Friday, February 4, 2011

What Led Our Family to Budgeting

Welcome to my series of posts on Money. If you didn't read my first post, you can go here to read it.

I have to admit, I am fairly new to the whole budgeting thing. I started after reading Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover a little over 2 years ago. How did I get to the point of reading this book? Well, I'm glad you asked.

I remember going through premarital counseling and we were asked to figure out a budget. So, we did. We really had no clue what our bills would be, so we roughly figured something out and I did not like what I saw. We didn't have enough money.

I decided right then and there I didn't really like the idea of budgeting.

It always worked out for us though. We just made sure we didn't spend more than we had. I married a very smart man that always took care of putting money in savings and putting money aside for retirement. After that, we pretty much spent how we wanted to.

Looking back now, I want to kick myself! If only I knew then what I know now. We most likely would not have a mortgage payment. Just imagine!

This system worked out very well for us for many years.

Then we had kids. Things had to get a little tighter.

Then there was a change in careers. That's when it all went downhill.

About 4 years ago my husband decided to take a buyout from Ford Motor Company. I have to say if it weren't for this decision, I would not know now what God has led me to know about finances. So, for this I am very thankful. If you are not sure what the buyout was, Ford was paying many of their employees to leave. We took the money and ran!

The plan was for my husband to get into insurance, but in the mean time he took over his dad's painting business. Starting a business brings a large cut into your income until you can get things going. Thankfully we had a large savings account to help out.

We began to use our credit card for our expenses. This is where we ran into trouble.

We would pay ourselves what we could from the business and then write a check from our savings for whatever we couldn't cover. Some of you who are wise with your money are completely shaking your heads at me. Don't worry, I shake my head at myself.

Every month when I got the credit card bill it would bring on a fight of what expenses were on there. I was getting sick of the fighting and our savings account was slowly being depleted to the point where it shouldn't get any lower.

I had talked to a couple people that had read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and decided I needed to get this book. I read it and was convinced. Thankfully, my husband had taken a class through Crown Financial many years before and so he was on board immediately.

See, when it comes to finances I feel that Brad and I compliment each other. I am one that seems to look at today and my husband looks to the future. He had been busy planning for our future, but I wasn't doing a good job of taking care of the day to day.

I have been budgeting our money ever since and it has seriously changed my life.

If you have never budgeted or would like to learn more I would highly recommend Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover or any of his books. Although, I have only read the one. You can also check out his website. Many churches also offer his Financial Peace University classes.

Next week I hope to tackle the topic of what it means to be a steward.

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