How do you Manage your Household Budget?

For newly wed couples, how to manage the household budget may be one of the most complicated things that you could ever talk about as a couple. I know a lot of couples who fight and argue about financial concerns and decisions. How do husbands and wives of several years do it? Is there a basic framework that we could follow, so that all couples could just follow it and not have to argue?

What I did was I asked typical housewives who have survived years of marriage without constantly arguing about money with their husband on how they do it in their own homes.

My husband and I have decided that I will be the one who’ll manage the budgeting and disbursements (buying stuff for the house, bills payments etc.) although I let him know how much goes into what type of expenses we need to pay. I keep a “journal” of our cashflow – salary vs. expenses. When payday comes, I only withdraw the needed money for the period, ask the bank teller to give me an exact breakdown of the bills and coins I need so that I can put the exact amount allotted for each type of expense on individual envelopes (for ex. grocery), this helps me know that only such amount is available for this particular expense to avoid overspending. This way, I am able to organize our finances and keep expenses within the budget. – Lorellie

It used to be my husband who was in charge of budgeting and disbursements, but we both agreed last year that I be in charge. We have a monthly budget and every payday he gives me his share for the expenses, then I divide that plus my share and put them into envelopes that are labelled for different expenses. We also put aside 10% (as much as possible) for tithes and 10-20% to savings and investments (again, as much as possible). Before I gave birth, I was in charge of paying the bills. But now that we have a little baby again, he’s in charge for now. Whatever bills can be paid online, he pays online. We also try to buy new stocks through our COL Financial account every month, as much as possible. Whatever I earn from my blog usually goes to the homeschooling needs of our kids. – Tina of www.trulyrichmom.com

Since I’m a military wife, I’m geographically a single parent. I do everything, I have everything. He has allowance though. And yes, we are very typical — what’s his is mine and what’s mine is mine alone. When I get to have “blogging gigs”, I share the info with him. Haha! Seriously – Denise of www.bebengisms.com

I’m the one in charge of budgeting but I inform my husband of how the money is being spent. My husband gives me his salary in full, and he receives a bi-monthly allowance for his personal expenses, like for a boys’ night out. I have several mini pockets (those plastic card holders) with labels like PHONE, CABLE, ELECTRICITY, KID’S ALLOWANCE, etc., and the moment I receive our respective salaries, the budgeted amount will be put in those pockets. We practice the formula INCOME less SAVINGS equals EXPENSE. So every month, there is a set amount that goes to our savings, and to a special account for emergencies. Whatever can be saved from the budgeted expense then goes to special expenses like gadgets. We use a credit car for big ticket spending, like appliances, to take advantage of zero interest installments, but we always pay credit card dues in full and on time to avoid finance charges. I also make sure that I use my credit card so often to earn me necessary points to pay off the annual fee. In my 11 years of being a cardholder, not once have I paid the annual fee. I also have a budget planner in Excel which I use when I need to make adjustments to our budget, like when we are planning to have a vacation and I need to see where I can cut some expenses to allow me to save for that vacation. The budget planner is set to automatically compute, so it makes my life a lot easier. That budget planner, by the way, is downloadable from my site, so if you want to download it, just visit my page and get the URL from there. – Marge of TheHappyWAHM.com

I do the budgeting in the family. I keep mailing envelopes and label each with tithes and offerings, electricity, water, internet, forced savings, SSS and Philhealth. The rest goes to everything else. When the next paycheck comes, whatever amount that is left unused goes to savings or leisure. We lead simple lives. We do not have utang (debts) if we can help it. God’s portion is a priority, then the bills, then the basic needs. Leisure is still there but it’s of a lower priority. We agree on a fixed percentage for forced savings. We also make it a point to save for a vacation to our parents, for birthday gifts to parents and for appliances and gadgets. – Michelle of behealthyandwell.com

This is one aspect of my life that I would really like to improve on. 1. I am the solo breadwinner of the household. Hubby worked overseas last year, came home due to work issues, and still looking for work overseas again. But that’s another story, so long story short, I bring home the bacon. 2. I do the budgeting since I am the one earning. However, hubby gets a minimal allowance from me for his personal expenses, and he budgets the “food allowance” each week. I give him the allotted amount and he’s in charge. 3. I pay the bills. It’s tough being that I alone have to shoulder all the expenses, and we have kids as well. But God is good, so far, although we still have debts to pay off, we are doing okay. Like the other mommies here, I have envelopes for everything. Makes everything organized. – Sammy

Me and hubby own our salaries. Although most of the house expense are paid by him, as well as my credit card bills. My salary, on the other hand, is for my allowance, the amortization payment of our house (monthly), insurance premiums (quarterly) and savings. On investments, my profile has always been “conservative”. I availed of the Balance Fund offering of the banks. I find it quite hard to invest on equities or stocks alone like what Citiseconline offers. So, my best advice would be to assess first your risk appetite before investing your excess money. – Melissa

