Random Thoughts on Budgeting

  • Did you know that if you have electric power from NES and you have lived at your current address for at least 12 months, that you can get set up on budget billing?  They take an average of your bills over the past twelve months and you pay the same amount each month ALL year.  You settle up once a year (in March, I think) – meaning that you either have a credit if you have paid more than your “actual” bills or you may owe them a little if your bills were higher than the past year.  It makes keeping a monthly budget soooo much easier.
  • Nashville Gas does the same thing.
  • Something to think about. . . for those of you hooked on the CVS, Walgreens thing or those who just “stock up” on basic essentials. . . is there ever a month where you use up your stock piled stuff and decide NOT to spend your budgeted amounts for those items?  Does that make sense?  For me, I have a  category for “Walmart” that is for all my toiletry items (shampoo, toilet paper, ziploc bags, etc).  I have been spending the full amount the past few months even though I have been doing lots of bargain shopping.  So my thought is, I am only really “saving” money if I choose one month to use all the items I have on hand and NOT go out bargain shopping for more.  Then I can take that “Walmart” money and save it for something else.  Is anyone tracking with me or I am just sounding confused?? 
  • If you are like me and you like to entertain. . . consider putting an “entertaining” category in your budget.  I use this money for buying food when we have company over, when I have to make a meal for someone (sick or new baby) or when I sign up to bring food to MOPS, kids school, etc.  That way I am not taking money away from our grocery budget for those things.  It can get expensive over the course of a month to make a couple of meals and bring a breakfast dish to church, etc.
  • I am a budget queen. . . so if anyone out there ever needs any help, I’d love to help you make a budget and learn how to live on it!  It is sooo freeing! 

2 Responses to “Random Thoughts on Budgeting”

  1. waters71 Says:

    We do the budget billing with Nashville Gas. We started last last winter when we got an enormous gas bill!! It really does help.

  2. Laura Says:

    We recently signed up with Mvelopes.com budgeting software.

    This is like Dave Ramsey’s program except without the real envelopes and hard cash. They are envelopes held within a software program, where you allocate money as your budget requires into “fake” envelopes. You are not forced to use cash, but rather use your debit card. It downloads your checking account transactions and forces you to allocate each expense or income to a category. The difference with this one, as opposed to My Money for example, is that it shows you the envelopes and the balances you have left in each. Every dime is spent, accounted for, and budgeted! I love it. And it’s free for one month, so it gives you time to see if you’re going to stick with it.

    It can be used from any computer. It’s a Secure Site Server, just like the banks. You link to their webpage and access your account from there. No software to download. And if you need a balance on an envelope, they can send it to your cell phone (if you have data services–we don’t, but pretty cool anyway!)

    It won some PC World awards, so we tried it.

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