Why Budget?

I am guessing that if you are here you are at least curious about budgeting.  People consider a budget for a lot of reasons.  Some, because they want to invest more of their money for the future.  Some, because they want to save some.  Some, because they have trouble making ends meet.  Whatever your reasoning is for considering a budget – it’s a good thing and it will bless your life. 
Budgeting is basically a tool to make your money work for you instead of you being enslaved to your money.  In the society we live in we need money to function.  We need money to purchase the basic necessities for ourselves and our families.  We use money to provide pleasures in our lives, and we use money to serve God and others.
Maybe money is not an issue for you – you have everything you need and then some.  If this is you then a budget can help you to know exactly how much excess you have and will help you plan what to do with it.
Maybe money is a major source of stress for you – you barely have enough to take care of your needs.  A budget can help you manage what you have, and will probably help you to see that you have more than you think.
This month, as we explore lots of different topics, thoughts, and ideas concerning money and budgeting, there will be things that you will not agree with, and that’s okay.  I believe with things like this we have to collect ideas from lots of sources rather than follow one theory.  I like to take bits and pieces and put them together into something that works best for me and my family.  Please do this.  I am not an expert, I am in fact someone who is still learning how to best make this work for my family.  I also wish someone would have shared some wisdom in this area earlier in my life.  You’ve heard the expression ‘it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks’ – so true here.  When you are used to handling money one way it is so hard to change that, but sometimes it is necessary.
So, here we are – our you ready for a change?

Come back tomorrow for some hands-on practical tips.

Blessings and Peace!!

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Why WE Chose to Budget

I thought that before we begin this journey together it might be helpful for you to understand where my family is coming from in this.  What our perspective might be and why. So, I will jump right in to our “money” story.  

My hubby and I both came from families with pretty simple means. Ends were met, but often by stretching those means. Money was never discussed openly in either of our homes, except for maybe my parents telling me they couldn’t afford something I wanted. 

Neither one of us knew much of anything about money when we got married, except that you worked for it, and you needed it.  We both came into the marriage with plenty of debt of our own kind – mine credit card debt (and lots of it), his student loan debt.  So, we had a lot of things going against us when we started.  

But, let me tell you, we thought we were doing okay. And we did, for a time. We paid our bills on time, we had money left over, but we were still carrying a considerable amount of debt, and we weren’t really concerned about paying it off…. Years went by.  Years of things not adding up – meaning the income was enough to pay the bills, but allowed for no unexpected, or expected extras. But, through it all God was faithful in providing for us. We have sooo many stories of how God delivered us out of a difficult financial situation. 

Our church started providing a class about finances called “Financial Peace” – maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you’ve taken it.  Well, from the beginning I knew it would be fabulous for us, but hubby was a little harder to convince.  After all, why in the world would you spend $100 for a class giving financial advice when you didn’t have the $100 to spend…that’s why you were taking the class.  After several years, however, I was able to talk him into it (after much nagging).  It revolutionized how we handle money – no lie.  Of course, probably the biggest change is that we learned how to “talk” about money, rather than fight about it. 

We still have a lot to improve on.  We are still no where near close to millionaire status – ha!  But we are far better off than we were in the beginning.  What can I say to sum up why we budget?  I guess the best thing to say is, we got tired of working so hard for money we were just going to give away to other people.  We wanted our money to work for us.  

See y’all tomorrow!!  Blessings!!

{I know money is not always a pleasant topic – so I will be using some pretty pictures this month, that may have nothing to do with what we are talking about but they are enjoyable to look at. :)}

Click here to see a list of all the posts in this series

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31 Days Series Launch

Okay, so here we go.  I have decided to take The Nester’s challenge and choose one topic to blog about for 31 days.  There were a lot of topics that I bounced around in my head and in my heart.  But, there was one thing that stuck out, something that has been on my brain for a while now.  I know there are many other people that are thinking on this topic too.  I will tell you many times this month I’m sure that I am FAR from an expert on this subject.  But I have gleaned some knowledge over the past several years, that I wish someone would have told me in the beginning, so I am going to share with you what I know.  I will also be passing on information from people whom I respect, that know more than I do, and together we will learn more.  

My topic for the month:

If you miss a day or two you can always come back here.  I will keep an updated index on this page of all the posts in the series.

Day 1: Why WE Chose to Budget
Day 2:  Why Budget?
Day 3:  Where Does The Money Go?
Day 4: The Budget Meeting
Day 5:  Keys to Making it Work
Day 6:  God Provides
Day 7:  Emergency Spending
Day 8:  Cash, Cash, Cash
Day 9:  Record Keeping {Budget Binder}
Day 10:  The Envelope System {for the cash}
Day 11:  Bargain Hunting
Day 12:  My Experience With Coupons
Day 13:  God Is In Charge
Day 14:  Top 5 Budget Busters
Day 15:  Meal Planning Basics
Day 16:  Destroying Your Debt
Day 17:  Blow Money
Day 18:  The Benefit of Organization
Day 19:  Keeping Up With Who?
Day 20:  Giving Back to God
Day 21:  Kids and Money
Day 22:  Get The Kids On Board
Day 23:  How Do Kids Get Their Own Money {Commission vs. Allowance}
Day 24:  Teaching Kids About Budgeting and Saving
Day 25:  What Do Kids Need to Understand About Debt
Day 26:  What Kids Need to Know About Money Before College
Day 27:  I Hope To Be A Good Steward
Day 28:  Saving And Investing
Day 29:  Saving For a Rainy Day
Day 30:  Investing In Your Future
Day 31:  31 Days Recap

Thanks for joining me!!  Come back everyday for a new tidbit of something budget/money related.  Fun times ahead!!  

