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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-23-2005, 08:46 AM   #21
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Re: I need a budget...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cb
...Then you'll subsist soley on real-deal Quaker Oats, Eggbeaters, low-sodium V-8 juice, fat free milk and cottage cheese, frozen 3-berry mix, your better grades of sliced turkey breast, 100% whole wheat bread, and bananas.
Jarhead, looks like you've got another convert!

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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-23-2005, 08:46 AM   #22
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Re: I need a budget...

I think I am like a lot of people in here - we live so far below our means, that we don't really need a budget per se. *We have been tracking expenses very carefully for about 3 years, more or less to see what we spend and how much we need to live on when we retire. *It also lets us see where we can cut out if we need to. *We also save off the top - 401K money goes out and we never see it, plus we have money going to other investments every time we get paid. *But when the time comes, we'll know how to spend or not spend, I think. *But then, we're pretty frugal anyway. *It's probably different if you are not.

I don't think you can do a budget until you do what CT said - account for every buck you spend. *I'm not even sure 6 months is enough. *I would do it for a year, so you can see what happens in different seasons (heating costs, gift giving, etc.)

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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-23-2005, 09:16 AM   #23
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Jarhead, looks like you've got another convert!

REW: I'm thinking about converting from mush (oatmeal) to Cream of Wheat. Naa! I just changed my mind.
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-23-2005, 11:08 AM   #24
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Re: I need a budget...

I track my spending, mostly so I can see what categories I'm doing most of my spending . After tracking for about 3 years, I still surprise myself by spending more in some areas than I think or budget for. But I'm still spending less per year than I bring in.

I transfer/deposit into my checking every month a fixed amount that pays all my monthly bills with some slush money.
If I need to pull more from my MM account, I will check a little more closely to see why I've gone over.

It's a pretty easy way to keep a check on things without spending a lot of time or effort. When I start tapping my pensions, my income will be larger so I'll either loosen the budget or save more. I still have 2 teenage boys on my auto and health insurance, so those expenses will disappear......eventually.
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-25-2005, 03:55 PM   #25
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
REW: I'm thinking about converting from mush (oatmeal) to Cream of Wheat. Naa! I just changed my mind.
I love them both and eat them quite often. I wait for great sales and stock up.
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-25-2005, 04:23 PM   #26
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by LRAO
My biggest expense that I should/could control is eating out too much.* But I am 28 and single and I don't like cooking for myself.
Well, those frozen, microwaveable foods could be cheaper than eating out but you probably need to look at the ingredients to make sure they are not too bad for you.

My friend who's a single mom goes to something called Main Dish Kitchen (http://www.maindishkitchen.com/howitworks.asp) where she "assembles" meals good for a week or two, puts them in the freezer, and cooks them at home.* She likes it 'cause it saves her some shopping, cooking, and clean-up and washing time.
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-25-2005, 04:31 PM   #27
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by flipstress
Well, those frozen, microwaveable foods could be cheaper than eating out but you probably need to look at the ingredients to make sure they are not too bad for you.

My friend who's a single mom goes to something called Main Dish Kitchen (http://www.maindishkitchen.com/howitworks.asp) where she "assembles" meals good for a week or two, puts them in the freezer, and cooks them at home.* She likes it 'cause it saves her some shopping, cooking, and clean-up and washing time.
Swanson's frozen turkey dinner, around a buck on sale. Wash it down with a beer or some cheap wine and you won't know the difference except you will save bushels of cash.

JG
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-25-2005, 04:34 PM   #28
 
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
Swanson's frozen turkey dinner
I remember having these over 40 years ago.* They're probably still slicing from that self same tough old turkey.
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-25-2005, 04:38 PM   #29
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
I remember having these over 40 years ago.* They're probably still slicing from that self same tough old turkey.
Yep, but you can't beat the price

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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-26-2005, 09:02 AM   #30
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Re: I need a budget...

A couple of quick, cheap "bachelor" meals:

Heat butter and olive oil in saute pan. Add a few chopped veggies - onion, bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, etc. Saute for a few minutes until tender. Add fish filet, such a talapia, trout, or salmon. Saute/pouch (there'll be some liquid from the veggies). Season with salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, etc. Fish will only take a few minutes to cook.

Another quicky dish: grill or saute some chicken breast. Cut into strips or bite-sized pieces. Add tomatoes and chopped olives; simmer for short period to reduce the liquid slightly, then serve over whole-wheat pasta.

Then there's always chili, spaghetti sauce, "soup" beans and cornbread, etc. Stews and casseroles are good for a few days leftovers, then freeze the rest for later. Bon appetit!!
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Re: I need a budget...
Old 11-26-2005, 12:28 PM   #31
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Re: I need a budget...

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Originally Posted by WhodaThunkit
I remember having these over 40 years ago.* They're probably still slicing from that self same tough old turkey.
My brother and I considered it a big treat - when my parents went out, and we had a babysitter we would always have those dinners. The stuffing was like paste and the cranberry sauce was more like jello....but we gobbled them down anyway.
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