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  1. Transitioning: Creating a budget

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Happy Thursday readers! I have been a little uninspired on the blogging front lately because I've been wrapped up in job transition stuff. Tuesday (March 13) is my last day and so I've been busy wrapping up loose ends, saying goodbye to folks I've gotten to know and figuring out what in my office is mine (actually, it's quite a lot!)

    I've also been thinking about moving - G and I spent Sunday just walking around Edmonton in our favourite neighbourhoods looking for vacancies that weren't posted online and this afternoon we are going to view a few apartments as well. Since I have five days off in between ending my old job and starting my new one, we'll have sometime then to get housing settled and maybe even start packing!

    My main goal for packing will be trying to determine what we really want to take with us. We have at least one tote in the basement full of things we weren't using for the last 15 months, so I will start from that. We also will probably look to upgrade our TV and get rid of a single bed that we have but don't really have a use or need for. Everything is in good condition so we'll probably look at giving it to the ReStore (which also picks up stuff - Score if you have a teensy car like me).

    Something I'm also been thinking about a lot is MONEY and specifically budgeting. We had a bit of a budget in this place but it kind of went off the rails (I blame the electricity company and their ridiculous fee hike that sent our power bill through the roof) so what better time to get back on track when we're moving to a new home in a new city with a new salary?

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    Betty Bee had a great blog the other day about budgeting the old-fashioned way which also gave me a bit of a kick in the butt. It's one thing to know that you should be budgeting, but she broke down the percentages for each area (shelter, food, savings etc) that you should be budgeting for, via the 1930s book "The Book of Hints and Wrinkles". I'm not going to re-iterate her post, you really should go and read it if you haven't. Another vintage book on spending that I have come across is Guiding Family Spending, which can be read for free on Google Books, if you are interested.

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    What I am going to rave about however is Mint.com. I know Mint has been around for a while but I stumbled upon it 'eavesdropping' on Twitter last week (I do that a lot). If you've never heard of it either, basically Mint logs into your banking information to track and categorize your spending and it creates budgets from your amounts.

    Instead of having to track spending in a little black book, Mint does it all for you online with all your accounts that you add. So if you have a chequings, savings and credit card like me, it will track spending from all of them. It also reminds you when you have a payment coming and will alert you when you're close to going over budget. I love it!  I think you can also add in another account from your spouse, but we haven't done that yet, so I'm just personally tracking my spending.

    Did I mention that's it free?!



    So with the helpful information from Betty Bee's post, I created my new budget and have already set the parameters on Mint. At first I was a little worried but then I remember that it was just my spending I was tracking - G obviously contributes half of everything as well but I hadn't added that into my budget. I'm very excited to get back into an organized mindset for spending.

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  2. 1 comments:

    1. This post is really timely...my husband and I have been having some serious budget discussions lately. I'm definitely going to check out Betty Bee's post and Mint. Yay, financial plan!

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