Finance: Near Broke

This topic contains 19 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  KitKatKitty 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #198022

    Thankfully I am very organized and have done all my Christmas shopping but I am walking the line. I am also lucky that my family help finance my life. I would like more money of my own, however. But – again – I have bills to pay and they take priority.

    How are you managing your finances?

    #198029

    I too am well organised and fairly frugal in not taking exotic holidays or other expensive things (although it would be nice) so get by without major hassle most of the time. Luckily the mortgage is paid so we don’t have that major outgoing.

    #198033

    We took a major hit when OH had to give up working and then again when I gave up work to become his carer although Ive managed to  claim a small allowance to cover 10 hours a week ( I used to work 24).

    We use all sorts of tricks to save money. I shop once a month across the border and save a ton on shopping that way, meat, some household products and all  personal products like shampoo razors shower gel are cheaper there.

    Then I have my Christmas saving pot just  €10 a week and when December comes I dont feel any strain while buying gifts.

    I check out all the competition when it comes to utility companies and insurence. Sometimes just switching a supplier can save a whole load of money.

    I think we do ok, but I must admit it gets a little harder to find saving each year..

    #198071

    Today I paid my water, gas and TV licence. It all adds up. Fortunately I am an incredibly organized person and know where every penny goes. However, I did have a blow out last week, which I now have to compensate for by not spending a lot this week and the next. But – as I’ve said in a previous post – I have done all my Christmas shopping. My grandmother also gave me some money. And I have a regular income, which makes sorting my finances and being responsible easy. I am not a tight wad, but I do not want my electric or gas cut off and I need to pay the telephone service each month or – again – I’d have that cut off. I can not live without the Internet or do my work without it. Many are of the same mind, I reckon.

    Anyhow, knowing my finances is a lifesaver.

    #198110

    You have reminded me that the TV license is due at the end of the month. A Christmas treat! I am well organised too and have a spreadsheet with the figures. It helps with planning and seeing trends. You can maybe tell why my son is an accountant lol. I am working my way through the shopping. I tend to get a bit depressed just before Christmas so sometimes do not enjoy it, even though I love shopping. You are best not to have anything cut off Kitty. I think it often requires a re-connection charge to put on again, and with electricity, likely put on a more expensive tariff. Our telephone is on direct debit, but it can be so easy to dial an hidden charegable number. I slipped up, and only noticed when I read the bill yesterday, that I had called to chase a problem with an order and used what was a charegable non geographical number when I could have used their freephone one. Many companies are starting to use these. Not that expensive but more than zero!

    #198127

    Having a spreadsheet is a lifesaver, isn’t it? I have been keeping one for several years now. Oh: my sister works for an accounting firm. She’s a genius with numbers. I am rather jealous! Anyhow, I hope you get that issue sorted.

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    #198276

    Oh I do hope I’m not going to sound self-promoting or anything, but this is my specialty and life (I’m a Vice President at a major bank, and my degree’s in accounting).  If you’d ever like any help or advise, please let me know! 🙂

    I work really hard to keep my finances organized, and I have so many complex spreadsheets!

    I feel something that’s really important is to make sure you have multiple savings accounts, and I suggest setting up direct deposit to each.  Even if you’re not putting in much, it adds up!  You should have one for your long-term savings, one for your short-term needs, and another for fun.  Even if you’re just putting like $25-$100 in them from each of your paychecks, you’ll be surprised how fast it adds up!  And when you have it from your direct deposit split up, you don’t really notice it’s missing, I just look at my net paycheck to my checking account and I budget my life from that.

    And one little trick, even just to get started, is do your savings from your annual raises at work, and keep adding each year!  So like I started my first one off with $50 per pay, then when I got my next raise I added another $50, and so on, and it was like I wasn’t even losing any money.  And you really do get used to it!

    I always split my major bills in two, so like I need about $1,200 each month for my mortgage, so every pay I put $600 aside to cover that, and so on.  And when I know I have quarterly bills, like my water and sewer which comes to about $300, I put $50 to that each pay so I don’t have any surprises when that comes up.

    But I feel it’s really important to give yourself what I call my “Mad Money”, something you can spend on anything you want guilt-free.  Otherwise I think you go crazy!  And I’ll save that up for big things, like taking vacations or purchasing something nice for myself.

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    #198296

    I love your ‘Mad Money’ idea Mamie. I think most of mine like that goes into hobbies. The trouble is the things I buy take up so much space, but that is another issue lol.

    #198300

    I am going to take your advice, Mamie.  I do a lot of banking and having 3 accounts makes sense.

    Thank you!

    #198317

    Years ago, after spending hours and pulling my hair out trying to manually reconcile a $.02 mistake, I decided to start using Quicken.  Reconciling accounts is a breeze, now!

    I might not use it for much longer, since they’re going to a subscription service from what I hear.  My 2017 version will no longer be supported in 2020, I believe.  So, I’m looking into alternatives before I need to switch.

    I track all my accounts and investments through that software.  Although the software has the ability to download bank and brokerage account data, I prefer to enter transactions manually.  There’s a paycheck feature in which a regular paycheck is entered at regular intervals (monthly, bi-weekly, etc.).  The bill pay feature works similarly in that the mortgage and other bills are entered monthly, and the software automatically calculates how much principal and interest is paid.

    The things I do let it retrieve from the cloud are stock and fund quotes.  Those are available without giving the software access to your accounts online.  So, my current net worth is always at my fingertips.

    #198320

    I would be very worried if my software had automatic access to online accounts. Most of my accounts are not online anyway. I have gathered many over the years for different reasons. I like to segregate things. I enter the data manually on the spreadsheet I use. Even this does not have any direct or directly implied data about my accounts. It just shows spending and saving above a certain level with regard to a set weekly budget (so is perhaps a bit implicit about our income, but not precise at all). I prefer to take things as easy as possible, but vauge concerning accounts and income for security. It probably does result in loss of investment income but my stress level is far more important. My spreadsheet has been running for a few years now so I can easily see and compare figures, it having seperate columns for specific items like electricity and water, groceries etc. It does work and doesn’t take too much time. One thing I have not got round to, which would be useful, would be a similar arrangement for combined banking details.

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    #198341

    As you know, I also enter all my bank details manually onto a spreadsheet – and like you – have done so for many years. Being organized is very important to me.

    Doing this is what I would advise others to do. Knowing your finances is very important and makes sure there are fewer financial problems.

    #198873

    Money is too tight to mention.

    #198930

    A great tip for saving money is opening a savings account and activating a savings feature. The savings feature will transfer your set choice of dollars (for example $10-$50 per paycheque) into a savings account that you are not allowed to touch unless it is an emergency or if you have saved enough money to spend it on what you were saving the money for. This way, you don’t notice the funds coming about of your chequing account because it will be a few dollars, but months later you will notice that the money you have in your saving account starts to grow.

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    #198942

    That is a good tip Vkrasno. They often have a higher interest rate too.

     

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