Fa la la la la Bills Bills Bills Bills! (Budgeting in December)

 

 

woman hand calculator and pen on working table

Hey ladies!

Dave Ramsey & Tiffany “Budgetnista” Aliche want me to be great because they’ve been blowing up my email and my news feed with budgeting and saving at the time of year I least want to think about finances.

(Side note: Tiffany’s latest video in her private Facebook group had us all looking crazy as we thought about all the ways we’d been mishandling our money. If you haven’t signed up for the Live Richer Challenge, you can do so here.)

So, I call Travis and I’m like,

“Babe…”

If he was in front of me when I said, “Babe,” he’d probably pretend to pick up a knife and stab himself because he knows that the word babe in an E flat, coupled with a pause means I need to talk.

But, he’s so cute when imitates hurting himself that I laugh hysterically and voilà the mood is lightened and we’re primed for deep convo.

So, I tell him,

“Babe, we gotta get it together.”

And, to my surprise he says,

“I’ve been thinking the same thing.”

When gets home, he pulls out my Woman, Live! white board and all of my brand new erasable markers. And, then he tries to hang it above our TV in our living room.

Eeeeeerrrrrrkkkk!

Pump your brakes, buddy. Who said you could write on my board with my new markers and then hang our shame on the living room wall?!

*Don’t you hate when you and your spouse are on the same page and the devil tries to get them to do crazy things they have never eva done before that will upset you and derail the whole conversation? I see you Satan.*

So, once I reeled Travis back in, we pull out our debt spreadsheets and monthly bill spreadsheet, I open up my Every Dollar budgeting app (it’s FREE!) and we have the talk.

Travis and I couldn’t be more different when discussing finances. For him there is no silver lining until all debt is paid. For me, we can add an extra $2 to a bill and I’m doing the tootsie roll, butterfly & running man in my underwear.

In other words, we stress each other out.

But, after sitting down and discussing our financial plight, we did eliminate almost $300 worth of unnecessary spending like our YMCA membership, gym memberships, ABC mouse, Netflix, etc. We’re also cutting back on groceries and eating out. Those kidney beans that’s been sitting in our cabinet for 3 months will be eaten!

I even called my sister and said, “Hey. Do you want me to drive 2+ hours to my niece’s birthday party OR visit when you have my nephew two weeks later? I can’t do both.”

She’d rather keep the visiting down to a minimum when the baby first arrives so that made it an easy decision. And, generally, these aren’t things I’d like to cut out, but sacrifices have to be made to get where we’re going.

I’m either going to struggle in debt or struggle getting out of debt. I choose the latter.

If you’re new to budgeting, paying off debt & saving, but are ready to makeover your finances, I have 3 suggestions:

  1. Write down all of your expenses. Do you like to eat wings & french fries when the Cavs play? (I do! I just love LeBron!) Write it down.
  2. Speak with someone wise about expenses you can eliminate. Keyword: wise. (Why, Brandi?) We have expenses we can’t afford because we want what we want. Getting rid of things we want isn’t easy so we often find reasons why we shouldn’t let these things go. Tiffany aka The Budgetnista shared a story about her boo getting rid of his brand new truck. It didn’t feel good at first and he had to eat the money he had already invested into that purchase, but losing a couple thousand dollars versus paying $900/month for the next however many years…you do the math.
  3. If you’re married, let us pray. No, really. Pray before going to your spouse BECAUSE money can be a hard topic to discuss and agree upon. (My husband and I are arguing about which carseat to buy our 15 month old right now. (Update: We found one I loved aesthetically, one he loved financially & one we both loved for safety & fit.) Here’s a great article about how to increase your financial intimacy.
  4. Don’t ignite the bomb. Because finances can be hard to discuss, always approach the conversation with an upbeat attitude and kind words.

A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire. (Psalm 15:1, MSG)

Here’s a prayer from Stormie Omartian’s book The Power of A Praying Wife:

Lord, I pray You would help my husband understand how to handle finances the way You have instructed in Your Word. Keep him always ethical, upright, and responsible to pay anyone to whom he owes money. Teach him to give the way you want him to – generously and without hesitation – to You and to others. Help us to tithe and give offerings to You and money to the poor. Take away any fear in either of us that says if we give to You we won’t have enough for us. Help us to remember that everything we have comes from You. Thank You that when we give what You require, You will take care of all of our needs. 

Help us to completely trust You in every way, and especially with money. Enable my husband to always make sound financial decisions and be willing to give to You as a part of that. Help us both to be in unity about this. Teach him to find the perfect balance between overspending and being stingy. Give him the wisdom and insight to handle money sensibly. Help us to always give in a way that pleases You. Thank You for opening the windows of heaven and pouring out Your blessings upon us. 

I’ll keep you posted as Travis and I attempt to live below our means (without harming each other) during the most expensive month of the year. (Are you following me on Instagram? There’ll be plenty of pics!)

I’m envisioning weekly menus, lots of game nights & movie nights, couponing, errand batching, and lots of prayer.

Share your December budgeting tips, questions & experiences in the comments below.

 

Woman, Live!

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{Our theme for January 2017 is Focus on Finances. If eliminating debt, budgeting, saving, creating residual income, & investing is a personal goal for 2017 AND you’re ready to do the work, you don’t want to miss my announcement on the Woman, Live! Facebook page on Friday, December 23rd, at 8PM EST! An email reminder will be sent out to our subscribers. See you there!}

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much,and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:10-12, NIV) 

Comments

  1. Yes our board of shame lives behind our dresser. We become depressed when we see our debt in front of us daily so we decided to pull it out for our quarterly huddles and see what we can cross off. We don’t splurge on Christmas and I mananged to make it through Black Friday without spending more than $10…I bought icees for my nieces….I consider that a conquer because I love to shop!!!! I’m working on my monthly meal plans…yes monthly as well. If you aren’t great with grocery shopping I suggest emeals.com it was worth the $ to keep our grocery budget healthy and on budget.

    • I think adding a board to our bedroom is a good idea! I found some great deals on Black Friday and managed to buy for all 800 of our family members. But, kicking this debt’s butt should make holiday shopping a lot more fun next year!

  2. Brandi- What an example you are being, by sharing real life challenges and real life steps to walk out success. I look forward to celebrating your victories with you, even the smallest ones. Getting out of debt was one of the most challenging things my husband and I have ever done, but NO ONE, NO ONE can take that victory from us. We own our mistakes, but we also own our victories and they only propel us forward. Keep at it, Sister! You are more than a conqueror!

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