Budgeting. Its not fun and nobody likes talking about it, am I right?? Well, you can blame it on my Facebook Group bc they requested a budgeting blog post so here we are!
Budgeting is honestly new for us. Up until two years ago, we just paid the bills, spent whatever we wanted and then wondered where all of our money went. We didn’t think a budget was important and honestly, we really didn’t know how to do it! Budgeting isn’t something you learn in school and when my Dad tried teaching me about it, I rolled my eyes and bought more shoes instead. As an adult with teen boys inching closer to college, we realized we had to get serious about money, so here are some things that we do to spend less and save more, while still being able to shop and eat out!
Financial Peace University
About two years ago, we took the first step in getting our money right by taking the Financial Peace University course by Dave Ramsey that we were hosting at our church. I had heard of Dave Ramsey a million times, but thought he was a quack and never paid much attention. Taking this course was a game changer for us. It taught us how Mike and I each see money which we learned is that it grows on trees…. kidding. It walks you through how to make a budget, account for every dollar each month and walk through the baby steps (saving an emergency fund, debt snowball plan and so on). It also taught us about investing, retirement plans, life insurance and most importantly, giving. We give every month bc we realize its importance and it’s something we also teach our boys. Generosity is everything y’all!
You can find a local Financial Peace University HERE or you can buy the book HERE. I highly recommend the course, it holds you accountable and helps you connect with other people who are working alongside you to get their money right as well!
The Budget Mom
One day on Pinterest, I stumbled across The Budget Mom. I instantly liked her bc she makes lots of trackers and you know how much I love a physical checklist. She is very similar to the Dave Ramsey method, but helps you further by figuring out the little things that FPU doesn’t cover. For example: if all your bills are due at the beginning of the month, how do I pay them all with one paycheck? She gives great tips, savings challenges and introduces Sinking Funds, which are easy ways to save for expenses like car maintenance, vacations and more. I highly recommend subscribing to her weekly emails – they are full of great info and always include some supercute, downloadable cash envelopes.
About Those Cash Envelopes….
Yes, we use cash envelopes. Do we use them for everything? Nope! We use them for gas, groceries, eating out and a few other random things. What I find is that I’m able to manage better when I physically SEE the money leaving the envelope.
Other Questions and Things We Use…
Yes, we DO get spending money! Mike and I each have a bank account with a debit card and we get our “fun money” each pay period. Its the same amount of money every pay and once its gone, its gone!
We bank with PNC and we keep our personal spending accounts there as well as our emergency fund account there so we have quick access to it when needed. Otherwise, we use Ally Bank for our savings accounts. Ally was recommended by The Budget Mom bc you can create sub-accounts for all of your sinking funds (we have a Taxes fund, Christmas fund, Sports fund for the boys, Delaney fund, Vacation fund, etc).
In addition to the trackers, we use the Every Dollar App to track our spending. Yes, I’m double tracking everything, but I like a paper tracker AND a digital tracker, just like I like a paper planner and a digital planner…
Teach your kids about money! Like I mentioned before, they don’t teach budgeting in school. We teach our boys that anytime they get money, they are to give 10%, save 20% and they can keep the rest. Its to the point now that they get excited to give and see their savings accounts grow, but are more thoughtful when they spend their money on something bc they do NOT like to see it leaving their bank account!
One Last Note:
You do NOT have to have a ton of money for a budget to work. We do NOT make a ton of money, not even close. Mike’s income gets taxed like crazy and I don’t make a ton of money in all of my businesses (yet!). That being said, its important for us to manage our money well. Starbucks and Wawa add up quickly. Target trips add up quickly. Amazon purchases add up quickly. When you are more intentional with your money and hold yourself accountable for your spending, ANYONE can build an emergency fund, pay off debt and start building wealth – can’t wait til we get to that step!
I hope you found this post helpful in taking the first step to getting your money in order. Money isn’t something people like to talk about, but it’s necessary. Talk about money with your partner. Talk about money with your kids. Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses and let me know how I can cheer you on!
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