Just a bye-the-bye – I am kicking off this series on my 100th post 🙂

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How’d We Do? {No Spend September in Review}

No Spend September -how’d we do??  Well, I was feeling a little down about the whole thing, and I didn’t really want to write this post, cuz the truth is we did spend.  I felt like we had failed, but the balance in the bank was showing a pretty good front.  So, I thought – how can I determine how we really did??  I decided to look back through our bank statement, (and a couple of credit card statements) from August, and tally up what I would consider to be “extra” spending, and then do the same for September.  And here was the shocking, albeit, good news!!

I’m amazed at how we can so easily squander money out the window.  So much so that I don’t even notice. {I honestly cannot believe I’m sharing these numbers with you, but I know that you guys will not judge me in my excess.  :)}    
We had spent a little over $900 less in “extras” for September!! Wow.

I did hold to my “no-spend month” in my home projects this month.  I kinda shared my list of freebie projects to get done with you in my first post, and here it was it looks like now.  I didn’t get it all done, and a couple of things managed to get added to the bottom, but I feel really good about what I got done!!  

Aren’t lists great that way?  I know I am not the only one that puts things on the list just so you can cross them off.  You know those things that weren’t originally on the list, but you did them anyway.  Ya, I see your hands ;).

So, I would say that No-Spend September was overall a success in that it helped me to alter my mindset about spending and shopping in a way.  It caused me to think a little outside the box, to check my resources before running to the store, to stay away from the temptation of the store :), and mostly to evaluate purchases more by need than want.  Peeps, I love buying new things just as you do.  I love being able to text my hubby and say “I’m too tired to make dinner”, and him sweetly saying “I’m on it” without hesitation.  But, I also understand that there are times in all our lives when we must curb our habits and keep our money in our pockets.  

I’m thankful for the experience, and may very well try it again and see if I can do even better!! And, I have to admit I am super excited that the pressure to not spend is off!!  HA!!  {someone please keep me away from the stores!!}

As I said yesterday I have decided to participate in The Nester’s 31day blogging challenge.  In a nut shell, you choose one topic to blog about for an entire month – ultimately every day during that month – hence the 31 days.  This is definitely quite a challenge for me, but I am excited to take it on.  I’m not sure there is anything out there that I know enough about to write about it for 31 days, but I am going to go with it and hopefully I can provide some good information, great inspiration, and if nothing else a little bit of fun and grace in the process. Monday evening is the big reveal of the topic.  Check out The Nesting Place then for MANY other bloggers that will be linking up!!  

My hand is cramping, just thinking of all that typing!!  🙂

Blessings to you and thanks for reading along!!

Linking up with Wendy at The Shabby Nest / Jen at Tatertots & Jello / Aimee at It’s Overflowing
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The Liebster Award

A happy surprise came to me last week via Sarah at Church Street Designs.  The Liebster Award!! 

I was instantly excited because seriously, who doesn’t like awards?!?  I have seen this floating around the blog world just a little, but didn’t know much about it. Through doing a little searching I discovered that it is an award given by bloggers to bloggers to encourage one another, and to help us all get to know new people. Usually shared among new bloggers.  This made me even more excited, because who doesn’t like to give and receive encouragement, and who doesn’t like to get to know new people – one of my favorite things about blogging!!  

So, thank you Sarah!!  Part of the fun of accepting the award and passing it on are these questions.  The person nominating you creates 11 questions, and you do the same for those that you nominate.  Just another fun way to get to know one another.  

1. What is your favorite thing to blog about?
Whatever the Lord might bring to my heart to share 🙂 – everyday is different!
2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Spain with my hubby
3. What is your favorite season, why?
I really like fall and spring, mostly because I don’t like it to be really hot and I don’t like it to be really cold
4. What blog inspired you to blog, or inspires you now as a blogger?
Thrifty Decor Chick was one of the first blogs I ever followed, and my real life friend Dimples and Tangles inspired me as well
5. The Beach or the Mountains?
Beach!!  No question 🙂
6. If all jobs paid the same, which job would you choose to do?
Being a mom is the best job there is!!
7. What is your favorite type of food?
Any kind that I don’t have to cook
8. What is one of your pet peeves?
People who don’t follow rules
9. Are you more of an early bird or night owl?
night owl – but I get cranky if I don’t get enough sleep
10. What are the two most important things to you?
My Lord Jesus and my family
11.  What is something you have never done, but would like to try?
Fly a plane.

I am now happy to pass on this award by nominating these five fun blogs.

A couple of these are real life friends, a couple I have been following for a short time, and one is a brand new find!  Please stop on over and check them out, and please feel free to follow along if you like what you see!!

And here are the rules for accepting the Liebster Award, for all the fabulous blogs I’ve chosen…
1} Write a blog post like this sharing the good news with everyone and link back to the person who nominated you.
2} In that post answer the questions given to you by your nominator.
3} Pick at least 5 bloggers, each with under 200 subscribers, to be nominated for the award.
4} Come up with at least 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
5} Go their blogs and notify them of their nomination.
Here are my questions for my nominees:

1.  Why did you start blogging?
2.  What blogger inspires you most?
3.  What would you consider your biggest life achievement to date?
4.  What’s your favorite color?
5.  Fall or Spring?
6.  Beach or mountains?
7.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
8.  Introvert or Extrovert?
9.  What is your favorite memory?
10.  What is your biggest pet peeve?

Blessings to you all and thanks again for the encouragement from Sarah!!  Please pass on the love by checking out some of these blogs, and maybe even follow along ;).  
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