{budgeting, how is it going?}

{photo credit}

Is that lady you?

Maybe it’s you, but without the multi-colored neck skin?

Confession: Some times I want to think like that lady — I think of how much easier it will be to shop or go out to dinner, or even take a nap without looking at our budget or checkbook balance. But then I think of all the OCD-ness inside me and I think I CAN’T DO ANYTHING UNLESS I CHECK THE CHECKBOOK BALANCE.

So maybe that sounds more like you? I was so excited to see the comments pour in from my two posts yesterday {click here for part I and part II on family budgeting}.

But before I drown you in even more information I thought it would be good to give you a break from going cross-eyed again ;]

Take some time today to review your numbers and write your budget, and I’ll be back tomorrow with part I and II of budgeting your business’ money. {Promise me that in the meantime you won’t leave my blog from boredom?}

Share with us: what are your thoughts on budgeting? Do you hate me for tell you to be a cash-only family? Do you think I’m too young to talk about budgeting {she’s only 25!} ?

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  1. 1


    Cash-only is the way to go! I wish we would have been smart and started out that way. When we got married, we had already accumulated a ton of debt (college loans, credit cards, 2 brand new cars {STUPID!!!!!!}). I have to say that planning for Baby’s arrival caused us to drastically cut back in our spending and live more simply, in hopes of slowly digging ourselves out of the debt hole we created. It’s been great so far! We only have one credit card left to pay off, we sold a car and are sharing the one, and we only eat out once a week. We carefully plan out groceries for each week, hardly ever spend money on leisure activities (which is fine, because we like staying at home with the baby ha ha), and hope to soon come up with a plan to knock out some of those dreaded college loans. It feels so good to have a plan!!! :)

  2. 3


    Hello, Gussy!
    Thank you a lot for sharing with us all the tricks of making family budget. Actually I got really inspired about your previous post on how you started saving for you to be able to quit a job. And so starting this month we (me and my boyfriend) also started to make our budget. It’s fun and much easier than I thought.
    Thanks again for the great posts. They are really helpful!
    And P.S. You can never be too young to start planning your life!

  3. 4


    I have had so much going on over here. I haven’t had a chance to read the two previous posts but will get to it soon. I did want to say I’m like you in that I have to check my checking account balance online. Obsessively. What did I do before internet banking???
    It’s great you’re learning the ways of money at an early age. And I take advice from anyone when it comes to being frugal and living within your means. ;)

  4. 6


    You’re not too young to talk about it — You Rock. I *do* hate that you’re telling me to be a cash-only family, but only because I so wish we were there…and you’ve done it; you’re LIVING IT! [READ: I’m jealous but hate to admit it!]

    Loving these posts just like all the others. Have a great Tuesday.

    *peace & blessings+

  5. 7

    Katie says

    i go back and forth with dave ramsey’s approach…i use my credit card for things i’m going to spend money on anyway (gas & groceries, mainly) so i can earn points and get free stuff on amazon.com :). sometimes i think ramsey’s approach is a bit heavy handed. he says that it is impossible to use a credit card responsibly…well, i’m not yet 30 but by the time i was 27 when i applied for my mortgage loan, i had already paid off a car loan and a student loan. my credit score was 802 and it probably has gone up from there since i’m never late on my mortgage payment. my friends say i’m in the 0.02% of the population and that i shouldn’t rain on ramsey’s parade, but i don’t know…i’m still mulling it over. :)

    • 8


      There’s always an exception to the rule. I think what Dave is saying is that using credit is like playing with something that needs to not be played with. It can be a temptation for so many people, and once your hands are wet it can be hard to get them dry again. Know what I mean?

      • 9

        Katie says

        Yes, it is definitely a big temptation for a lot of people. Myself included. :) I’ve been debating going “cash only” for a while now. I think for a lot of people, though, they lack the self-control or as Christa put it, will power to use a credit card responsibly (although Dave argues that responsible use of a credit card doesn’t exist). That’s not to say that I walk on water and am perfect, but I am super vigilant when it comes to $. I feel that credit cards, when used properly, can be a powerful financial tool. BUT, like any tool, can be misused and with a lot of people, unfortunately that comes back to haunt them in very ugly ways. And in that case though, the blame should fall on the individual– their choices and behavior– and not the card. It’s like blaming the gun and not the person who fired it.

    • 10

      Christa says

      My parents have a GM credit card and they’ve had it for a long time. I have to say it isn’t a bad thing to have that, because as they spend, their rebates keep adding up and they apply that to a new car. They purchase a new car every 10 years, and they do pay cash. Imagine this, you have a lump sum of cash from your personal savings account (for a new vehicle), then you say “Hey I can cash these rebates in and apply that to the purchase”…gosh, those rebates are a big help! When they use the credit card, they use it on groceries, gas and the other necessaries. You’ve got to have will power if you have a credit card; it is possible to have will power.

