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Budgetting works? Who would have thunk?

December 21st, 2007 at 02:33 pm

Well, next week my one month free trial period for Mvelopes expires, and I thought it would be a good time to review things in general.

Money in the Bank:

The first thing I noticed was that I have money in the bank. My old system was to grab all the bills due in the next two weeks and figure out how to pay them all, always under the shadow of that dastardly mortgage payment lurking around the corner.

This month is different. I get a paycheck and fund my priority items first and discretionary items last. Needless to say I have money spent on paper that I haven’t spent yet (200 in an auto maintenance just sitting in the bank waiting for my car to breakdown). So yes, technically the money is spent on paper, but really this has led to having money sitting in bank accounts earning interest waiting for future expenses to show up.

Less Anxiety:

I no longer look at what I have to pay this week and where am I going to find the money. I already funded these expenses in the budget. I know I have the money. So, now it’s a bill comes in, the bill gets paid. No waiting around for my next paycheck or the paycheck after that if it’s mortgage week.

This has led to less stress in my life. Just knowing that there’s money set aside for that bill is a liberating feeling.

Communication:

A funny thing happened this month: I talked and listened to my wife. Every talk about money before this month was “you have to cut down, you can’t spend this much, what did you do with all that money I gave you this week…” Her response was usually “bite me!!”

The conversation around money now is “what is this $34 charge”. “Oh, I had to buy more formula. We have enough money in the grocery budget for that”. I look and say “Yep it’s funded and you have XX left. Is that enough for the rest of the month or do we need to move some money around?”

Sometimes not that nice but my point is that it’s a lot better. She stopped throwing frying pans at my head.

This has also led to more respect. Maybe it’s the openness (we can see every inflow and outflow).

Team Merch!!!

It’s no longer my money, her money, and our money. When I first got married, we were both working. I paid a couple of the bills and she paid a couple of the bills. Money was pouring in. It wasn’t uncommon for us to blow $200 on a dinner.

Then HE came… Not that I would change that. My first son changed my life so much. I had to buy a house with a yard and leave condo living. No more $200 dinners that was replaced by diaper and formula. My wife’s income … *POOF*

But we didn’t change are finances. We still had my money, her money, and our money.

Well, that changed with the budget this month. We still have 3 physical banks, but we can see everything and now we’re a team.

I’m the worker doing the day to day stuff. Damn management never understands our plight.

My wife’s management. Reviewing the budgeting reports, asking for us workers to tweak things.

Then, once a month the executive committee (both of us) sits down to discuss next month’s budget and any big items coming up (like a weekend getaway in February, my second son’s baptism in March).

Now, some of these changes are just starting and we need sometime to change our mindset, but I can see the changes taking place. So, I think I’ll try this budgeting thing for another month.

5 Responses to “Budgetting works? Who would have thunk?”

  1. sagegirl Says:

    I am so happy to hear that this is all working out for you. When my son was born in 2003 (we already had a 6 year old at the time) I decided to give up my income and stay home. However, we did not make any changes as to the amount of money we spent and we went through savings really quick. Lesson learned the hard way. I am back working now that my son is 4 (he goes to day care). I will have to look at the Mvelopes and see if this might be right for me. I have tried budgeting forever and have never been able to stick to it.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    You are doing well!!

  3. scfr Says:

    It's great you're budgeting, and it's super great that you and your wife are working together as a team. If you'd like to further explore the power of teamwork, you may want to check out the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich" and the accompanying workbook, and do the exercises together with your wife.

    Money-saving tip: Buy the workbook, so you can write in it, but check the book out for free from your local library!

    P.S. Yes - My user name does stand for "Smart Couples Finish Rich" but I don't make anything if you buy the book. Wink

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    This sounds so good. As a couple, doing things together is one of the greatest things. Progressing, building a life together, security together, children together...Sweeeeet.

  5. Aleta Says:

    It's great that you are both working together and each of you understand where you are going. Sometimes there is always one but if the lightbulb can go off for both of you that is great. Sounds like you know what you're doing. Good job.

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