I used to hate the B word.
Sometimes when I use it, I get “the look”. You know that look, it’s the seemingly confused, nearly disapproving look.
I’m talking about the BUDGET.
So back in 2017 January, the boy made me reluctantly read the Dave Ramsey book, “Total Money Makeover.”
At first I read half heartedly. I knew what the premise of the book was, and I understood why I was asked to read the “good book”.
We were looking for a way to make a drastic change, and become EVEN MORE financially stable.
Now let me just say, we didn’t really have credit card debt, We had gotten that under control a long while ago, but we were rolling. By that I mean, we used a card or two, and then paid them off when the statement came in. In essence that meant we were always a month behind financially to what we were bringing in monthly. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was a little bit of a crutch.
After reading the “good book”, we took a few months to plan out our actual budget. We saw where we had some “leakage”, where we could tighten up and get laser focused on creating an actual savings account.
Every little thing went onto our spreadsheet. We had weekly Sunday morning meetings, to discuss what we spent money on, addressed needs and wants and went on FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN. We actually argued over $20. But we had to get on the same page, on track and understand each other and our money.
It was difficult. Those $5 coffees really add up. Grabbing a bottled water when out shopping added to the bottom line. Ordering delivery pizza every Friday evening… that was a major change. Sure we were living a nice and comfortable life, #havingfun -but we were also making some inexpensive mistakes, that could easily be rectified.
We all got on board. Armed with this new info, we made coffee at home about 75% of the time in lieu of grabbing one out. We bought filtered water bottles and took them along when we left the house. We started grabbing a frozen pizza for our Friday nights, and only ordered out once a month- and we usually would just drive and get it. We even made sure to include a little monthly family fun money, and we each had a column to cover a little extra fun- that was tracked to the cent.
Fast forward 2 years later and we’re in 2019.
We’ve managed to financially get by while the boy took time to work on a (failed) project. There wasn’t a paycheck or funding, which made things difficult. Kiddo had an expensive dance and medical year, and we had a minor medical scare with my little old man. We got through it, a little easier, because we budget.
So 2019- what are our plans? Do we have any financial goals? Of course we do. We’re paying off my car. That means doubling and tripling up payments whenever we can throughout the year- once all the monthly bills are paid and the spreadsheet says it’s ok!
It’s become a bit of a game for me. I’m excited to see how fast we will get my SUV to PIF status. My guess is it will take to the end of 2019, as planned- with no foreseen surprises. Josh thinks we’ll do it a bit sooner than that. Either way, we’re all on board to make it happen.
Getting on a budget can be difficult and overwhelming at first. While we’re growing up as children, we rarely think about money and its value. As we enter adulthood, many of us make financial mistakes, get in over our head and are trying to figure out HOW to afford to live. Everyone is trying to keep up with each other. Then as we are actual “grown ups”, we have more added responsibilities as home owners and parents.
All of this growing up time, we really don’t have a good idea about how to treat our money, how to make it work for us in the best way possible. We get sidetracked and bamboozled by the things we think we want or need.
We get off track.
Getting back on track takes focus. It takes the desire. It means taking a good hard look at yourself, your lifestyle and your money.
I tend to treat the dolla dolla billz like our personal little money soldiers in the war of our personal finances. After some soul searching and a kickass spreadsheet or two, I’m feeling super confident and happy about the B word.
It looks good on me! 🙂
If you’re interested in my awesome spreadsheet LMK in the comments below. I’ve already shared it out to a friend or two and have helped them to get back on track.