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Re: Budgeting advice

Re: Budgeting advice2011-01-03T03:40:46+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Budgeting advice Re: Budgeting advice


Post count: 3

I’m not good at budgets, but I am good at paying bills and keeping my check-book balanced. Here’s what works for me. Mail coming in has it’s own small table, a letter opener, and a garbage can. A lot of mail gets thrown out without opening it. It feels good to go directly from mailbox to trash. Bills go into a small pile, everything else I want to keep or look through later goes away – to anywhere else to get this stuff away from the bills.

Here’s the magic that makes this all work. I write down the amount of the bill on the envelope. I also write the date the bill is due on the envelope. Since I work for myself, I mark each envelope with an “H” or a “W” for home or work. Then I sort this little pile – the bill that needs to be paid first is on top. This little table is in a high traffic area that I pass many times every day.

When a bill is due or there is a pretty good pile of them, I take the bills to the computer and pay them online or write a check. At the same time, I enter what I did into Quicken – similar to what anonymousgirl does. My monthly bank statement ends up in the pile of bills and when I get a statement, I do the “reconciliation” on the spot.

It’s not exactly budgeting, but I can create reports in Quicken that let me know how much I spent last year at the grocery store, cash, credit cards, utilities, etc.

It’s finally a habit to do all of this – a very good habit for me. My bills are always paid on time and my checkbook always balances. It’s great to have this little part of my life organized and working well.