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Labor Day Challenge – Day 37 – Budget

On to day 37 of the Labor Day Challenge, and I can see the end of the tunnel! I wanted to challenge myself in many areas, and one area that needed improvement was our financial budget.

I am married to a CPA. She is so much smarter than me when it comes to money and numbers and finances…well most areas, but especially our budget. So, when I told her I would like to create a monthly budget to follow she was very excited. Unless you are an accountant or married to an accountant you can not understand the excitement a CPA can get when talking about creating budgets and spreadsheets. I was also excited because I just had finished reading the “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and was ready to take complete control of our spending.

We are fortunate to make more money than we spend and to only have debt with our house and student loans. It makes it easier for us to budget and gives us the flexibility to quickly pay off debt. We now sit down at the first of each month and agree upon a proposed budget, plan to spend our entire income (whether that be for debt or savings or for entertainment), and plan for surprise expenses. We looked at what we had spent our money on in the previous months and made an educated guess on all of our budget expectations.

We have not stuck 100% to our budget, mostly because we are still trying to figure it all out, but this has been an incredible process for our family. Talking about money once a month for an hour has been much more pleasant that talking about it several times a month for short periods of time. Since we agreed early in the month where are finances are going we have been positive and agreeable about money and spending throughout the month. We both know where our money is going and how much is being spent, and our communication has been better. Amazing how that works, huh?

This is certainly a habit I will stick with for the rest of my life. I know not all of my challenges this past six weeks will stick, but budgeting will.

I challenge you to start taking ownership of your money and spending. Read Ramsey’s book as a reference on how to start, it should only take you a few days and will completely alter your mindset on money. Talk to your family about the things you spend money on and come to an agreement about your budget.

Money is a main source of stress for most people, don’t allow it to be a stressor for you. I know you can do it.

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