Budgeting… one of those
words which conjures up dreadful pictures of living in a straitjacket,
not being able to ever do anything fun or spontaneous, and always
having to worry about pinching pennies.
One of the purposes of
this series is to debunk the former myths that many have regarding the
confinement and limitations a budget puts on a person and to show you
how you not only need to live
on a budget, you just plain can’t afford to live without one… unless,
that is, you decide want to never be able to get ahead, or never be
able to enjoy saving up and
paying cash for things you need or want (yes, your real, very own,
hard-earned dollars and cents!), unless you really aren’t all that keen
on living on less so that you can save more, invest more, splurge
sometimes, and–most importantly–to be able to give more.
So, I want you all to begin this series by committing to set aside your many excuses for why a budget won’t work for you. Oftentimes, the excuses are just really manifestations of laziness or selfishness.
You don’t want to live on a budget, you don’t want to wait and save up
to pay cash for something when you can afford it, so you’ll come up
with a nice list of reasons why you are the world’s exception in the
case of living on a budget.
I hope that by the end of this series you not only want to live on a budget, you will be fired up and excited about the possibilities that lie before you if you’re willing to put forth a little effort to make your money work for you.
am I such a big proponent of living on a budget? Because I know that
were it not for our budget and the grace of God, we would very likely
be up to our eyeballs in debt right now, barely making ends meet–just
like pretty much all the rest of our law school friends are. We
wouldn’t be living comfortably below our means, we wouldn’t have
an emergency fund of six months’ expenses in the bank, and we certainly wouldn’t be on a savings plan to pay cash for a home in a few years.
we’re frugal (I came into the marriage frugal, my husband has learned
to be out of necessity!), but we would be miles behind where we are now
without a written budget. I know this because we’ve done the math and
we know without a doubt that having a written budget, giving every
dollar a name, and putting it on paper, on purpose (to quote a few Dave Ramsey lines) has saved us literally thousands of dollars over the last five years.
written game plan for our finances enabled us to get through law school
debt-free living on around $1000 per month, it enabled us to weather
over three months of my husband’s unemployment last year without
us having to touch our savings, and it is currently enabling us to live on less than we make so we can save more and give more.
Think you might be interested in joining us on this budgeting adventure to see what incredible things it could do for your finances?
Well, stick around because in our next installment, I’ll be sharing
about how we got started on this journey and how you can too!
Originally published in 2007.