UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (26) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 311074  
Subject: Re: Got debt? Date: 4/5/2014 4:09 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
But in addition to reducing interest, I should also be focusing on honing down my budget. The problem is that many of my expenses are so variable - child care, gas, utilities, etc. I do use Mint and will use the 12 month averages to arrive at an actual number and will post them shortly.

12 month averages can help, somewhat, but on another set of forums, we're fond of saying, "There's no such thing as a 'normal' month."

Every month is different. There will always be some expenses that vary (sometimes wildly). There will always be an emergency or an expense you forgot or a school fundraiser or a blown tire.

A 12 month average is a good starting place, but it's just a starting place. It doesn't help to know that you need $112.34 each month to pay your 6 month insurance bill if it's due next month and you haven't already been setting that aside. It doesn't help that much to know that last year you averaged $34.16 for car repairs if you need $625 right now to fix something.

And now it's time for my usual pitch for You Need A Budget.

Mint can tell you what you've spent and where. It's good for that.

YNAB helps you figure out what to spend before you do.

It's a pricey bit of software (currently $60) but there are discounts available (anyone who owns it can give you a link for a 10% discount) and there's a free 34 day trial. And once or twice a year they run sales (I also think it's currently free for college students).

It's possible to use the YNAB method without the software. It's essentially an envelope budgeting system where you plan what to do with the money you have, not what you think you're going to get.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (26) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next


TMF Credit Center
The Motley Fool Credit Center arms you with real tools and simple messages, that will help you in every credit situation.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.