Monday, November 26, 2012

Life on a Budget

I have definetly caught the budgeting bug!

I swear to you for the first time in my life I actually look forward to getting our bills each month.  Can you believe it?  I know, me either.

We have been working hard to keep our heat turned down, our wood stove cranked up, lights off and spending to a minimum.  Our children are adjusting as they at first couldn't understand why we just don't run out for ice cream or a new sweater or .... "fill in the blank" like we used to.  I have reduced my drive thru coffee habit - down to about once every two months.  Scott has trimmed his eating out budget to a fraction of what it used to be.

Here are the top reasons I am so thankful for our new budget:
1.  I feel like a grown up.
2.  It has caused me to be more organized with paperwork than ever before.  I even know what we paid for utilities for the past 2 years so I can have an idea what to actually budget for each month!
3.  We can be more purposeful in our giving!!!
4.  Choosing where to spend our money is empowering!
5.  We can make our dollars stretch farther when we respect them more!
6.   Prioritizing our personal expenses means nothing truly important gets left out at the expense of something less important!
7.  I am more thankful for the conveniences and goods we exchange our money for - heat, services rendered, internet and more.

For our family being thrifty and purposeful during the winter months is absolutely essential as our business slows way down from the full and bustling summer and fall.  While we have more time together we have much less money to spend, it's feast or famine!  I will take the family time and enjoy it more when I realize we  have prepared well!

How about your family - do you budget?  What are your tips and tricks to staying on track?

I use Dave Ramsey's online budget worksheets printed right off of his website for free in order to make a monthly budget.  


  1. Yes, I budget. It's a necessity for us. My husband sells building supplies, and four years ago when Indiana's economy tanked, so did his business, and he took a pay cut. I have a job too, but since our kids are older, in sports, eat more, etc. we have to watch every penny. I set aside each week, money for certain expenses (I divide our bills for the month, by the week, and take that out of our paychecks) so we don't "accidentally" spend it on something else. Maybe this is a little extreme, but we've never been late on a bill, our credit is excellent, and we can somehow cover our butts if we have an unexpected expense like when our well pump went out a month ago. It's hard, and it would be so much more fun to buy whatever we want, but we can't afford too until my husband gets his salary fully back...sad but true.

    1. Thank you for your response! I realize it may sound a little crazy to be optionally budgeting to someone who has lived strictly on one for years! In hindsight we could have made a lot better choices on where to direct our money if we were being more purposeful. We have learned as we went - no one taught my husband or I how to be financially responsible - we had never considered buying a house that was less than we could afford or putting away an emergency fund. We did do things like pay off our cars so we wouldn't have car payments and we pay our bills on time. We don't keep credit card debt so we have been doing some things right! Anyway, your comment made me think about how what a luxury it is to have the option of budgeting. Thank you for your insight into another household - I am learning to be more thoughtful as I write!

  2. You know I do! :) I love your reasons...feeling like a grown-up is always a plus. Lol! But then I love it that by saving money, you have more to give to important causes. I think my most recent and kind of embarrassing budgeting habit is to bring my own coffee when I meet a friend out at a cafe. I keep thinking, "That five dollars could be feeding hungry children." And so it is saved, and then spent. :)

    1. I know!! I loved when you showed up for our evening out with your own coffee - at a smaller family owned shop I would never do it but at Barnes & Noble - no one would ever know! And, their coffee is extra expensive!!
      I was thinking - why didn't I think of that!!
      Love you friend!


About Me

My photo
wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love