Family life

A new budget

Image courtesy of Flickr member Niels Linneberg licenced via
Creative Commons

Daycare, rebates, nappies and a bit more household income…

Part of “Project Return to Work” had to be a revamp of our household budget.

I use my bucket method for managing our money. There are three basic buckets (bank accounts) as follows.

Bucket 1:
Everyday expenses
Bucket 2:
Fixed expenses
Bucket 3:
Savings
Used for: Groceries, petrol, eating out, etc. Utility bills, medical expenses, public transport, holidays, car maintenance, etc. Savings goals
Type of account: Transactional Online (earning some interest) Bonus saver

Our pay is deposited directly in to each of the buckets.

I’ve found that we control our spending quite well with this method. The everyday expenses can be the most variable, but with only a limited amount of cash in there, we’re forced to stop spending when the bucket is empty.

With Alisi in daycare, we have some new expenses – never before seen in Alisi’s household:
– daycare (including government rebates)
– disposable nappies for daycare (so far we’ve cloth nappied Alisi for the most part)
– lottery tickets (you’ve gotta be in it to win it!).

There’s nothing like having to leave your baby in daycare five days a week to focus the mind on saving the money you make for specific goals. We’re planning to upgrade to a house this year – so every spare cent will be squirrelled away.

What about you? Do you have a budget? If you do, how do you make sure you stick to it?

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4 thoughts on “A new budget

  1. I don’t know that I stick to my budget. But for a couple of months I paid for everything on card – by either credit card or debit. No cash.

    Then at the end of the month – I exported the bank statement into an excel spreadsheet. Quick data sort – and it is very revealing where your money gets spent.

    I was a good way to identify areas where we overspent.

  2. We don’t have a budget but 2011 is operation reduce our mortage so I need to devise a method.

    We’re thinking of pouring everything into our mortgage offset account and using a credit card.

    If we follow that approach we’ll have to do a budget to ensure we don’t overspend.

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