Budgeting OUR money

I’ve gotten a few questions about how we budget so I thought I’d answer them on here.

Do you have separate accounts?

We used. Then we took the leap to join them. It’s difficult to talk about finances and “give up your money.” It’s been one of our greatest changes. No secrets or different ways to managing money. We’re on the same page, forced to make decisions together, using up every last penny as a family, and communicating regularly about things that can be touchy.

How do you decide if something is a monthly budget or you save for it?

We play it by ear. If we know we have a large ticket item coming up, then we know we need to put something into the save category. We spend a few months saving up for it prior to when we need it. That means our savings isn’t depleted and we feel good that we planned ahead for it. Example: As soon as we found out I was pregnant, we started saving the money that would cover my unpaid time off and also the hospital bill. We chose to stop putting money into the new car fund and the furniture fund, instead we just focused on the baby-related money. We added up what we paid for Maximus’ birth, how much nursery furniture cost, and then how many paychecks I would be missing. With 9 months to plan, it was easy to save the money in time to buy nursery furniture and pay the hospital bill. Once I start unpaid time off, we’ll transfer that money into our checking account so we don’t feel the pain of my missing paycheck. {As I typed that, I just realized that we’ll be able to move a lot of that money back into our savings account because we saved paychecks, not money needed to pay bills.}

If there’s something that’s smaller like an event or we’re going to spend a decent amount of money on clothes, then we put it into the monthly budget. Most months that’s fine and we can usually put aside our regular savings amount. If it’s a month where we have the big items too, then we decide if we want to lower the amount going into savings that month.

We don’t like to use our savings account as a checking account. The majority of interactions are money going in.

How many savings accounts do you have?

Three.

  1. We have an emergency savings account that is not touched.
  2. We have a goal savings account that is our primary savings account.
  3. We have a 529 college savings account for Maximus.

What is your goal savings account used for?

This is anything we want to buy over the next few months to few years. We’ve put the dollar amount as something over a couple hundred dollars. Right now our goals are a new car, living room furniture, dining room furniture, maternity leave, and hospital bills. Some of these items have full amounts in there and others are works in progress.

Why do you keep a budget?

We wanted to keep better track of our spending, save money quicker, and get rid of our car loan.

When we went through Financial Peace University, we fell in love with the idea of paying cash for any big purchases. We decided that we wouldn’t use a credit card for anything and we’ve stuck to that plan. If we want something and don’t have the money for it, then we just wait. By waiting we are able to decide if we need it. Because we have this savings account, we’re able to decide if we want to rearrange priorities and buy something now or start fresh and save for it.

How much of your paycheck do you put into your savings?

It varies each month depending on what other money we didn’t spend. We automatically set aside 17% of our monthly income. It’s high enough to really save money, but not too high that we don’t have any money to spend during the month. Almost every month we end up saving 25% of our take home.

Do you feel like you don’t have any money to have fun with?

No. We have entertainment money, personal money, and restaurant money. We made a conscious decision to save money so we can live the life we want to live. We have more money to spend now than we ever have before.

Do you feel like a budget constricts you?

No, it’s the opposite. A budget helps us live more freely. We’re able to save money to buy the things we’ve been dreaming of getting, but never had the money for. We’re able to live the life we chose to live. We’re being smart with our money now so we can build good financial habits for the future.

What keeps you motivated?

Bryan stays motivated on a daily basis by listening to the Dave Ramsey show. He pulls up pod casts on his phone so I can listen to them if the questions relate to us.

We both stay motivated because we developed a strategy for paying off our house in 10 years!

Lastly, because we want to “live like no one else, so later we can live like no one else.”

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Budgeting OUR money

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