I am going to be honest, and call out the very first thing that comes to mind. Your "Username". If you are calling yourself TheWalkingDebt, then chances are you are subconsciously embracing "debt" and that's exactly what's manifesting itself. In essence you are living, breathing, walking debt. Please don't mind my honesty and I do get the humor, but this is the basics of financial planning - mental first and then physical.
Sharing some simple budgeting ideas:
- I use Excel on Google Drive because it allows me and my husband to be able to collaborate. One sheet for expenses and one for income and the third one is a summary that nets out. We also use Mint.com to understand our biggest expense categories and the run rate
- My husband and I take turns saving our paycheck every other month. So, his one paycheck in its entirety goes to a saving account during one pay period, and then its my turn. Etc.
- We have one credit card that is split between both of us for household expenses- and this card has a very good cash back + points system. This way we pretty much have one card only, which not only allows us to control our expenses but also get great cash back and accumulate points (for travel) (ps, we pay off our card in full each due date)
- We are still renters, and even with two kids, we are have a high savings rate because of the advantages of renting (can talk about it separately)
- We allocate $10 per day to "staycation fund", which is so easy to do and take road trips with our kids to awesome places.
- We are careful with spending. In the past few years, we have located from east coast to west coast and then back to east coast. Because of this, we ended up losing our stuff, stuff breaking, etc. And we realized, hey, we don't need that big box of things which a) we don't know whats in it b) never ever opened
Sooo, we stopped accumulating. And only have the basics. Anytime any drawer starts filling up, its time to do a quick rebalancing.
- And, please please please if you shop online, use ebates. You get cash back for shopping. We bought a fridge via Sears online - and not only it had coupons but we got 10% cashback right away. Every three months, the collective amount gets deposited in my paypal account.
That's all. But happy to discuss if you need more information.