Come visit me! I'm talking about money

how-to-set-budget Good morning and good day to so many good friends!

Today I am talking about budgeting! A few things I am touching on: how we live on an extremely tight budget, how we still save even with a low income, and quick tips to saving money immediately! It's not all fun. It takes discipline - but it's worth it!

I have the honor of guest-posting over at A Beautiful Exchange. Come on over, read my post and be sure you visit her beautiful blog. She is pregnant with Baby #2!

Click HERE.

Money & Budgeting

"For the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 1 Corinthians 10:26

Disclaimer: I have yet to read Dave Ramsey's books. At the bottom I have 2 excel sheets for budgeting that we have created and used.

I've always "known" that everything I owned belong to God, even my money. But in the last year and a half, I have been completely liberated time and time again. I have this odd freedom and lack of "desire/greed" for money, and it's something I can only give Jesus credit for - I didn't even know I needed to be freed from it! It's beautiful and I am so deeply grateful.

In the last year, I was confronted with the idea of "poor talk."  Constantly making {bitter} comments about money; lack of. Since being confronted with it, I have worked hard to dispose of it. I hear it fall out of other peoples mouths and I now understand why I was convicted to quit: it is dishonoring to The Lord, distrusting, and discretely making an idol of it. Money is cool and all: you need it to pay bills and to eat, to go on a vacation, and even often to bless others. But besides that, it is just like anything else I may or may not posses: a material thing. --> Honestly, this could be an entire blog post in itself! It's a heart issue & we can chat later.

Aside from all of that, Loren & I have found a way to budget during this stage of newlywedness; we wanted to find a way to use it with wisdom. We wanted to set these foundations and expectations before our family grew, setting a standard that we save for things we want that are extra. Or not extra. But we won't be using the credit card unless we have money in the bank to transfer right after. Like a lot of people our age (and older), we are not rolling in the dough, so we are learning to be resourceful. Which is actually part of the fun in marriage, might I add.

Budgeting Binder + Jars for Saving!

We don't have extra money floating around; it all has a home. When it has a specific place to go, it doesn't get blown and burn holes in our pockets. It doesn't get spent and then later realized that we needed it for a bill. We don't fall for the illusion that we have more money than we do. Also, when it has a home & there is an influx of any sort, the opportunity to give more or bless more is such a blessing and salve to your soul! I will always encourage you to find ways to do that.

I have created a system with a binder. We budget for 2 weeks at a time, because we get paid on the 1st and 15th of each month. I purchased dividers with pockets and some envelopes. You could also use manilla-yellow-envelopes and punch holes in the side! I put two envelopes in each slot, 1 for week 1 & 3, 1 for week 2 & 4.

When payday comes around each time every month, I sit down and look at the excel sheet I created. I have made out the amount of different bills I need. For instance:

  • $20 in the Laundromat Jar (2 @ 10$ bills)
  • $10 in the Home Decor slot (1 @ 10$)
  • $15 in the Health slot (1 @ 10$, 1 @ 5$)
  • $10 in the Beauty/Hygiene products (1 @ 10$)
  • $40 in the Splurge for Loren and I (4 @ 10$)

I do this with each section - food, gas, jars, etc. I add up the number of each bill and when I go into the bank, it is all laid out and ready to ask for! The bank teller is appreciative of this (I know, because I once was one). When I get back to my binder, I still have my cheat sheet and just stick the bills in their alotted homes!

Budget. Money. Save. Cash. Budgeting Binder with envelopes

Similar to most people, we have dreams and plans! We have been dreaming of visiting Germany since before we were married: there is a little town called Brenner on the Italian/Austria border. (We have saved both of our tax returns in a secured/locked account with plans to go someday!)

We also dream of adopting a child or 7, (my heart goes out to babies who were almost an abortion - so if you hear of anyone...give them my name).

Car tires & Christmas are two jars we keep a going tab on all year.

Each month, if circumstances allow, we put $20 in each envelope/jar.

Jar savings! Save up for trips, car tires, adoption, etc.

Some people choose to put their money towards the here and now (going out to eat a lot, buying new clothes, television/cable, internet -- and that's fine) but we choose to do a lot of dreaming with ours.

Let me tell you, when Christmas rolls around, it is a massive good thing we planned.

We don't want to be stingy. We aren't stingy. We are working towards being honoring with what we have and not pretend to have what we don't.

We don't feel restricted by this. We feel freed and find adventures through it. It is freeing to not have a credit card bill to constantly be chasing us, never able to get ahead. Always behind. It is freeing to not worry or have that distraction. I am all about freedom - finding ways to release our hearts from the chains this world puts around them is something I aim to do. Release those hearts to Jesus and the way He has created us to live. There is so much freedom in that!

At the end of the day, money is just money. It gets you food & shelter. Please don't talk poor: I guarantee you're not poor. Look outside of yourself and see the bigger picture: what can you do with the money God has bestowed upon you?

I hope this can lead you closer to Christ on your journey of life. 

If you need a starter excel sheet, here are two: 1 Paycheck/Month Budget Worksheet 2 Paychecks/Month Budget

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In the past, we were paid one time a month. Using gasoline as an example, at the beginning of each month as soon as we got paid, I took $160 and stuck $40 in each week. I did this for food money, "splurge money" (coffee, a book, etc), dates & laundry and house goods ( in separate envelopes because there weren't enough slots). It was so handy to budget for the entire month!

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If you are needing some guidance, wanting to look at numbers, or would love some help setting up your own budget, go to the Contact Me page and I would be honored to help!

Read our story about conquering my Blood Clot Debt!