Budgeting tips for families of four and a baby

We use to put money aside every pay check for our vacations or save some of our tax refund for day trips or homeschooling. I was very diligent in allotting where our money went.

Keep track of what you spend on groceries, clothes, toiletries and cleaning supplies, gas, utilities, rent or mortgage, car payment, insurance, taxes, entertainment, etc. for three months. Add each category up at the end of three months and divide by three to get what you spend on average per month.

Whatever is leftover after you pay for all the essentials is what you can use to budget for vacation, savings, big ticket items and whatever else you would like to buy. I use to put this cash in envelopes, some people open another bank account for Christmas or vacation money. If you have debt, I'd work on paying that off before the unnecessary items and then once the debt is paid off you can put that money towards those things.

We also limited eating out, going to movies. We tried to buy used before we bought new. We shopped garage sales and thrift stores.

What are your budgeting tips?

8Theresa GouldChicago, Illinois
Moms Expertise
    These are some really good tips Theresa thanks!
    My tips would be:
    *Buying what you can at dollar stores before you do the rest of your groceries at your local grocery store
    *Have a set budget for different categories like Theresa said and then anytime you don't spend the full budget that month put it in your "slush" fund for dates and holidays etc
    *Turn off any lights etc you're not using in the house
    *Save on your water bill by only flushing number 2's lol (if you're really doing it tough every bit helps!)
    I have more but that's all I can think of for now.
    About Theresa Gould
    Current: Chicago, Illinois
    Birth: August 10
    On Moms.com since: Aug 5, 2013
    ***Baby Team Leader Moms.com*** I have been married for over 20 years. My husband and I have eight children ages 18 down to 4 years old. We use to live in Chicago but now live in Canada. I own www.FaithandFamilyReviews.com.