Turbo Tax

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Strengthen Your Budget - A Series

Tuesday's Tips Button

You woke up and realized you were deeply  in debt, but now you're resolved to get out.  Or you're just tired of never knowing where your money went.  One way to stop throwing money away over useless things is to make a budget.  I've talked a bit about budgeting before, but in the coming weeks, I'd like to delve into this subject in greater detail.

Our First Budgets

When we were first married I was given a book by Larry Burkett.  It was, and is, a great book.  For a numbers geek like me it made perfect sense.  However, I could never get the point across to my husband, who personifies the free spirit that Dave Ramsey talks about so much. Since I had Larry Burkett in my brain we never got into too bad of trouble.  However, with my hubby's free spirit never completely on board a budget, we also never really had a true path to follow.
I've talked about how we meandered through our financial lives at the start of our marriage When times got tough, The Total Money Makeover,then later Financial Peace University at our church, entered our lives and changed our financial path forever! 

Before Dave 

We would occasionally use cash, but I thought I was too smart for cash. We would buy groceries with checks, and later debit cards and I would keep a running total in my spreadsheet.

Guess what? We went over our grocery budget almost every single month. I could keep the large grocery trips to under budget, but I never thought about it when I spent $5 or $10 on a quick trip to pick something up. When I entered all the receipts on my spreadsheet it was too late I had already blown it.

Enter The Total Money Makeover

It was Dave's zero based budget that really helped us.  We would spend all our money on paper, on purpose, before the month begins.  He made me realize that I shouldn't try to outsmart my money.

The added bonus?  When you don't have all those charges in your checking account it's so much easier to balance your checkbook!

 In the next few weeks we will be talking how to trim the fat from your budget.  Obviously make sure your basics are covered first.  But, we'll talk about how to cut back on those too!  So make sure you check back over the next few weeks and join me in giving your budget a workout!  

Let's Hear From You

What's the hardest area for you to keep on or under budget?  I'll leave my problem area in the comments.  See you there!

Giving my Budget a workout Works for Me This post is linked to  Thrifty Thursdays, and Frugal Fridays.

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Stacy said...

I have a Larry Burkett course for dd to do in high school. I love his stuff. From the little I've seen of Dave Ramsey, I like his as well.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Stacy, He is great! Dave Ramsey just adds a bit of fire to Larry Burkett's stuff;)

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

One of the areas that can be hard for me is my grocery budget. The reason it's hard is I like to stock up on great deals! So I'm making sure I go back to making sure I do food we need and then stocking up only with so much so that I don't run out as easily the next week!

Amy said...

For me it's food. I love good quality food. I love to cook food that is fresh, local and different. Right now its even harder because I like all the fresh stuff at the farmers market and the berries. We are in splurge mode at this point and just not spending in other areas.
We went to the grocery store and my kids (15,16) both picked out tons of fruit and veggies. We then went to the chip aisle and asked which ones they would like, neither one wanted any.
Once summer is over I will go back to meals that are more stockpile friendly and more affordable, but for now I MUST enjoy. :)

Annie Kate said...

A post about getting the budget concept across to free spirits would be greatly appreciated. :)

Annie Kate

Family Balance Sheet said...

Eating out at restaurants is hard for us. We budget to go out once a week, but even that one time we tend to over spend. I cook so much during week, that on weekends I don't want to cook so we end up getting take out.

Keli said...

"A post about getting the budget concept across to free spirits would be greatly appreciated. :)"

I second this! Hubby says one thing and does the complete opposite. He doesn't get the whole instant gratification versus long term goals thing.

Lori @ Couponomic Stimulus Package said...

Annie Kate & Keli, I will have to contemplate about this! The thing that helped my hubby was FPU! So I will tuck it into my brain and mull it around a bit and see what I can come up with! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I LOVE suggestions!!!

Family Balance Sheet - Restaurants are so hard. Especially when I've not been prepared. There are times when you just get so tired of cooking! LOL! We haven't been able to have a restaurant budget for a while so for us if we finally succumb it stinks because it comes from my grocery/food budget which isn't large enough to handle that very often!

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