Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Money Monster

Today I am beginning to rework our family budget. We’ve gotten a little lax over the last few months and have started reverting to our non-budget days where our money happened to US rather than us happening to our money (ala Dave Ramsey). We’re not saving ALL of our receipts. We’re not balancing our checkbook WEEKLY. We’re not spending our money on paper FIRST, etc.

Dh met with one of the Crown Financial Coaches at our church a week and a half ago to get some advice and he suggested we start from square one. We’ve been through the Crown classes years ago and understand the principles, but are convicted that our mechanics are a bit rickety and so we agreed that this was a good idea.

I’m excited and apprehensive all at the same time. One of the reasons we weren’t able to stick with the Crown layout for a length of time is that Dh has a fluctuating income. The way Crown’s spreadsheets, et al for your monthly income, monthly expenses, etc are set up make me crazy when all of these categories are really always in flux. So instead I switched to more of a Dave Ramsey approach (he thinks more like I think…Big Picture). I listed our bills in order of priority down a page and, as money came in, I paid them. If it wasn’t on the list (if I hadn’t spent it on paper first) then I didn’t spend it …unless…it was an unforeseen expenditure, in which case I usually took from our emergency fund…

Aaaah, the emergency fund. Well, THAT is another sore subject. Our emergency fund is all but gone. Due to my laxity in budget keeping and the lack of diligence in my list/budget making each month…well, “unforeseen” things have suddenly started to appear in our lives. They’ve all been necessary, but if I had been watchful, they wouldn’t have snuck up on me. Argh!

And so, it’s back to the budget drawing board for us today. Oh to be a little less creative and a little more analytical. This whole right brain-left brain thing is a crock!

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