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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Overcoming Budgeting Blues

Yesterday I sat down and completed our expense report for the month a January and began adjusting our budget for February.  Y'all when I say this was a dramatic process, that's putting it very lightly.  I literally was at my computer for two hours (it does take quite a bit of time regardless).  Not only did the budget bite out a huge chunk of my day but after pinching, pulling, prodding, and poking numbers I still could not get our allocated spending budget to work.  I cut our "frivolous" spending completely which included categories like, clothes, entertainment, vacation, hair care, and "blow money".  Devastated and defeated are the only emotions that I felt as I sat just staring at the numbers on my screen.

Where is all our money going?  B and I both have very good jobs and we don't spend money on frivolous things.  Oh that's right!  Last month I started to repay my student loans.  Student loans.  I just detest that term!!  Everyone says "student loans are a good debt".  Well that may be true but I do not feel that way.  Yes I chose to get my degree and then further my education by going to dental hygiene school but I still feel like it's so unfair.  Does bettering yourself really always have to mean a 10 year sentence to Sallie Mae?

B and I joke all the time that Sallie Mae owns our first child.... really though!  They probably do.

Okay enough with my little pity party.  I promise it's really over.  So how do I over come my monthly  budget blues?  Well, the jury's still out on that completely but I do have it partially figured out.

Here's a little background on our budgeting.

Three years ago, before I started hygiene school,  I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Course.  This course will literally challenge you with your finances and lead you in the right directions to eventually grow your assets.  FPU is the system that I'm using to budget our finances and overcome our debt.  For our debt we are using the FPU debt snowball system.  We haven't seen any results from it yet but I know it's only a matter of time.  I think this is where I get so frustrated.  We keep paying on our loans and I only see them growing.  That's the snowball effect though right?  It starts slow and then slowly it begins to pick up momentum.

So back to how I overcome these monthly blues.

1.  The foundation for our budgeting is God
No matter how many categories I have to borrow, pinch, and cut from I NEVER even allow the thought of not tithing or giving God any less than 10% to enter my mind.  I constantly tell myself God is in control and that He is so much bigger than my worries of money.  IS this a lack of faith?  I truly do not think so.  I think this is what makes me human.  These are the things that God uses to build us and grow us.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable then they?  Matthew 6:26

2.  This is temporary
Life will not always be this way.  I know this and yet I so easily forget it.  Our life will not always be controlled by the budget and the budget will not always be looked at like an evil villain.  Also, I remind myself that this life on earth is completely temporary and the materials that I accumulate here will stay here when I go home.

3.  Dave Ramsey's famous quote "if you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else"
be frugal and cheap in this moment in life.  Cut corners where you can and attempt to learn to coupon.  That way someday you can truly live like no one else.  Save your money NOW.... retire early when all your friends are still punching the 8-5 hours.

These three things help me constantly to remember that it's okay to be upset over the budget but also that life goes on and it will be okay.

Do you get budgeting blues too?  How do you overcome them?

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