Living on a budget

Mint budgeting reports
@pcunix (212)
Middleboro, Massachusetts
October 11, 2015 2:58pm CST
When my wife and I were first married, we had very little money. I think our income was a little over $100 a week. Of course things were cheaper then; our rent for a large ground floor apartment was just $75 a month and a pizza we'd share once a month was $1.10. Still, it wasn't easy to make ends meet, so we maintained a paper budget. I still have some of those old budgets and it does bring back memories to look at them. Things got better quickly. I'm not saying we were wealthy, but we always had enough to pay our bills. We bought a small house and new cars. We had to be careful with our money, but there was no need to budget stringently. There was always money left over. Now, we are mostly retired. Our income is half what it used to be. It's enough - we are not poor and we do enjoy ourselves, but we do have to budget again. We set limits on things like entertainment and even grocery shopping. I use Mint.com to do this. It watches all of our bank, credit card and investments. It lets me categorize each expense and post them against the budgets we have set. At a glance, we know if we can afford to splurge on an expensive night out or buy new clothes. It's far easier than our old paper budgets ever were. There are other programs similar to Mint, but they seem to have the best reputation. They are owned by Intuit, the same folks who make Quickbooks and Turbotax. When people new to Mint ask me about it, I do recommend it, but I suggest just setting it up and letting it run for several months before setting strict budgets. It can be surprising to see how much you spend in certain areas and often things pop up that you have totally forgotten about. I let my Mint run for three years before I laid down final budgets! If you need to budget, or think you may need to soon, I recommend this.
12 people like this
15 responses
@MALUSE (44744)
• Uzbekistan
11 Oct 15
Hello! I've recognised your user name and pic from the other site! One more emigrant. The last will switch off the light and close the door.
2 people like this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
11 Oct 15
Which other site? I've been on most of them. Kidding - I recognize you also.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68638)
• India
12 Oct 15
You did well. :) Small house..is the first priority. I have a slightly different way. I have home expenses, medical expenses, asset repair or asset replacement expenses, contingency funds, and entertainment. All equal. Therefore, if home expenses increase, others have to be balanced from whatever I can save. :)
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
12 Oct 15
Yes, a budget usually does have to balance - except in cases of emergency, of course.
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (68638)
• India
12 Oct 15
@pcunix ..because I maintain separate accounts for each, I don't normally have to withdraw from other accounts. Classification is not necessary ..5 separate bank accounts.
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
12 Oct 15
@vandana7 Wow - that's something different!
1 person likes this
@yukimori (9092)
• United States
11 Oct 15
I use You Need a Budget mostly because it lets me have a cloud-based budget that syncs with all of my devices through Dropbox. It's really convenient to enter purchases as they're made.
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
11 Oct 15
Mint has mobile apps also, but you don't need to enter anything - it pulls purchases from your accounts. The only time you need to do anything manually is if you spend cash.
@yukimori (9092)
• United States
11 Oct 15
@pcunix I've never really been comfortable with linking my accounts to programs outside of the bank. I actually like having to enter things manually because it makes me a lot more conscious of what I'm purchasing.
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
11 Oct 15
@yukimori I understand that completely. Some people are also afraid that Mint might be hacked and expose our accounts to the hackers. I don't think that is likely, but it certainly is a possibility.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24741)
• Singapore
12 Oct 15
I think old habits die hard, and this includes good old habits. Those who survived Great Depression never forget about it. Their old habits never die off, and they are frugal throughout their lives, and regardless of how rich they are now.
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
12 Oct 15
Not many of those folks left now..
@softbabe44 (5899)
• Vancouver, Washington
12 Oct 15
i had to budget alot when i first got married also but that does bring back memories lots of good memories
• Philippines
12 Oct 15
Lots of really good memories! It also made our relationship stronger.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (76063)
• United States
11 Oct 15
stopping by to say Hello
1 person likes this
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
11 Oct 15
Hello to you also.
@lokisdad (4264)
• United States
23 Nov 15
We live on a budget as well and sometimes it sucks because you have to even do it with your food shopping but in the long run its worth it and just about the only way anyone can make these days in this economy.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 15
sounds most familiar, those younger days. i fear the hubs doesn't know what a budget is 'n spends like the wind. on the other hand, i'm a penny pincher 'n always 've been. i still do mine'n paper. interestin' budget thingy though 'n i'll pass that info onto the daughter...who really needs such.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29044)
• United States
12 Oct 15
We have mostly lived paycheck to paycheck, so we just do our budget up for each week. We each pay one of the monthly bills out of each paycheck. He is paid weekly so takes the smaller ones. I'm paid biweekly so I take the larger ones. After that bill is paid we can use whatever is left over however we like. We mostly use his money for spending, my money is put towards savings and debts.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (183080)
• Switzerland
12 Oct 15
We are retired now, not rich, but we have enough to enjoy life. We always watched our budget.
1 person likes this
• Kolkata, India
12 Oct 15
Living on a budget is a good habit. I never indulge in exceeding the budget (which I do manually) but I will now go for Mint, just to test if it helps me in anyway.
1 person likes this
@JaneApril (341)
• Philippines
12 Oct 15
Presently going through it. We are newly weds, need to cut off a lot, but gladly .. we're doing okay because my husband is good in handling money, unlike me :) We're now saving for our upcoming baby.
1 person likes this
@marlina (79717)
• Canada
23 Nov 15
The secret is to live below your means when you are young.
@pcunix (212)
• Middleboro, Massachusetts
23 Nov 15
That's not always possible, but if you can, yes.
@marlina (79717)
• Canada
11 Oct 15
When we first married, my husband and I started to save money to buy our first house. We did deprive ourselves then so we could enjoy the rewards later. Now retired and everything is great.
• Philippines
12 Oct 15
Wow! Hope we survive and end financially great like you do.
1 person likes this
@wiLLmaH (8241)
• Singapore, Singapore
12 Oct 15
Thanks for recommending. I will recommend this to my friends :)