Monday, November 10, 2008

Budgeting: Do what works for you

It's money management Monday, and today we'll be discussing everyone's favorite subject -- budgeting! Now, no sighs. No moaning. No pulling out your hair.

My message today is to know thyself.

As a visual aid I've scanned an account book that belonged to my great-great grandfather, John Andrew Kofoed. He kept the books for a blacksmith shop. I've included a sample page for Royal Crockett. I don't know who Royal was, but my grandfather's mother's family were Crocketts. Anyway, the point these visual aids are helping me make is this -- I have at least one ancestor who enjoyed keeping books. He also had great penmanship. Is it any wonder that I like to track money down to the penny? And I like to do it by hand. Sure, I make a form on the computer, but then I write down purchases and the amounts spent in the month by hand. Like great-great-grandfather, like great-great-granddaughter.

There are many ways to keep a budget. Some people like to use cash. They divide up the money for various budget categories into envelopes at the first of the month. Then they use the cash for purchases. They track their spending by watching the amount of cash that is left in the envelopes. When the cash is gone, it's time to stop spending.

Techno budgeters use Quicken or other brands of computer software to track monthly income and expenses. They can print out charts and graphs. I know women who track their budget using their bank accounts. Income is deposited into checking. They automatically transfer a set amount from checking to savings every month to cover long and short-term savings. What's left in checking is what the family has to spend for the month. When the account starts getting low, it's time to put the brakes on shopping and spending.

In some marriages, the husband does the bookkeeping. In our home, I do it. (I like to tell Hubby that he makes the money, and I spend it!) No matter who keeps track of the money, it's important that both husband and wife have a say in the family budget. Both should be aware of where the money is going. Honesty is the best policy.

How do you budget? Have you tried a method that didn't work for you? Do you know the financial state of your union?

Okay. That's it for money management today. To finish up today's post I have a couple domestic items to post. First of all, here is a recipe for a laundry treatment that removes the yellow underarm stains that deoderant often leaves on white shirts. (Think husband's Sunday dress shirts.) My friend Julie N. came across this on KSL's Studio 5. It orininated with USU Extention. Oh, and Julie says it works best for fresh stains. She also sprays it on ring-around-the-collar.

Yellow Under-arm Stain Remover

4 c. water
1 c. liquid laundry detergent
1 tsp. meat tenderizer.

Note: Julie cuts the recipe in 1/2 and puts the liquid laundry detergent and meat tenderizer in a 16 oz. spray bottle. She then adds water until the bottle is full. It's a little more concentrated than the original recipe, but she says it works. (I'll be trying it today.) Also, spray the stain remover on the offending shirt while a batch of laundry runs. Soak it good, being sure not to let the stain treatment dry. Then launder. Voila! White underarms.

I'm always looking for dinner ideas, and I thought you might be too. So I'm posting our family menu for the week. Be warned, it may just be a lie.


Allie's Antics said...

What a great post! I LOVE your tips on things. I will definitely try the stain remover. I also WELCOME meal ideas. Thanks so much! Budgeting is very hard indeed. We use quicken. Blake is the one that makes me do it. I am very reluctant. He has done it for years, but now it's me who does the entering. I figured that's kinda why I married an accountant... oh well. I am learning lots about budgeting. I like to hoard everything for a rainy day. It is surprising how it just slips by!

Suko said...

I agree with allie--your post is helpful! And the menu board is so cute. : )