Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Budget Talk

In February 2009, we kind of revamped our budget because we found out we were pregnant!

In March 2010, we totally revamped our budget due to some financial "surprises."

In August 2010, we fully committed to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.

So I think the questions most of you had in this post was just general info about our budget. any tips I have, grocery shopping, etc.

I am going to attempt to be as open as I can about our budget without sharing too much about my hubs salary.

The first thing I need to say is, we have no car payments. Why and how?? Well, when I started dating Adam (summer 2006) I was driving a 2004 Toyota 4-Runner. It only had like 15,000 miles on it. That fall, I traded it in on a 2005 used Nissan Altima with 55,000 miles on it. I actually got the car out right and made money back on it and used that money to pay off a credit card I had run up. Before we got married, Adam traded his car in on a truck. Looking back even he admits that was a bad decision. Well, he drove that truck and made about a $350 car payment for almost 2 years and then he got a job where they give you a company car. We kept the truck for almost a year after he got the job. It sat in our garage and was hardly EVER driven. So in March of this year, we sold it! God blessed us SO in that area. We sold it ourselves and got what we asked for it. So that is the story of how we have no car payment.

The next thing I need to share is, we SACRIFICED! My precious husband had a PAID FOR ski boat. He loved that boat (and so did I). But with a new baby (and hopefully 2 more in the future) we knew we wouldn't be on a ski boat for a while. And without me even asking or pushing, he suggested we sell it. And again, God opened up a door and we got what we asked for it. HE is so good. We used that money to pay off credit cards.
Last summer was the first summer that I can remember EVER that I didn't get to visit the beach. But that was just one more sacrifice that we were willing to make to get out of debt.
My hobby is shopping. It brings me great joy (sad I know). It came to a screeching halt. I learned to get my "fix" from grocery shopping. I am sure people think I am nuts when I say I am excited about going grocery shopping, but it's like a drug addict getting a high... shopping is my high :)
We used to eat out 3 or 4 times a weekend and after adding it up... we were spending $200 + a month eating out... that had to stop. So we went to eating out once a weekend. That is our "treat."

I had felt convicted for a long time about not tithing. And apparently so had Adam even though we never really talked about it. In April 2010 we began tithing our 10% because we wanted to be faithful to our God who had blessed us so much. we both felt very strong about tithing off of what Adam MAKES and not what he brings home. I am not saying that is what is required. I am just saying that is what WE felt like was right for us. And I can't begin to tell you the blessings God has bestowed on us since we began being obedient to what he calls us to do in the Bible.

Grocery shopping is different for us. We set a budget every 2 weeks. And I get cash out and keep it in an envelope. When that cash is gone... then we have to eat whatever is in our house (which is what we are doing this week). Adam gets paid the 1st and the 16th so we budget every 2 weeks for everything. We believe it's important to "rebudget" every two weeks because different things come up all the time...birthdays, doctor appointments, dog stuff, haircuts, etc. Sometimes our grocery budget varies but for the most part, it stays the same every two weeks. I go on one BIG grocery trip and then usually have to go get break and milk and a few other things once or twice. I do use coupons. I signed up for "Southern Savers" and "Coupons.com". I will be honest though, I am not GREAT at it. Sometimes I forget them, or sometimes the coupons just don't "fit" with what I will be buying. I know some of you won't agree with this but I do all of my grocery shopping at Walmart. The prices are by far the cheapest in my town and it's the closest to my house. It's just one stop shopping and with a one year old that is NECESSARY!

There are still some areas we could "trim." Like cable and cell phones. But for now, we are ok without having to trim them. If the time comes, we will gladly do that. We do both have a gym membership that we pay monthly for. I have considered giving mine up but I am afraid if I do that I won't ever workout at home. So for now we are hanging on to those.

What we have taken most from FPU is that if we want something or want to go somewhere, we save to do it. Which requires us to know plans WAY in advance. So that we can save how ever long it takes to be able to go on a trip or buy Addison something BIG. We believe we have established a way of budgeting that is best for our family. Are we following everything Dave Ramsey says to a T?? No. But we are putting things into place where we hope that soon, we will be able to. We were doing NO saving before Dave and we weren't even thinking about retirement, etc. Now we are. It's going to be a LONG process of getting where we want to be... but we are working on it.

I will be honest... when we decided I would stay at home... I had it pictured different. I pictured lots of lunch dates, taking ALM shopping and out and about. In reality... we stay at home, we play outside, we go on walks... that's what our budget allows right now. And I feel so blessed to be able to stay at home. I have my bad days of wanting to "go and do" but then I snap back into reality and remember all that God has done for me and my family so that I can be home with Addison and I am so thankful.

That ladies, is my budget info. If you have specific questions, leave them in a comment with your email and I will be glad to email you back and answer you as openly as I can. Or you can always email me.

Hope you are all having a great week!


Jessica said...

Lyndsey, thanks so much for posting about this. I just got married six months ago and we are trying to plan for a house and baby, so this is exactly what I needed! I appreciate you being so transparent.

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Thanks for posting! You guys are sound like you are doing great!

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for this post!!! 2011 is the year of getting out of debt for me, and this is just the boast I needed!!!! :)

Tiffany said...

