Budgeting Basics (Part 5): Your Savings Bucket

Budgeting Basics (Part 5): Your Savings Bucket

Don't you hate it when you are cruisin' along, rockin' your awesome budget for the month and you get blindsided by unexpected expenses?! Thing like birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries pop up out of NOWHERE and surprise you! Now your perfectly normal month just got turned upside-down by all of these different occasions. I can't believe the nerve of some people, being born and celebrating it on the SAME DAY, EVERY YEAR. What's up with that? Anyway, if you find yourself in this situation, no need to fear, because you actually already planned for it. Wait…….you did plan for it…...right? What … [Read more...]

Budgeting Basics (Part 4): Why You Should Get a Month Ahead

Budgeting Basics (Part 4): Why You Should Get a Month Ahead

Of the many things I learned from Dave Ramsey, this is not one of them. This is something my mother-in-law suggested we do early in our marriage. She had been the single-parent of 3 children for over a decade at that point, and was (and still is!) an amazing budgeter. Since this is the only piece of financial advice she felt was important to impart to us before we started our life together, I knew to take heed and try to implement this as soon as possible. I would not hesitate to say that this has been the single most impactful decision we have ever made in terms of managing our money. Here's … [Read more...]

Budgeting Basics (Part 3): Setting Up Your Budget and Reverse Engineering Your Goals

Budgeting Basics (Part 3): Setting Up Your Budget and Reverse Engineering Your Goals

Welcome back to the budgeting basics series. Today we are going to get your budget set up.We will set goals by starting at the end and reverse engineering them to make them attainable. So far, you have put together a priorities list to help guide where your money should go and you have tracked your income and expenses so you can see where your money has been going. Now we can start putting the two together in your actual budget. Start With Your Actual Spending They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. That's 21 days of repeating an action without going back to your old way of doing … [Read more...]

Budgeting Basics (Part 2): Tracking Your Income and Expenses

Budgeting Basics (Part 2): Tracking Your Income and Expenses

Welcome back to the budgeting basics series! Last week, we talked about creating a priorities list to use as a filter for where your money should go. I ended the post by suggesting that you should write down your income and expenses to see where you money is going and to compare that with your priorities. I realize that this is no small task, especially for someone who has not ever put together a budget or been honest with themselves, or their spouse with exactly where every dollar goes during the month. I want to break down the process a little bit to make it an easier pill to swallow and to … [Read more...]

Budgeting Basics (Part 1): Laying Your Financial Foundation

Budgeting Basics (Part 1): Laying Your Financial Foundation

If you know me, you know I love budgets. Like, borderline obsessive about it. My spreadsheets are  simple works of art, delivering powerful, functional information that helps me get a handle on our daily spending and overall financial picture for the month. I can easily say that, without our budget, we would not have a home, my wife would not be a stay-at-home mom, and we’d most likely be BROKE. Now, before we jump into the details of getting your budget started, let’s talk about the basics. Your Priority Filter Over the years, I have learned that I can’t simply adopt someone else’s … [Read more...]