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Happy Homemaker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am still having a very hard time with making a budget. I think it would be A LOT easier if I had even the slightest clue what my DH would bring home that month!

DH works for himself and the pay is NOT regular! It could range anywhere from $300 to $2500 a month. Now to make matters worse our house payment is $900! Needless to say it is hard to get the money shifted around to make things work!

Do you guys have any neat ideas that you use? Anyone out there have to endure this very stressfull adventure?

:help:
 

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Save everything you can during a "good month". Do this until you have a few months (minimum) cushion in the bank. THEN......take the difference between a "bad month" and a "good month" and BANK that during the next "good months". There may be other ways that work as well. BUT, you're gonna have to live each month as though it were a "bad month".....at least for a while.

With a house payment that large, IF you could find a job also (assuming you don't already have one), it would undoubtedly take off some of the pressure and uncertainty.

just my 2 pesos worth.......

almost always on commission or working for myself,
Bruce :)
 

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If your annual income is about the same year to year, use an average of the annual income as a basis for your budget. Then follow what Bruce said on short/long months and it should all work out. Where you get into trouble is spending all on a high month instead of saving it for a low month. It takes a lot of work but if you keep at it and manage carefully it should turn out okay. Good luck.
 

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I agree with the others. SAVE....You will really get in trouble if you are spending the large amounts of 'extra' during the good months. The first 6 months might be hard but after you have done it a while it will be habit.. I would saving EVERYTHING for the first 6 months! Then I would keep at least 4 months worth of bills in my savings if at all possible. IF you take it out during a 'lean' month, add it back during the 'fat' month. It's the only way..
 

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Happy Homemaker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the advice. You all are right....it is a habit I have to get into but it just seems so hard! Ecspecially when you have a DH that like to play with his 'toys'! Seems like he is always 'fixin' something that isn't broken! :rolleyes:

Yes I have heard of Dave Ramsey and have his DVD's! I just can't seem to figure out how to make all that info work in my head! And it is really hard when you don't even know how much you make! :Bawling:
 

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We are also self employed and it was very frustrating for us to come up with a budget. We tried various stuff over a period of several years...and none of that worked. The system we've finally come up with is this:

We sat down and hashed out what we absolutely HAD to make each month to squeak by. It is important that you make an exhaustive list for what you're spending money on each month. If it does not reflect reality, you will discover "black holes" where money seems like it is mysteriously disappearing, even though it is not listed on your budget as an expense (speaking from experience here, lol).

For us, we had to have a cash flow thing going that let us get at LEAST a month ahead. So basically what I mean by that is that it is at least LAST month's income that is paying THIS month's bills (and when I say "at least" I mean that it is GREAT when we can get even more of a buffer built up in savings than that, like the other's have suggested).

So anyway, when we accumulate the amount we MUST have to pay the most critical expenses, the money gets distributed into envelopes....With the most important bills getting paid first. IF there is enough leftover to go into the 'fun' categories, then it does. But if it's not there, it's just not there and we have to go w/o those things for that following month.

All of that works fine and good too, as long as disaster doesn't strike. It is amazing how the potential for ridiculously expensive bills always seems to be lurking right around the corner (dr bills, vet bills, van transmissions, hot water heater takes a dump and we need a new one, etc). This is where having a savings account built up is SO important.

If you sit down and make this exhaustive list of your real expenses and find that DH's monthly income consistently falls below that mark, then you will know that something different needs to be done (i.e. either expenses need to go down or income needs to go up....otherwise you will sink into debt). This was going on with us, so I got a job that made up the difference. (And what a "difference" it truly made! Actually being able to pay bills off, rather than just accumulate new ones did wonders for morale!!!).

Anyway, I am really tired today and as a result, the coherence (sp?) of my conversations thus far has been sub-par, :baby04: LOL. So I hope that I managed to type all of this out in a way that at least sorta makes sense :p. I do sympathize with your situation....it was (and still often is!) a tough one for us as well!! Best of luck to you....

Erin
 

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Hubby is self employed, too. I can't do a budget. I'm intimidated by the word, the concept, and the process. Scares me to pieces. I start thinking about new tires and annual insurance payments and quarterly taxes, and I just get the heebie jeebies.

Neither of us are heavy drinkers or smokers. We paid the house off, and our vehicles are old but well maintained. No loan payments on them. We don't eat out much because we are good cooks. My biggest vices are books and quilt fabric. Hubby has no expensive habits at all.

Mom always said she saved money by not spending it. I guess that's the best advice I can give you.
 

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Happy Homemaker
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rose said:
Hubby is self employed, too. I can't do a budget. I'm intimidated by the word, the concept, and the process. Scares me to pieces. I start thinking about new tires and annual insurance payments and quarterly taxes, and I just get the heebie jeebies.
.
:) You and I have the same feelings on that subject!
 

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who is phobic about budgets! Dh and I had the same situation up until just recently. He is self-employed and I was a substitute mail carrier. I never knew if I would have one day a week of work or six! We never really had a budget and dh is not a saver but we managed to get by mostly by just making sure that whatever money we did have went to the most important bills first. Sounds kinda stupid but worked for us. Whatever was due next was paid as soon as we had the money. If money was in short supply as it usually is in the winter then we were eating out of the freezer for a couple weeks and rolling quarters for gas money. Dh is not bad about spending money on things that are unnecessary but if he owe's money on anything he puts every extra cent he has on it and never saves! Makes me crazy so I'm building up my own little nest egg! I totally agree that saving in the good monthes for the short monthes is the best plan. Our mortage is over 900 a month too and that is a big expense when things are tight.
 
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