Sunday gathering – How's your budget?

By glblguy


At the end of April I dared you to live 30 days on a budget. More than 23 people signed up and agreed to try budgeting. Most said they would begin the first day of May. Here it is the last day of May. How did you do?

  • Did you start? If not, how come?
  • Did you make it the full 30 days? If not, what stopped you?
  • What things did you learn?
  • Did you get it right?
  • Did you use my excel budget spreadsheet? Did you use software such as You Need a Budget?

I’d really like to hear from you via comments on how the budget challenge worked or didn’t work for you. Did it change your life or was it a complete bomb? Please take a few minutes and add a comment letting me know how it went for you.

iPod Pay off Debt Application Giveaway

Blunt Money has written an application for the iPod and iPod Touch called Pay off debt. Pay off debt is an application that helps you get of out debt using a debt snowball. I don’t have an iPod or iPod Touch, otherwise I’d do a full review for you, but from the screen shots it looks really slick! If any of my affiliate partners want to me out in this area, I’d appreciate it :-).

Blunt Money was also kind enough to provide two codes for the US iTunes store to get the app for free. I’ll be giving these away in my gathering next Sunday! All you have to do is add a comment to this article sharing how you could use this application on your iPod or iPod Touch.

A Few Personal Updates

It was another busy week for us here in the “Gibble” household as many of you have so named it. Our kids finished up their EOGs which was a huge stress relief for them. I also went with my oldest son to the High School athletic meeting. He’s starting High School next year and will be playing football and wrestling. He was a nervous wreck! The good news is the football coach grew up in the area of Charlotte, NC we moved from so they had a connection.

We continued to work on our landscape. My wife was busy planting flowers and grasses all over. We also decided to build a small bridge from our deck to the path leading up to our vegetable garden. I’ll share some pics soon once we get it completed. I also found some flat rock for the creek side patio I’m building. Good flat rock is hard to find, even in the mountains!

The compost in the compost bin I made is cooking away. I turned it a little this weekend, and was really surprised by the amount of heat that thing generates! When they say the average bin/pile is 120-160 degrees, they aren’t kidding! I can definitely see it working too. The pile is getting smaller and the materials are turning darker. We’ve started adding materials to the other side now so the first pile can fully mature (hence the reason for me building a 2 bin compost bin).

Our garden is coming along as well, we have lots of vegetable plants growing away: corn, squash, okra, spinach, cabbage, carrots, green beans, watermelons, and cucumbers. Our tomato plants my wife grew from seeds are doing really well too and beginning to really grow. We need to weed it though. So far to critter invasions either. Guessing our boxer is a good deterrent.

The gathering:

Here are my favorite articles from the blogosphere this week:

  • Six great ways to slam the door on your customersEvery business should read this. It never ceases to amaze me how poorly businesses treat their customers sometimes. Do they forget that without the customer, they have no business??
  • Family Summer Vacations, Not Another StaycationFrugalDad says he’s tired of “staycations” and wants a real vacation. FrugalDad, if you decide to hit the Smokeys, make sure you head over and say hi! We’re just over the mountain.
  • pensions are investmentsPlonkee talks about building societies. Had never even heard of one until I read this.
  • Never Say We Can’t Afford ItExcellent read. We’re the same way, we generally just say no as well. I do say I don’t have the money right now, we have other things that we need more.

6 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Sunday gathering – How's your budget?”

  1. Frugal Dad Says:

    Thanks for sharing my post in the gathering! And if we do decide to head to the mountains, I’ll definitely “give you a holler.”

  2. Linda Jacobsen Says:

    As the most recent winner of the YNAB program, I immediately entered all receipts for the month of May and let me tell you, what an eye-opener. It’s so easy to see exactly where we are spending too much and what definitely needs to be trimmed. We have a ways to go before our budget looks the way it should. I get a two thumbs up for making a budget and a two thumbs down for not being able to live with it. Thanks for the help!

  3. Bobbi Says:

    I was in on the challenge and it worked out well for me. I received 5 pay checks this month but also had a Mother’s day weekend planned in SC. I budgeted for that so I did well. Even had a little $ left over to play with next month. I used the YNAB software. :) I am going to try the “no spend summer” that Living Well on Less is doing. I will do this for June & July, but have a big week planned in August with family coming in. :) Thanks for the challenge(s).

  4. Kim Says:

    It was a complete disaster! I haven’t had a month that bad in years!
    * Did you start? ~Yes
    * Did you make it the full 30 days? ~I budgeted the whole month but I didn’t make it inside the budget. If not, what stopped you? ~too many things came up. Birthday’s, weddings, graduations, and the most unexpected, brakes and shocks on the car. Who knew you could actually blow out your shocks! Thank goodness for Emergency Savings.
    * What things did you learn? ~I learned so much and totally revamped the budget spread sheet I used. Such as not budgeting for the month but in 2 week chunks to fit in with the paychecks, and not just use the cash in the envelopes but MAKE SURE TO WRITE IT DOWN on the envelope. I know, I know they all tell you too but I forget one, then another, it just got away from me.
    * Did you get it right? ~Not even close but I’m really psyched for getting it right in June.
    * Did you use my excel budget spreadsheet? ~Did you use software such as You Need a Budget? ~I had a system that I had been using to track spending so I used that to make the budget….obviously didn’t work, but if nothing else the month got me a GREAT jumping off point for the future of my budgeting.

    Now with this new budget I will get a month ahead with my bill in about 6 months! Even though this months budget was a disaster I’m grateful I did it. :)

  5. Miranda Says:

    We’ve been living on a budget so that we can put in a yard this summer. It’s been working out well. We’ve managed to make payments as the work progresses, and not strain our finances.

    I’d like to be entered in the App giveaway contest as well. I would use the Pay Off Debt app to track my mortgage and my car loan.

  6. Gina Says:

    Did you start? Yes – we actually started in January and I’ve been good at keeping up w/it.

    Did you make it the full 30 days? Yes – only b/c I had a few months to ‘practice’. The first time I tried a budget, I had the exact same experience Kim did – our “murphy” issues came in May (2008) too – dishwasher broke, garage door broke, $1k worth of car repairs and new $3k AC condenser. We had planned for the AC but didn’t plan on the other items. I didn’t revisit my budget until Jan 2009.

    What things did you learn? I do better w/a once a month update. If I ‘tweak’ it every day/every wk I get consumed w/the smallest of details and loose focus.

    Did you get it right? Only after the 2nd try.

    Did you use my excel budget spreadsheet? Did you use software such as You Need a Budget? I use an excel spreadsheet. I’m thinking about trying YNAB, after reading about Linda’s experience above.

    Thanks for the challenge!