Hello wonderful readers!
I am so grateful Christina is letting me share here today while she is off enjoying her honeymoon.
June 22 my husband Jim and I just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. As I look back on the many things God has been teaching us, one of the greatest lessons we have learned so far in marriage is how to do finances well.
Finances was something we definitely overlooked in our engagement and just figured as long as we paid the bills it didn't really matter how that went down. Neither of us practiced living on a budget and had no idea of what it really meant to save and budget.
A little over a year ago we were living paycheck to paycheck, I was shopping whenever the heck I felt like it, and used credit cards like they were basic essentials to life as we knew it. At the same time, we were one big hot financial mess. I had a close youth minister friend who began to follow Dave Ramsey's financial principles. They paid of $80,000 in less than two years which enabled her to stay home to raise her babies. Feeling adventurous one night, I began reading this book. I was SHOCKED at what I learned and started seeing how we needed to make some serious financial changes.
A little over a year later, we have paid off our credit cards completely (and no longer use them!), use cash for everything, and finally have a financial plan to help us radically change our future in a positive direction. My car loan will be paid off by October and then its off to knock out my $40,000 of school loans. The goal is in sight and we are making it happen.
So with all that being said, I wanted to share some helpful financial tools that my husband and I have found so helpful in our journey as we work to become debt free.
Do this first. It will change your life. I promise.
This book really spoke me up and helped me saw how totally screwed up we were in our financial perspective of life and marriage. If we kept on this path, it would not help our future as we start a family or plan for me to stay home full-time.
Read this with your spouse and talk through it together. See how realistic these principles are and how it would look to live them out in your family together.
2. Look for creative ways to save money and stretch your dollar
This one I continue to learn about as we go through life. Did you realize if you rent your modem from your Internet provider it comes with a fee? Buy your own and save several hundred dollars a year!! Look for ways to make homemade products that you constantly are having to buy. I have quickly become a HUGE fan of baking our own bread and am excited to get into more natural, homemade cleaning supplies too!
3. Plan out monthly budget before the month begins
Before each month begins, commit to a monthly budget meeting so you plan out exactly were your money will go. I am amazed once we began committing ourselves to telling our money where to go and keeping a budget, it worked! This is an awesome, free helpful tool if you're new to budgeting!
4. Follow budgeting blogs and/or podcast's to stay focused and motivated
One way that helps me stay focused and committed to our financial plan are listening to budgeting podcast's and following blogs.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Dave Ramsey Show (he has become my official partner when I house clean!)
5. Be on the same page with your spouse!
Don't do what Jim and I did and NOT at all discuss money or finances before the wedding day. Talk it through now! Both commit to live on your monthly budget. Always discuss any financial choices before acting on them without your spouse's knowledge. Money doesn't have to be something couples fight about, work together and remember you're on the same team:)
What about you readers?! Do you follow a budget or have a financial plan set up? What tips or tricks do you have to help stretch your dollar?
Share your cents below!!! #punintended
Wife, wannabe writer, youth minister, runner, and Dave Ramsey nut.
I write about becoming the women God created us to be at A Modern Grace.
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