What does budgeting mean to you?

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Now that I have your attention, here’s the deal. Wisebread.com is giving readers a chance to win $20 Amazon gift cards when readers submit their stories about budgeting.

What is it? Is it necessary? How do you do it? How far should budgeting go?

It means different things to different people. For some, budgeting is just about making sure you have enough at the end of the month to pay each bill. For others, there is a precise money-saving goal in mind. Some are strict adherents to their budgets. Others guesstimate.

Questions: What about you? What does budgeting mean to you, and how do you do it?

When it comes to my budget, I...

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7 comments Add your comment

Anna

August 27th, 2010
9:19 am

The goal was for my husband and I to have every dollar “assigned” before the month starts so there’s no problems and stress along the way, plus it’s a way to maximize the amount of extra money we can put on student loans.

The side benefits have included abilities to stretch fun money even farther, get crazy deals on stuff we used to pay full price for, and generally just have more fun. I wouldn’t go back to the old way for anything. :)

Gemmy The Geek

August 27th, 2010
2:19 pm

A budget is important these days but financial goals are equally important. My wife and I attended Dave Ramsey’s course of several weeks at our church called financial Peace. There is a formula of 8 steps which are goals used to reach the final plateau. The plan is rather simplistic and easily followed. Step 3 has been more time consuming to achieve since it requires you to save and put away 3-6 months living expenses. I would recommend the course, especially for young marrieds just starting out. Who knows, it may just may end up saving your marriage as well as money in the long run. Good luck to all with your savings efforts because I’m convinced our mindsets have to change with the times.

Kat

August 27th, 2010
2:33 pm

Dave Ramsey’s course is actually 13 weeks long, Gemmy. You may have missed a few sessions there.

Gemmy The Geek

August 27th, 2010
3:31 pm

Okay Kat. I couldn’t remember exactly the number of weeks so I used the term “several”. Thank you for the exact number.

TInytam

August 28th, 2010
11:00 pm

Being very honest with myself, I have to admit that the hardest part of budgeting is getting started and tracking every dollar for a month then allocating what amount should be reasonably spent in a given category. I’m really getting started and resorting to weekly menu planning as a tool to help me save. Ms. Cash – I don’t know if that falls into the realm of bargains but maybe a topic could be saving on meals and what people do to save money on meals each week.

Kar

August 30th, 2010
11:38 am

For budgeting purposes, I honestly find it easier to track credit transactions and checks rather than cash. It’s easy to spend cash without realizing how much you’re spending and unless you’re anal about the receipts, it’s hard to track it later. Hasn’t everyone hit the atm only to wonder later where that money went? It’s like the $20’s melt in your pocket.

With credit cards, it’s online so it’s easy to track in almost real-time or download for whatever application you’re using.

Rana Cash

August 31st, 2010
2:14 pm

@TinyTam Good idea. Thanks