Learning to Budget

For some reason I’ve been able to escape creating a concrete budget for quite a while. I set guidelines and head out into the world and it all works out. I know the constants:

  • Tithing/Charity
  • Savings
  • Rent
  • Utilities

…but then everything else is “don’t spend more than you have” (which is an excellent financial mantra).

I’m finding (as of late) that operating that way as a husband is a bit of a blind walk in the woods – things come up (travel wishes, health care, entertainment, etc) that are remarkably easy to say ‘yes’ to when you just put them on the card. The challenge is the following month when those items/activities show up and ask to be paid. Fortunately, I’ve always had a surplus of cash and have always paid credit cards in full each month, so it’s never much of a big deal, but it does increase my stress, which is where I realized I needed to make some changes.

totalmoneymakeoverSo, I’ve been staring at charts of our finances… Reading resources (like The Total Money Makeover). Reviewing our spending habits. Cross-referencing suggested budget breakdowns. Considering possible boundaries. You get the idea. The long and short of it is that I’d like to iron out these things now so that I can be a better (aka: more stress free) husband.

I’m getting close to a landing point, which I guess in a way is just the beginning of lifelong finance management. I’m super excited to be living my life with my financial picture even if we don’t have some of the externally lauded trappings like fancy cars or ‘owning’ a house (I use quotations because most houses are owned by the bank).

 

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