BudgetBudget & Finance

Look at the Dollar a Day

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
Category Budget

Face it, budgeting is hard. Sometimes what makes it so difficult is the "big picture." Paying $50 a month for something doesn't seem so bad until you realize how many things cost $50 a month. Now the $50 turned itself into $250 a month. Instead, try this simpler approach and see if it works for you. The least it can do is make you more aware of your expenditures.


Your Income

Find your total yearly net income. Remember to include any outside income other than your paycheck such as child support, business income, sales from craft fairs, etc. Then, divide that number into 365. Now you know how much you earn per day. This may already have put some of your spending into perspective depending upon the number on your calculator.

Your spending

For each expense that is necessary find its total yearly cost. Again, this may make some eyes open. I didnt realize how expensive premium cable channels were until I realized that $16 a month becomes almost $200 a year. How many movies would I have to watch to justify that?

For anything that is not a necessity, divide its cost per day. For instance, a new digital video camera will cost $1.64 per day. Will you utilize it enough to justify this cost? If you only use it once a month, it now costs almost $50 per use. A disposable video camera may be a better purchase at $30 per camera. It also helps put larger purchases in perspective for those who are looking to "live cheaply" to pay off accumulated bills. Car insurance plus gas averaged into a daily cost may make the choice of whether or not to drive or take the bus a lot easier.


Larger purchases such as cars and homes should be figured with their yearly costs. In other words, add the twelve monthly payments and then divide by 365.

Add Them Up

Add your daily costs and compare them to your daily earnings. Don't forget every expenditure such as medical costs, water bills, etc. It may take a few months of "bill collecting" to itemize everything, but it will give you a good idea of your proportioned spending and earning.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines as well as online newsletters. She teaches writing in the public school as well as at the collegiate level. Contact her at Englishteach@rcn.com or visit her website at users.rcn.com/.../Writer

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
September 29, 20060 found this helpful

I've come all the way from earning $70/hr. to less than $700/mo. due to: divorce almost ten years ago, disability, and disasters unforeseen. However, after the dust of this settled, I was able to see how God used what Satan meant for evil and turned it into His good. This means to me that rather than give me more, He simply helped me to NEED/WANT less, and showed me the necessity in doing this, which I should have known more about LONG before something like this happened to me.


Like those who think we will live forever, with the attitude of "there's always another day", I had to renew my thinking to accept and reconcile myself with the fact that even when we "own" something, it can be taken from us in the twinkling of an eye, or can be destroyed completely as we once knew it to be. Like Castor Oil during the Great Depression, a regular dose of humility never hurt ANYONE who's head might be or have been in the cloud of
this over-confident societies' shadow.

This nation has corrupted itself. It is NOT what God
intended at all, although He knew it would happen
eventually. I know there are those who are still racing and denying that this exists, but there are plenty of those, like me, who know poverty but are
better for it in many ways. It got my attention. It
made me look at every penny spent. I now pay attention to greater detail, the bigger picture, bigger than my once tiny corner of the world.


Budgeting is MUCH better to calculate per day , especially since there's a rock-bottom budget. I admire those who don't let it get so low, and extend my condolances to those who who don't out of necessity HAVE to budget...as I never thought I'd have to budget until this time of my life. It's the
unexpected things that one needs to plan for.


Thank you and God bless you for your suggestions. : )

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