Congratulations!! This is so encouraging. Dave and I went through FPU in January of 2010 and we started implementing Dave Ramsey's principles right away. We are certainly not perfect and we have certain events and activities that strain our budget, but we HAVE A BUDGET!! Which is something I can't say I always did. Oops! I was never wonderful with dictating where my money was going rather than just frivolously spending. Now I feel like we are in more control. You're SO right, there are times I wish I could just buy a clothing item I want or go to dinner out when I want to, but there really is a peace with knowing bills are paid, we are saving, we are tithing and we are doing it within our means. It's not always fun, it's not very glamorous, but we're controlling our money rather than it controlling us. SO, all that to say, YAY!! Congratulations! Keep going strong!!

The Branches said...

Great post and I think everyone has trouble staying within a budget these days! And yes I believe God will always take care of you :)

Drew's Mom said...

Love this post. Thanks for sharing! I agree, Walmart is a great one-stop-shop and the prices are great.

~Kristen~ said...

Kudos to you for being so real about the sacrifices your family makes. So many "mommy bloggers" paint a very different picture ... it's really refreshing to see such honesty.

Brown Girl said...

Thank you for being so open and honest, I love reading what works for people. It sounds like you are happy and that's what matters most!

Mrs H said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with FPU and budgeting. It is amazing to me how, even without talking about it, God puts a desire or an idea in a couple's heart, like tithing. Being obedient in that area is so difficult because it is so counterintuitive...I have to give away my money to be blessed? But it is amazing when you see the results! What a great example you are setting for ALM. I remember watching my parents tithe in church and eventually they explained to me what they were doing. Having grown up knowing they faithfully tithed every week gave me a profound understanding of their financial blessings later in life.

jenn said...

i love this post lyndsey!!!

just like you...i get a high from shopping...especially grocery shopping...i love it!
you are probably the only other person i know that likes it or enjoys going!! it's fun for me and it's considered an 'outing' for me and my 2 yr old =)

dave ramsey is great!!!
we are trying to get out of debt as fast as we can.
i don't want to be indebted to lenders...i don't believe that is how the Lord intended our lives to be!!!

thank you for this boost and reminder!!!

merry christmas!

Heather said...

My husband and I are also working off of Dave's philosophy. By doing so, we got through our wedding will no additional debt and are now continuing to pay down debt. It's definitely a lot of sacrificing, but worth it. I just keep telling myself that those 'Joneses' who look like they have everything - could be struggling with debt and hardships as well.

Crown + Castle said...

I love this post! Thank you for posting! I think that so many of us who are on a budget need encouragement and need to know that others are going through the same thing. It's hard to open your google reader and see all the shiny pretty things that you know you want to buy but are putting the money in your retirement account instead.

I agree with you that grocery shopping can be a high! I have even turned it into a little game with myself where I see how little I can spend and still get quality groceries, how many coupons I can use, etc.

Thanks again for posting!

cMe said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I paid off tons of CC debt myself before I got married and now we are debt free except for the mortgage, and I'm so thankful for it! It will definitely make my decision to SAHM easier!

I would be interested in posts about what you do all day and what kind of activitites you do with ALM. I'll be a SAHM in six months with a baby and I also see lots of lunches, shopping, etc. Since I've always worked I"m not quite sure what to do to fill my day with a baby!

Rachel said...

Lyndsey, this is all SO awesome!! It's amazing how you stretch that income out when you really try.

J and I have a really unique budget system, some of which is similar to yours. My theory is, if you're saving money and you're debt free, keep doing it! Your system must be working for you.

Sometimes it can be so hard to be so diligent with budgeting. You see others who are getting new things and buying pretty houses and getting their hair done every week, but then I stop and remind myself that we're debt free (with the exception of those last few dollars in college loans!). We have no credit card debt and that is SO worthwhile. Who wants to always have new clothes if it's only to put you further into debt?

And one last thing, I love doing the grocery shopping too! I hate when I have weeks that are too busy and J has to go. I feel like I'm not getting my shopping fix :)

Your Wedding Hostesses said...

Thanks for this post, as I am planning on becoming a SAHM in the next few months.

I do have a question, though, about your cars. Do you budget for repairs on your cars, as they are getting older? Do you have a certain amount of money you set aside every year so that the next car you purchase can be paid for in cash? Just wondering...

The Shabby Princess said...

I think that it is amazing what budgeting and saving can really do. We started really watching our finances in fall of 08 which turned out to be a huge blessing because my husband stopped working in Jan of 09, so, we were already used to trimming things. It's hard to not go and do, but, I know that when we are able to do those things, it will be so much more rewarding.

The Regal Pup said...

Your days sound very similar to mine. My husband and I are pretty much in the same boat as you guys - except we did "trim" our cable! lol

It isn't that bad though - I miss watching Fox News the most. :)

Thanks for sharing and being honest though!

the rigdons said...

Megan Tree just told me about your blog today, and I'm so glad she did! This post is awesome, and so encouraging! I'm looking forward to keeping up with your family!

KM said...

Great Post! I follow you on Twitter (@CMsmommy)and have been meaning to check out your blog. I am a SAHM and Auburn lover as well (I live in Auburn)!

This post is very true. A budget is a must. They are hard to stick by but worth it in the end! I have been wanting to get into couponing because shopping is my high and I too have to get my fix grocery shopping :) Thanks for posting the coupon sites, I will check them out today!


Jennifer said...

Using coupon codes is a great way to save money. I like to recommend KindCoupons.org for more coupon codes.

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