*Might be boring at first, but ends with something fun! I want all of your opinions!*
I once heard from a good friend that in a marriage, whether you marry a spender or saver, whether you ARE a spender or saver, one of you must become the budget nerd and the other the budget bender. The first type, the budget nerd, is the type that chooses the word "budget." The second type is the one that prefers the term "spending plan." Guess which one I am, since I've used the word budget 29358 times so far...
Mitch and I are both naturally spenders. Well, that had to change.
Every semester I have followed my Dave Ramsey bible and made a new budget. Well, we thought we should both start doing our budget every semester, so Mitch wouldn't feel as clueless as he was feeling, and so I wouldn't feel mean, telling him what we can and can't spend in each "category" every month.
(This was all a couple weeks ago, after our financial aid came through).
I honestly love how we budget. I love that we get our money in four-month long chunks (in addition to income from our jobs) and all we have to do is make it last. Every semester is a fresh new start, and an opportunity to do it better, earn more, and have more left over at the end of the semester.
Later, when we're paying back what loans we do have, we'll be used to budgeting. We believe this is justifiable debt; it's not a mall trip we can't afford, put on a credit card. It's us in the act of providing a better life for our child(ren). Loans will all be paid back someday, and we'll pay as much over the minimum payment as we can make each month.
Right now, we're feeling awesome. We're putting more money in savings every month than we've ever been able to. Which is a good thing, because our car's pretty old and we haven't had a big expense in awhile...that probably means it's coming, huh!
Also, part of the "feeling good" part, we opened up an awesome online savings account through ING Direct. You can read about it here. At 8% interest, compounded daily and added monthly, we can deposit our savings into this account every month, and it will accrue WAY more than our last savings account! Plus, it links up to our checking account, so it's very liquid if we need it.
We are at the point where we are "used to" budgeting in our current circumstance. *Knock on Wood!* We have jobs, guaranteed financial aid, we are getting good grades to ensure said financial aid, and we've had Nathan around for awhile. He's actually gotten less expensive as he's gotten older. Our amazing friends, the McNairs, gave us the most handsome wardrobes for him, in every size up to 2T, and due to the fact that he's not having blowouts every day, we're not using as many diapers. And, cooking for three isn't as different as cooking for two. Here's to making "Alaina getting Bachelor's Degree" our next major life change!
So, onto our exciting part. As part of our budget, we get an allowance. A little "blow money" that we can spend on whatever we want. It allows a breath of fresh air so we can stick to our budget all month. It's rather tight at this point, to allow maximum growth of our savings.
Mine usually goes to stuff for Nathan, because he's SO much fun to buy for! But, it turns out one toddler doesn't need enough stuff and clothes to entertain/clothe FOUR toddlers. So now I have a rule that I can't spend it on him, he has his own budget. So, turns out this pretty little thing is the exact amount of my allowance for a month! What do you guys think!?
It's SO cute, and it'd be awesome paired with a belt or long necklaces or jacket. I never buy new clothes unless they're on final clearance. I just hate paying full price for things, and I LOVE the thrill of getting a terrific deal. Turns out this is a pretty terrific deal! Plus, one day (if this is still in style by then) it'll make a good maternity shirt for awhile. I've never had a trendy wardrobe, I just prefer classic styles with trendy pieces added in. I just always skip buying the trendy pieces because I don't want to pay for them. So I end up a frumpy mom in a loose sweater (cause our house is still 65 degrees) and jeans and shoes from high school. I don't know why I have so much buyer's anxiety about such a small purchase! Anyway, I'd love your vote. What should I add to it? :o)