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Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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Living on a budget? What are your top tips or tricks for tracking expenses and creating a budget? Share your top ideas below!

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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Helps if your cheap.Only buying when given a great deal.That keeps me from going to Disneyland or overpaying at restaurants or anywhere else.Another thing is over shopping price.I can do a lot of price comparisons for an item and eventually get tired of doing it and decide to not buy it.It ends compulsive purchases.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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I have always remembered what I was told years ago. "Don't spend money when you do not have to." Has always reminded me to look at other options.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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It is just my husband and I at home. We both still are working but When we go to the store for a week at a time and plan out our meals we actually usually spend more than if we just eat out. There are always coupons for places to eat and some places have specials on certain days. Plus there is no mess to clean up afterward.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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or, "can I live without it"?

 

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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I don't have a budget, per se. What I did most of my life, was to re-evaluate the day, each evening and morning, as to what things were done or still needs tending to. Therefore, I had a new "budget' each morning. As long as I didn't waste my money, and lived within my means, everything always worked out (more or less).

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     My suggestion, and I realize that we all do not have the opportunity to employ this, is to not retire until such time as we can access retirement funds that are about 10% more than what we need. My belief is that there will always be the unforeseen expense that presents itself....and we better be ready for it.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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I'm 70, married with no children.  Having no children deffinitely helps live easier during retirement.  Believe it or not, I planned my retirement at age 14.  It came to past.  During my working years, I saved as much as possible.  We did travel all over Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean but we NEVER went into debt for anything until our first home.  Too many people buy boats, RV's, motorcycles, etc.  Most of which they might use once a year.  Rent it.  It's cheaper.  When planning your retirement, decide if you want to move.  If you do, check out the income taxes, property taxes, etc.  I live in Oregon with high income taxes.  But, I do not pay any as I am not working and my retirement is exempted due to a special law that exempts a portion of or all of your military retirement if your duty covers certain years.  Otherwise I would have had to live in a state I did not want.  Pay off your mortgage before you retire.  Don't keep giving money to adult children and relatives or you will never retire.  Don't co-sign for any loans for anyone for anything.  Unless you are very wealthy, you will never retire if you have any loans.  Move to a smaller house or apartment, at least half the size of your current one.  Once retired work part-time if you want and if anyone will hire you after age 50.  Once we reached social security age, i.e. 62, we both took it.  Yes, one receives a reduced monthly payment, but, how long do you really expect to live?  I've known too many who died at age 70 through 76.  Why wait to collect SS?  Keep at least two years annual pre-retirement income in savings.  Six months savings is nothing.  Don't touch any types of IRA's until your late '60's.  Make sure you take out just enough to keep you from going into a higher tax bracket.  Save what you take out.  If you have retirement from your job and healthcare - great.  Use them.  If you do not have any retirement but have to retire on savings alone, then you need at least 1.5 million saved in order to take out only 4% a year to get $60,000 pretax dollars.  Of course this must be adjusted so that you never use your base savings amount - until you get really old.  The wage earner needs to provide income for the spouse if that person dies first.  Get insurance on yourself.  The most important thing after the above has been done - don't overspend, i.e. go into debt or spend all of your savings.  We live comfortably, buy what we want and still save.  We don't scrimp.  Hope this helps.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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Create a realistic budget, based on what you have been spending over the last year or so, then track future spending against it. Lots of free computer apps will help but paper and pencil works too. Key is to have realistic expectation and self assess progress on a continuing basis.

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Re: Tips and Tricks for Living on a Budget

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I use Intuit's Quicken to track my expenses and plan out my monthly budget.

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