Last year, we moved from California to Kansas and in the process we learned our finances were a mess. We ended up having to short sale our house, and the process was less than fun. The long and the short of it, I felt irresponsible, even though we did everything “right”. I am a lot of things, but irresponsible is not one of the them. I knew something had to give, and that this was the time to do it. The upside of the whole situation was that it made my husband and I take a long, hard, look at our money and where it was going. That was by far the hardest part. Once we sat down, and got everything in order, it was easy to make a plan. We decided to make a goal of being completely debt-free. We enrolled in Financial Peace University, and it was the best thing that we have ever done. For our family, and for our future.
We make a monthly budget, and use cash for everything. We know where our money goes, have been paying down all of our debt, and working on having a sizable emergency fund. But, being the way that I am, there is no reason why my budget notebook and envelopes cannot be cute, right? I used the same idea as my kitchen journal, and printed out envelopes from this template.
My best friend is also on this journey, and we help each other stay motivated, and accountable. Sort of like a workout buddy, who cheers you on when you reach goals, and kicks your behind when you lose your way. I made a set for her as well, and now we are budget buddies. We keep track of everything in our notebooks, and use the envelopes to keep track of how much we have spent and where we have spent it.
Instead of dreading making a budget, and spending our money each month before the month actually gets here, it is something that I look forward to. It is now the highlight of my month. Seeing the progress that we have made, and how each month, we get closer to reaching our goals, is almost like a game. I get a thrill every time I get cross a debt off our list, and when I put a certain amount of money towards a goal. We are winning this game, and know that our future is much more secure, and we are changing how our family treats money. One month at a time.