Posted by Sedruce at 5:30am Oct 11 '09
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Sorry if this has been discussed, I have a finance phobia and tend to just live by not spending more than I can afford (but I never have more than a hundred bucks left after paying all my bills...). So, I've carefully avoided this terrifying corner of 4k. But, now I feel the need to brave the wilds of personal financing...eek.

How do you budget? As mentioned, I simply don't. I know how much I can afford to spend (total money minus bills due before next paycheck=spending money), and I never overspend that. I run into trouble with money when unexpected things happen--realizing I wasn't paying attention and am out of cat food, having to pay for a bunch of food and cold medication WHILE taking time off from work, etc--but aside from that, I never have problems. I have no credit card, so I'm incapable of spending more than I have.

I've halfassedly tried a few budget ideas in the past. And never follow through.

This time, I want to follow through.

What I'm planning is a version of the envelope budget plan. Every week, I'll give myself certain amounts of money to each category. Then I'll track spending and subtract accordingly. If I have nothing in the category, I don't spend anything--I think that's a concept I can stick to, since I never spend more than my bills would allow me to. The idea is to budget under my paycheck so I can survive a blow to the pay check and so that I'll have savings for unexpected expenses (i.e. emergency vet bill) or the bills that only come once in a while (like 6 month car insurance, and needing new brakes and tires on my car...did I mention I hate cars?). I'm also including a savings, which is intended to work up to a vacation, and/or moving.

How do you budget? What has/hasn't worked in your experience?
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