The weirdest thing for me about being on a vocal strict budget is, some people think that you are poor, near filing bankruptcy or just plain gone crazy and aren’t any fun any more. When in actuality, it’s all the opposite! We are not poor – we have savings called “an emergency fund!” We are not near bankruptcy- we are ahead on ALL bills. And we are happier and having more fun now than before!
September for us was a good and sad month. Yes, that’s sad with an “S.” The good part was that our utility bills were lower and since I didn’t make so many “deal” trips and always multi-tasked outings, I was able to save $75 in gas! WOW! (Sometimes, are the deals worth it?!) But the sad part is, we didn’t see a $150 check hadn’t cleared so our “starting income” was lower than we thought. We did break even though. But I was sad in that I didn’t have extra Christmas money, like I thought. BUT here’s the great thing! Because I didn’t have that money in the budget, I really analyzed what I had already bought throughout the last few months. And…I am almost done shopping! Had I not been without that money, I might have spent too much! What a blessing in disguise!
I did stay within our budget limits for groceries, baby, pet and household. Sometimes, it felt like a part-time job but so very worth it! I always keep the big picture in view!
Our outings included: a Cubs game, a family night out at Old Country Buffet and Apple picking. Our total spending was around $55! (Now some of this is budgeted under outings and the rest comes out of our own “allowances.”) Who says you can’t have fun as a family for not a lot! And can you really put a price on memories?
Our upcoming goals are:
1) Have all debt and SUV paid off in December.
2) Have our 2008 car paid off by March. (Wow! Who would have thought!)
3) Start our 6 months expenses emergency fund.
4) Start Nathan & Baby’s college funds back up. (We never stopped our retirement!)
5) Pay off our house within six years. Yes, we’ve re-analyzed and we think it can be done in six and not seven like we originally thought.
I really thought this TMM plan was going to be painful but it’s been great. Rich and I have always been close and communicated well but it’s just grown all the more. We have “meetings” on all major purchases or anything that wasn’t exactly in the budget. And for some reason…we are happier! I think once you get in the habit of not over-spending, you find out that the true core of happiness is each other. Everything else is just materialistic. Very cliche, I know. But true.
Hope you find this to be true in your life, too. As always, I’ll close with the recommendation of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book.
How did you do this month?