Welcome! Welcome! As the New Year is already a fourth of the way gone, I have given a lot of thought to my money. I think this is one of those things that many people think about quite a bit after Christmas and for resolutions. There is always a big financial whammy that hits us in the gut and leaves us feeling a little sick after the excitement of Christmas wears off. Then New Year’s Day rolls around and we feel like we need to set goals and two things seem to always be on the list, finances and weight loss- the two things that we overdo during November and December.
I want to address the financial just a little bit. I get really excited about money and saving, especially when I can make my dollars do what I tell them to, so here goes. I want to give you my top three tips on how I make my money behave. I’m really excited this year because I spent some time with my budget and I am determined to get out of debt once and for all and also put some money into savings.
First, when we get a paycheck I have to get rid of every single dollar. If there is any extra money laying around, I spend it. Seriously! I like stuff! So, I have to make sure every single dollar is budgeted out. I stick to an extremely strict budget. Every dollar on that paycheck has a place that it goes. The first two places that I allocate our money are to savings and donations. Otherwise, it doesn’t happen. I transfer it out of our checking account on payday. I love to see our savings account grow, so once it is in there, I don’t have a problem. Next, I pay our bills. Most of this is done online. Again, I do this on payday. The rest of our money gets pulled out for groceries and gas in cash. This has to last until the next payday. There really shouldn’t be much left in the checking account, so we really don’t use our debit card.
Second, SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. I listen to Dave Ramsey almost obsessively. He says to save $1000 dollars as quickly as you can. We have consistently kept that amount in savings, but have found that, for us, it’s just not enough. One year, we had to replace our septic system and drain field. We were able to come up with the cash, but it slowed down our debt reduction plan and ultimately turned into a nightmare. We figured out an amount that was right for us and that is what we keep in our savings account while we work on debt reduction. That amount includes Christmas. Our savings is sort of a revolving account that we don’t let get below a certain amount. When we get out of debt, that amount will be much, much higher.
Last, and definitely my favorite, you have to allow yourself a little bit of spending money. Did I just say that?! My husband and I have been doing this for our entire marriage and I think this has saved us from going out and having spending sprees. I have been able to buy both a sewing machine and a serger this way. I just patiently saved up using what we call our Mad Money. My husband bought himself a really nice rifle as well. I also think this is a great way to teach our kids how to save up over a period of time and pay cash for the things they want.
So there you have it, three simple ways I make my money behave-Budget, Save your money not only for a rainy day, but also for Christmas, and Allow yourself some Mad Money to keep from going on spending sprees. Thanks for reading!
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