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Who is the best person to help me with a budget?

Regular Contributor

Re: Who is the best person to help me with a budget?

OP being honest here no one is going to care as much about your financial health than you will.  This is one area of life you really don't want to contract out and not worry about it. 


My advice is to ignore others on here advocating Dave Ramsey.   Dave Ramsey gives pretty horrible advice actually...if you want to pay 10% or more interest rate on a mortage because you tore up all your credit cards and have no credit history by all means listen to Dave Ramsey.  If you want the majority of the money you invest to be eaten away by fees and be stuck in financial purgatory till your late 50's then listen to Dave Ramsey. 


OP if you want a good book to read that has great wisdom for people who don't know how to save money and put money aside to invest as well as being able to dig themselves out of a hole financially than you should buy the book "The Richest Man in Babylon".  It explains the concept of pay yourself first i.e. "reverse budgeting" and other topics like making sure your heirs understand how to make and keep money which is important since the grandkids tend to squander the money of their successful grandparents.  It even goes into investing and really basic concepts of entrepreneurship.  It's really a timeless book and a great read that will help you get a better grasp of your financial life since it's really written for someone in your situation OP that is drifting and doesn't know what they are doing.   

Message 11 of 12
Regular Contributor

Re: Who is the best person to help me with a budget?

Another YNAB user and advocate here. What I like most about YNAB is that I can automatically import transactions, which helps us keep track of it even when life gets too hectic to manually enter them all. If you're okay with manually entering each and every transaction, you can try going with Every Dollar, which is Dave Ramsey's budgeting software and the free version doesn't have automatic importing as an option.


OP, I budget extensively and am self-taught. I hang out on budgeting forums (YNAB even has one) where folks like me who were once where you're at have taught each other how to budget well. It all begins with tracking your spending, because you have to know how much you're currently spending on groceries, gas, fun stuff, etc.

Once you've tracked every single expense for a month or two, you can look at how muh you're spending in each category (the categories you make are completely up to you) and see how you feel about it. You need to decide for yourself what is reasonable and what you can afford. There's no "one true way" with budgeting; there is ONLY what works for you. Some people use a pen and paper instead of software, and that works great for them. Some people use dozens of categories, some use very few. You have to feel it out, it will feel weird at first but if you keep at it you will get the hang of it.

One thing you must include with your monthly budgeting is irregular expenses. For example, if you want to buy people Christmas gifts you'll want to figure out how much you want to spend on gifts ahead of time and divide that by the number of months you have left until Christmas. If you don't have enough money per month to put in that fund and not touch it until Christmas, you'll have to either reduce spending in a different area of your life to be able to budget your target amount to it or make more money. Some of my irregular epenses include vehicle maintenance, car insurance (it's cheaper if I pay annually), registration tabs, Costco membership, driver's license renewal, and shots for my dog. You want to learn to plan ahead and save up for life's irregular expenses.

I could point you towards several people I trust who are professional advisors not just for retirement but for budget as well. However I know about them because we hang around the same forum sand I get to benefit from their advice for free. Smiley Very Happy I'd recommend you do the same, if you have the time. If you go with YNAB they actually have online classes to teach you not only how to use the software but also how to budget. They have tons of advice and that's why they've developed a loyal following, including myself.

Good luck!

Message 12 of 12
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