I hate to admit that I have always hated money. I thought I didn't need much of it and even tried to live a minimalist lifestyle to prove it while single. I did fine as long as a crisis didn't happen, like car repair bills or a trip to the dentist. But, was I really doing fine?
When I met my husband to be, I instinctively was relieved to know that he thought a lot about money, lived below his means, and proactively managed it. He even had us go through a Dave Ramsey financial peace course together as part of our courtship. I learned a lot, but still struggled with being confined to a budget and saving for the future crisis (am I the only one that hates planning for bad things to happen??). Besides, the cash envelope system did not jive with my habit of not carrying any cash on me.
Fast forward to married life, working part-time, and pregnant with my first child and my struggles with money culminated with my dear husband announcing that we had spent over $600 in a month on food, and we needed to figure something out. Granted, I was going through some pretty extreme cravings - vegan spinach gourmet pizza from Italia Restaurant, fruit roll-ups, and waffles. I was shocked at how out of control I had gotten, especially knowing that I used to spend only $150 a month during my minimalist single days. Even I had to admit that something had to change, but what's a freestyle money person like me supposed to do??
I really liked this new system because it felt like I was getting more money to spend everyday versus seeing money just get used up and still not having a frame of reference of how much I could spend to make it through the month. It allowed me to freestyle spend while keeping me abreast of where I was at in relation to my "budget" each day. So, if I wanted to eat pizza, I watched my spending to make sure I was accruing a positive available balance. If I spent a lot at at the grocery store for the week, then I just waited till I was back out of the red to start spending again. By the end of the month, I knew where I stood in relation to our food budget goal.
I hope you are better at managing money than I am. I really recommend this budget calendar exercise as a great first step to budgeting and controlling your spending. Mr. Coleman recommends putting the calendar up on the fridge. I eventually preferred to use one of those little pocket calendar books. Check out his book to learn more about money management - Winning with Money by Aaron Coleman. Note: These are NOT affiliate links.
What budgeting tools do you like to use?
Hi, I'm Inga!
Welcome to my new blog. After much studying, getting my Childbirth Educator certification, and having two babies of my own, here I am again - sharing with you all the lessons I've gleaned and skills I've mastered in preparing for motherhood.
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