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Budgets - how do you do yours?


I am about to sit down and rehash our finances so I can work out how long I can have off on maternity. And also look at areas where we waste money or could save more.

The thing is although DH and I are ok with money we tend not to do long term budgets and do them month by month which I know is not ideal for long term planning.

So I am looking for some hints and tips on the best ways to budgets and also how you all do yours. I know budgets are personal things and what works for one person doesn't necessarly work for others but any help you can give me will gratefully received



  • We worked out a budget when we moved in together which enabled us to have the wedding and honeymoon of our dreams and is now allowing me to have 7 months off for maternity.
    Ideally i'd like more time off but as the main money earner i have to go back.

    Budget wise i have sat down with hubby and we have itemised pretty much everything for the household on a spreadsheet. What we do with our money that is left over is up to us. That being said we have adjusted over the past couple of years to shopping on the cheap for food. I spend time going to places like Aldi, Lidl, Iceland as well as Tesco and Aada, buying in bulk when i can and making the most of all the specials.
    We used to spend our weekends mooching about the high street and buying clothes and shoes.....we very rarely do that now and instead shop the sales or cheaper high street stores. We weaned ourselves off designer names too. Now we walk through Selfridges and never really look at what is being sold.

    The thing is we are happy doing that, knowing that we will provide love and a non-materialistic home for our child.

    Best advice is to be honest about finances. Write it down...i will often walk around the shops with a calculator so i don't go over the food budget. Also if you don't internet banking. I check our balances every couple of days and therefore know exactly whats left and how much we can still spend. Each month now we have a little left (not a lot but we don't go into the overdraft)
    Also decide what you will save each month and take it out and put it into savings the minute you get paid.
    hope this helps a bit

  • Spreadsheets! Once you have a real handle on what you spend, what proportion of your wages go on each category of spend etc, you'll know exactly where you are up to. Definitely shop smart, and plan in advance, eg a mascara might cost you ??15 if you buy it from Boots so a week before you know you're due to run out, look on ebay and pay ??3-??5 instead and avoid having the even go into a shop and buy other products on impulse. Honestly I really think thats the way forward. There's nothing better than a bargain!
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