I have been using the “envelope system” for 23 yrs now & have been advocating it to friends. Zero debt now & investing on something that yields me 18%/annum. Whatever extra I earn online, I buy more craft supplies, or enroll in cooking, craft classes or socual media, entrepreneurship workshops. – Marryl of marrylallwrite.com

Our budgeting style is almost exactly the same as TheHappy Wahm’s! Except that my husband and I divide expenses into responsibilities: His earnings go towards the rent, car payment, utilities, gas, savings; mine go towards food, the family’s “fun money” (i.e. vacation, entertainment fund). I also manage our savings, insurance and investment portfolios. As for investments, we a mix of equity mutual funds. We’ve only started recently on stocks. – Martine of DaintyMom.com

I think there is no hard-and-fast rule in budgeting. It is as varied as the uniqueness of individuals. We used to follow the Biblical way where the wife/I handle our monies until it evolved into a more liberal approach. We try to work on the policy of honesty. We inform each other of our bi-monthly earnings then share in paying the bills, savings, tithes and investments – Jasmine

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Looking at the responses from these mommies, I think the envelope system works. I have never tried that before, but it looks like it’s very effective. Although, I agree with Jasmine that there is no hard-and-fast rule in budgeting your household expenses. It really is trial-and-error until you both get it right.

Ej and I have been married for three years and we’re happy to say that we have not ‘ever’ (knock on wood) argued about money. Ej handles our finances, since he earns almost all of it. What I earn from the business, from my blogging gigs and freelance writing engagements, I keep as savings and investments. We tried it the other way around, with me handling the finances, and we think it’s more effective if he does the ‘handling’.

How about you? How do you manage your household finances? What works for you? I’d love to hear more about it.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

P.S.

For those who would love to learn about handling the household budget, join us at the Ready to Be Rich: Family Finances Workshop to be conducted by Mr. Fitz Villafuerte. There will be actual exercises that you will have to do during the workshop to get you started. Sign up here!

Family Finances

Family Finances

About Fitz Villafuerte:
His blog, entitled, Ready To Be Rich, has already received several recognitions including the Best Business and Finance Blog at the Philippine Blog Awards for two years in a row. Moreover, an international finance publication, Wise Bread, has likewise ranked his website as among the Top 100 Personal Finance blogs in the world. Fitz has also been recognized by Moneysense Magazine as among the top 12 most influential people in Personal Finance in the Philippines.

Life Lesson #4: Distinguishing Needs vs. Wants

My Dear Zeeka,

I came across a really expensive ‘educational’ thing that I wanted to buy for you. I told your dad that I wanted to buy them, but all I got was a look of disbelief and a big NO. I knew though that it was a pretty irrational purchase. I could actually get something of the same kind for less.

There are things in life, baby, that you have to forgo since these are mere wants and not needs. Learn to know the difference early on. Learn that there are things that you don’t really need. Even if you think that it will make you happy, it will be a superficial happiness that you will feel.

Getting just the essentials and having just the basics ‘in life’ will make you a thousand fold genuinely happier. Sometimes, wanting causes complications and just makes your life more miserable.

Learn to love what you have and be contented with it. Strive, but not for luxury or wants, but strive to provide your family and your future children with the basics like daily sustenance, education, a comfortable life, love and care. Daily hugs and kisses far outweigh Ipads and gadgets!

Love Lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger

Tickle Me Mondays: Comic Strip #1

I have so many funny baby pictures of Baby Zeeka that my husband and I decided to create cute comic strips from these. So every Monday, I will come out with one baby comic strip to share with you. This part of my blog will be called Tickle Me Mondays.

I know how Mondays can be so rough and tough for all of us. I hope this helps and puts you in a good mood 🙂

Baby Z Funny Baby Pics

Do you have cute baby pictures like these! Join in the fun and use #ticklememondays.

BTW, Baby Z turns 4 months today! Happy birthday, my Baby Fashionista!

Mompreneur Jennifer Mateo-Lozano of Party Crafts by Ava

Since yesterday, I have been receiving messages from my sister on themes that I could do for Zeeka’s first birthday! Waaaah! I know right?! My dear sister, that is still 9 months from now. Baby Z is just 3 months old (not to mention that we just had her Baptism so I’m not really looking forward YET to spending again).

Anyway, since we’re discussing Zeeka’s party, I came across a cool business and party supplier. It’s called Party Crafts by Ava. I got to interview the mompreneur behind it. I’m actually thinking of getting them for Zeeka’s first birthday party… 9 months from now (hehe!).

Mompreneur Jennifer Mateo – Lozano of Party Crafts by Ava tells us about herself…

Momtrepreneur Jennifer of Party Crafts by Ava

Momtrepreneur Jennifer of Party Crafts by Ava

Momtrepreneur Jennifer of Party Crafts by Ava 2

I am married for 3 years and a mom to my 2 year old daughter, Ava Cristiana. I used to work as an Asst. Mall Marketing Officer handling events and promotions and later resigned and worked for the family business. I am also a breastfeeding advocate who believes that breastfeeding is the best investment and decision I have made for me and my family. Being a stay at home mom allows me to continuously breastfeed my daughter for 25 months now and counting. Travels, movies and food top my list of favorites.

Mompreneur Jennifer tells us more about her business…

Party Crafts by Ava

Party Crafts by Ava

Ginger: Can you tell us more about Party Crafts? I’m sure my readers are all excited to read about it.
Jennifer: Party Crafts by Ava is a one stop party shop offering arts and crafts stations for kids and adults alike such as decorate a coin bank, sun visor, notebook, foam frame, crown & tiara, tumbler and ceramic magnet painting, rock and pebble art, nail art & edible cupcake decorating. These activities allow kids and adults to express their creativity while keeping them busy and at the same time having fun. Other services include event styling, photo booth, themed souvenirs, food carts, invites, photo coverage, hosting and other party needs. Party Crafts by Ava was formally launched last June 18, 2013, following the second birthday party celebration of my daughter.

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Ginger: Who is your market?
Jennifer: Parents and party enthusiasts who want to celebrate hassle free, unique, and creative parties.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Jennifer: I have always been fond of planning parties and the details that go with it. It all started out when I was planning for my daughter’s party. I wanted it to be worthwhile for both kids and adults. I stayed away from side entertainment, instead, I incorporated craft activities to keep the kids occupied while the parents mingle and relax. During and after the party, I received compliments and inquiries with the craft stations, they were surprised when I told them that I personally prepared and provided all of them. I was all the more encouraged when my family and friends showed their support.

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Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming a momtrepreneur? What were these?

Jennifer: I am still in the stage of establishing Party Crafts by Ava and with that, I am running a one woman business to cut down on expenses. Being my own run around girl keeps me real busy which sometimes eats up the time that I should be spending with my family.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a momtrepreneur should have when starting their own business?

Jennifer: I think one should be efficient in time management, creative and patient.

Ginger: Any unforgettable lesson that you learned as a Momtrepreneur?
Jennifer: That at the end of the day, I am a still a mom and a wife, that my family is and should always be my priority.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Momtrepreneurs?
Jennifer: I am privileged to answer such question. I am still a newbie but here’s my cent’s worth of advice – do not be afraid to take risks, you may have failed once but that shouldn’t stop you from trying again.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Jennifer! I wish you success in your business and I definitely hope that I can invite you to be there for Zeeka’s first birthday!

Party Crafts by Ava Contact information:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/PartyCraftsByAva
Email address: partycraftsbyava@yahoo.com.ph
Mobile Number: +639178875369
Instagram: partycraftsbyAva

Our HOMEStory! – Family Pictures and Portraits

What a lovely Wednesday morning to all of you, the loyal readers of my blog! Have you noticed that I have been exuding good vibes since July 1 came. It’s beautiful morning and I have a lot to be thankful for! I thank the Lord for all the blessings that He has given me. I most especially thank Him for the gift of family. I thank the Lord for such a wonderful family. This month’s blog topics will all be related to FAMILY.

One of the things that I planned to have before Zeeka was born was to have family pictorials and portraits of me, daddy Ej and baby Z. The first picture of us done by a photographer is this.

First Family Picture

Although you couldn’t really see Zeeka in the picture because the poor baby girl, only two weeks old in this shot, was crying. This was taken by Polly Fong of Oh Happy Day Birth Photography. I love this top shot, too, where you can clearly see Zeeka.

Family Picture taken by Polly Fong

Family Picture taken by Polly Fong

Recently, we had our pictures taken again. Now, the photographer was Regina Hahn Siy of My Story Photography. Looking through the pictures that she took, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be given such a wonderful family.

Family Picture shot by Regina Hahn Siy (I love this shot!)

Family Picture shot by Regina Hahn Siy (I love this shot!)

Family Picture shot by Regina Hahn Siy

Family Picture shot by Regina Hahn Siy

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Thank you, Regina, for creating this video, as well! 🙂

Here are the other pictures!

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How about you? Have you had your family picture taken? Do share with me your experience and your picture. You can email me at ginger@mommyginger.com. I’m planning to have our family picture taken on Zeeka’s 6th and 9th month and every year after that.

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Mommy Ginger