  6. 11


    I think everyone is different. Cash only isn’t going to work for some and for some it will. I never ever have cash on me. I use my ATM or Paypal card, which is basically the same. My husband pays ALL of our bills. I know where our money is going, etc., but as for budgeting… meh. Don’t really have one. Again, some people need a budget, and some people don’t or don’t want to do one… I don’t think not having a budget is a bad thing… as long as you are hyper aware of the money the you have available and if there is money pending for bills paid. I think the advice is good. Kids put a whole new spin on this, though, so a lot of this doesn’t apply to our family. But it’s great that you took the time to give your opinion on money and budgets.

    • 12


      Cash can mean a debit card as well. As long as you are paying with “cash” and not using a line of credit.

      If you have a budget then you know what bills are coming up and you can better prepare yourself for the upcoming months. I think you agree with that…

      I’m curious why having kids makes this budget not apply to your family? You can easily adjust your expenses to reflect what you need to spend on your kids, right?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shey!

  7. 13


    Ok, yes, I did sit down and budget yesterday after your post; and, yes, I did feel much better. You are fabulous, my dear! I love this pic, too. I did a search for coffee on We ♥ It this weekend and found it. I think I may type it up and hang it in my kitchen. =)

  8. 15


    Totally did the Dave Ramsey deal when I was about 25-27 and had been married for about 4-6 years already. Thankfully I came across his program BEFORE I had children and we were able to pay off both vehicles, thousands in school loans, and credit card debt. I had never been taught another way until then. His ideas totally opened my eyes to a new way of living and that it was possible to do it.

    We lived that way for a long time, but just last year, we opened up a business account for hubby on a credit card to earn points AND it makes pulling everything together for taxes at the end of the year much easier. But we know our limit. We only buy things on the credit card if we know we have the money in the bank. We always buy used cars and we only pay cash for them. Our only debt is our house which I’m okay with. We plan on living here for a veeerrrrry long time. I love the idea of budgeting, but I feel that we spend so little now that we are doing okay. But YEAH! for you doing a budget. It does take discipline and when you’re in the middle of getting your business going amazingly well and just quit a “day job” then it totally makes sense. :) Good for you and also, good for you for sharing. Many people have no idea how to do that.

  9. 16


    Thanks for your post, Gussy! I really like the cash-only budget as well…I think it is really important that we see exactly where our money is going. It also makes us be a better steward of our funds. I think God has blessed us with everything we do have & he wants us to use wisdom in caring for it. With only using credit cards, for us, it is too hard to really monitor that. Once we divided everything into categories it has really helped us see exactly where our money is going. We are still in the process of budgeting the right amount for each category, only because we either end up over or under at the end of each month, but I am super excited to try your strategies and see if they can help us budget more precisely. It might be necessary for us to break it up bi-monthly….I think we might have too many categories as well. Anyways, we are going to re-tackle it again tonight and try to make more adjustments. Were the categories you listed all of the ones that you guys use? Thank you so much for doing this!

    • 17


      It’s important to include ALL categories you use. You need to be realistic with your budget so that it has the opportunity to work. If you need more categories, add them. If you want to be more specific, do that, too.

      When we started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class I was being too precise with everything — I was stressing myself out too because I wasn’t focusing on the big picture of a budget.

      yay for you!!! :]

  10. 18


    also, I had to do a post on my blog about your budgeting series….I only have like 6 followers so far, but hey, if one or two read your posts that would make me so happy!:) hehe.

  11. 19

    Stacey says

    It is GOING! I literally started reading these posts an hour ago and I already am almost done with our family budget. Seeing that we have more than enough to pay our bills and save almost $250 a month has me wondering where it ever went before. I’m so excited!

    • 20


      AHHH — that’s glorious! Can you believe you have $250+ left over to save? That’s SO EXCITING!!!! That’s $3000/year extra. OK, sorry to share that with everyone, but I love to see what an amount each month means when you add it up for the entire year.

      yeow! a little apartment skip for you :]

      • 21

        Stacey says

        Oh I totally agree, and I am doing an apartment skip over here, too :)

        I’m telling you… when I look at so many blogs all day long and am so tempted to blow all of my money on cute little somethings that make me feel good in the moment, it’s so nice to get that same feeling from seeing these posts on being organized and making a budget. It feels SO good. (Not that I don’t already LOVE being organized anyways, because, let’s face it, i’m a little OCD about that too.) We are tweaking things as I will starting a new job next week, but I am so excited already. Things are looking great!

        Thanks again!

  12. 22

    Melissa says

    Thank you for sharing these posts. I have read Dave Ramsey and know what i need to do. But seeing someone who has done it helps. Thanks for the encouragement.

  13. 24

    Jamie says

    I’ve been lurking for a few months, loving the inspiration you put into each post. I am absolutely loving this series and just had to finally comment! My husband and I have created various budgets in the past, but they’ve all been focused on the projected expenses and what we MIGHT use. I love your approach. Instead, focus on what you know your expenses are, then determine to set aside so much for fluctuating expenses and all the rest gets paid to savings – paying our future first and then managing the rest. Thank you so much for sharing!


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