Why Create a Budget
When Nathan and I were first married I was the one who figured out our finances. At the time we were both in Grad School, so there was not a lot of money coming in, so it was always a stressful event of trying to stretch our small funds as far as they could go without breaking. Most months I failed. I had a bad habit of going to the grocery store first thing after getting paid and buying food for the next couple of weeks and then going home and seeing what bills needed to be paid. If we were short on being able to pay bills, I would either wait on paying a bill until the next month or I would pay on a credit card.
Neither of us knew how much money we were spending on household expenses or anything else in our life. We knew how much we made and we were pretty positive we were spending more than that each month. We were living like ostrich’s with their heads in the sand, not liking our financial situation but afraid to face the truth of it as well.
When we first learned about doing a budget and we put everything down on paper, it was very eye opening. There were areas where we were obviously over spending, but there were also areas where we could (and should) be spending more. Instead of wondering where our money went each month, we were able to tell it where to go. We had a plan that together we had worked on and were committed to working towards. Honestly, it felt like getting a raise because as long as it was in the budget we knew we could spend it without guilt.
It took us a few months to get good at it and although it’s been over a decade of doing monthly budgets, we still tweak it and re-work stuff each month. The peace of having a budget each month is amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone.