Years ago when Fred got out of grad school, we sat down and figured out our cash flow. We figured out how much cash we needed a week and stuck to it. We also put together a budget for me so that every month I had a dollar amount to buy pretty much whatever I wanted. Mostly clothes, accessories, wedding gifts, etc. Overtime, the budget has expanded and been depleted but I always followed it. You can't go over budget but you can carry over what you didn't spend the previous month.
Sounds anal but what I really like about the budget is our costs are pretty much fixed. Also, if I decide to buy an outrageous pair of shoes that I have no right costing what they do, Fred doesn't care. He knows I am on budget and that is all that counts. Works for a beautiful relationship. We run our household as a business. The kids understand the concept and the girls are starting to get them too. Josh isn't quite there yet. Jessica get so much cash a month put into her bank account and it is up to her to stick to it and if she doesn't, she doesn't go out. Pretty simple.
I have a spread sheet, by month, where I plug in my credit card bills. Then monthly, I balance the spread sheet. Sometimes there are charges from Amazon which are an addition that I didn't plug in, etc. I have gone months with out doing it and then it gets overwhelming. But, I like to know where I stand.
Wesabe has changed my life. I love this service. Essentially Wesabe takes all of my credit card information (when it comes in which is daily ) and this shows up underneath my account that I have set up. One for Visa, one for Amex, etc. I then can take the dollar amount and tag it. So, if it is a charge under my budget, I tag it jb (joannes budget), if it is a vacation item, it is tagged vacation, a house item is tagged home, grocery items tagged grocery. You get the gist. It takes literally seconds daily and I know where I stand. It is so much easier than what I have been doing. Also, at the end of the year, we can see by our tags, how much we spend under each item. We plan our annual budget at the beginning of the year and attempt to make the numbers. This helps us as the year proceeds. Just like a business.
I haven't figured out how to deduct the amount I have just spend against my monthly budget so I am still using the old way in unison but it isn't tedious and I don't have to do the checks and balances monthly. Eventually I will figure it out and have everything on line. I have actually found items that were wrong on my bill much quicker since I look at it daily. I just called AMEX and had it taken care of. If I didn't have Wesabe, I might not have picked that up for months.
Fantastic service. Loving Wesabe.