Budgeting, Financial Peace, Marriage

I Don’t Budget Because I’m Broke, I Budget Because I’m Brilliant!

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I’m admitting it.  Jonathon and I have not always been smart with our money.  In fact, there have been times when we were down right stupid.  There it is in black and white.

Now that it’s out there, let’s talk about what we are doing to fix stupid.  Two words: DAVE RAMSEY.  Although I read Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover many years ago, I have seriously fallen off the wagon.  But because God loves me so much, and desires I have peace in every area of my life He brought it back to my remembrance.

Hello! Hello! Hello!

The last few months have been a whirlwind of learning and revelations, tears, pain, joy, and amazement at God’s love for us.  There have been so many times I wanted to blog about this journey but have not had the words.  And honestly I didn’t worry too much about it because whenever God really wants me to write, He presses a message on my heart that I have to get out!  I love Him 🙂

So what’s been going on?  Well, Jonathon and I are doing a Total Money Makeover!  Yes.  I know finances can be a very touchy subject.  Nobody wants to talk about how much money they make or what they do with their money exactly, but everybody is okay with pretending like everything is always peachy.  Let’s be real.  Most people struggle at one time or another.  There is nothing wrong with admitting this.

A series of things that Jonathon and I really wanted, fell through.  We were devastated.  This is often the place where God can begin to work and rebuild…if you let Him.

****Background***  

Before Jon and I got married I managed my money.  I created an Excel spreadsheet with my expenses and diligently tracked my bank account.  I payed my tithes and focused on paying off debt.  I still had fun and traveled, but I planned.  

After Jon and I got married I tossed all fiscal responsibility on Jon.  I thought, “He’s the man.  The head of the household.  He is in charge of the finances.  I hate numbers.  I don’t want to look at another spreadsheet or track another bank account.”

******
Five years ago I checked out.  Now God is telling me it is time to check back in if I want Him to bless us.  There wasn’t a message written across the sky.  God revealed Himself to me in a number of ways.  It started with the 31 Proverbs in 31 days challenge.  There are so many scriptures in Proverbs about handling money wisely – being slave to the lender.

I told Jonathon that God was pricking my heart in this area.  I asked if he would read The Total money Makeover with me.  He agreed.  We got off to a slow start.  BUT GOD.  We gained more traction after my accountability partner texted me about Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) being offered at a local church.  We signed up and it has been a true blessing!  I will talk about FPU in a later blog post.

What I do want to share in this post is the importance of budgeting.  Creating a written budget has been so freeing.  So many people say, “If I create a budget I won’t be able to do the things I want to do.”  On the contrary.  If you create a budget you can do the things you want, with peace of mind knowing that you have the money to do it.  As Dave says, “You are telling your money where to go instead of looking up at the end of the month and wondering where it went.”

Dave Ramsey’s Quick-Start Budget.

Budgeting is nice because it has helped us to see where we over spend each month.  I am putting a very basic budget below.  Visit www.daveramsey.com for other great budgets.

Income $$$
Income $$$
Expenses
Expenses
Tithes
10% of income before taxes
Tithes
10% of income before taxes
YOU (Savings)
5 – 10% of your income before taxes
YOU (Savings)
5 – 10% of your income before taxes
Housing
Housing
Gas/Electric
Water
Food
Food
Fuel
Fuel
Cable
Internet
Cell Phone
Car Payment
Student Loans
Credit Cards
FUN Money
FUN Money
Cousins Wedding
The wedding is in three months.  Start saving a $$ from each paycheck.

As I said, this is a very basic budget that assumes you get paid twice a month and pay different expenses with each pay check.

I will say that after three months of budgeting Jonathon and I have changed up our Excel spreadsheet a few times.  We are applying the principles from Financial Peace to our specific income situation.

Give it a try!

Always Striving,

Joce

P.S.  I’d love to hear about your budgeting experiences, testimonies, stumbling blocks, Financial Peace.

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