I’m about to ask an obvious question: Why does it seem to be easier to save money when you finally have more of it? For most of my adult life I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t something I’m wearing like a badge of honor. It was just a fact of life. I remember a conversation I had with a coworker when I was in newspapers.
Her: “I saw an article the other day about the importance of an emergency fund.”
Her: “Well, it said something to the effect of having this fund in case of an emergency. You know, like emergency repairs to your car, etc.”
Me: “Well, what do you do?”
Her: “Figure out what I don’t have to pay that month and go on an immediate diet of Ramen noodles to make ends meet.”
I could blame a lot of my money woes on some of the former jobs that I had in my life. But to be honest, I could have been making a ton of money and I’d still be broke. Why is that? Because I was crappy with money.
My husband and I just got back from a weekend road trip. As I’ve discussed before, the extended times that we spend in a car driving gives way to many conversations about money. What we want to do in the short-term with our funds, future expenses and our end goal, which is our ultimate dream of being debt free. No college debt, no mortgage.
To that end and towards that ultimate goal, we recently came up with a new plan of action. We have been reveling with the recent influx in income that we’ve enjoyed recently. But now it’s time to buckle down and limit our spending. How are we going to keep this in check? Each of us gets $100 in cash at the beginning of the month to do with as we please. For me, this will be my slush fund for my iced coffee habit, lunches out, extras like pedicures (I never claimed to be perfect …) and other “stuff” that falls out of my normal grocery budget. There is still some negotiations that need to take place. For instance, how should we budget gas money for times when we drive to see our parents? Trips to Iowa to see our families take about a gas tank and both of us have larger and older cars that take about $50 to fill. Ryan’s going to need new shoes shortly and because he literally wears shoes for about two years until they are in rags around his feet, I don’t feel like he should be dipping into his monthly cash fund to pay for something that isn’t a luxury item for him.
And to be honest … this is an accountability measure for both of us, but as you’ve probably guessed by reading my posts – my husband isn’t the one with the spending problem. I’m the money sieve in this relationship and this is more for me. But this is something I’m excited to work towards.
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