We have used or at least attempted to use Larry Burkett's budget all of our married lives.
http://www.crown.org/pamphlets/pdfs/PGI06%28FamilyofSix%29.pdf The biggest difficulty I have is not borrowing from another envelope when my "clothing" envelope is empty. I also have two stores that are budget busters...Goodwill and our local grocery store! Goodwill? you ask...
You see, If I find a skirt, I tend to buy it whether I need it or not, (I'm always sure there won't be any skirts available when I do need them.) I really struggle to keep my Goodwill shopping cost below $50.00/per trip. In my mind I justify it, because, after all, I'm only paying a fraction of the cost I would pay if I bought those items at "normal" cost. Regardless, just because it's a good buy, doesn't mean I can afford it. So, after talking about it with my husband, we decided that I have to keep the clothing money at home. I can only take from it, when I really need something. :(
Econo Foods is way overpriced! (Especially since I shop mainly at Aldi Foods, my garden, and the freezer, which is stocked by my very own husband. My husband and children (especially a certain 14 year-old!) love to create really tasty (albeit) expensive dishes. What typically happens is they decide to make something scrumptious that isn't on the menu and we make a quick run to Econo to get the necessary ingredients...not a good idea. So...there will have to be delayed gratification. They will need to write it down on the NEXT menu and we'll buy the ingredients on my next shopping trip. We'll see how that plays out in reality!
I find it interesting that a second income may seem like more money, but in reality it may not be. This article is very interesting. http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/how-much-money-you-really-make-simpledollar.aspx I also read that a second income bumps you into a higher tax bracket, which means that you are paying nearly 27% in taxes on that money. In reality, a $40,000 second income was only $14,000, after taxes and the cost of the job itself.
As a stay-at-home mom, I've found one of the best ways to "earn" money is to save the money you already have. For me, that means, shopping at second-hand shops, sewing clothing and home decorating items, using items long after they would normally be replaced, cooking/baking from scratch, gardening, living in a home we can afford - rather than trying to keeping up with the Jones', and using real plates and napkins vs. paper products.
Do you follow a budget or have any money-saving tips you would like to share?