMO page. Hope you find something that works for you. It's all a learning process and you are doing GREAT!

  2. I wondered about TMMO, too. I have a feeling I'm going to end up happier with pen and paper - I'm old school - but I'm willing to try new things. I just don't want (and can't!) pay for them. Thanks!

  3. Sarah, I am a huge fan of Gail. She's very practical and her stuff here is all free.

    The interactive Budget could help you perhaps.

    So frustrating when things that kids NEED just to live normally cost so much money. Not fair at all.

    Wishing you continued focus and strength on your journey!

  4. Thanks, B-Kat! I didn't realize there was an interactive budget on Gail's site. I know there are a lot of her fans around here. I'll check it out.

  5. Honestly, I just love the ol' pen and paper haha I really like to write out the numbers and see them infront of me.

    But, this IS my first month of budgeting so what do I know?! haha

    Our budget consists of:
    All Bills
    Our monthly allowance (100 each)
    Gas allowance (100 each)
    Birthdays and events (This month we budgeted 65)
    Daycare (Budgeted $200-this is flexible because I get called into work sometimes)
    Groceries (Budgeted 400 this month. We are under 300 so far, so that's great!)

    Anyways, hope this helps missy!! Good luck!

  6. I use a combination of YNAB and Excel stuff based on Gail's stuff. Email me if you want to template from what I've got.

  7. I write by hand, in a journal book so I can look back on previous months and carry it in my purse. I like pencil and just works for me. I tried Excel one month, but I didn't like it as much. If it ain't broke...

  8. I use YNAB and excel. I haven't really followed the rules extensively yet and I'm using it more to keep a track of my spending. It works for me because if the iPhone application as well, so I just enter my spending then and there and sync it when I get home. I also love the reports because it helps to have a visual to keep track of where my money went.

  9. i use the printable and free versions of dave ramsey's budget worksheets. i use those and compare that to my budget notebook that i keep. i like doing my budget by hand!

    i absolutely love your blog. i'm not a pf blogger per se but i have an avid interest in personal finance (there are some elements of pf on my blog) and your blog is such an inspiration and reminder of persistence.