Time to be Financially Responsible
Two years ago, March 2016, I set out to create a budget. I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at church that year. I had been wanting to take the class to see if there was anything more I could learn about getting out of debt. Back then, it all started out really well. Each month, I wrote out my budget as normal, I used the envelope system and diligently tracked my spending. I was able to keep my budget throughout most of the year until something happened along the way.
To this day, I’m not exactly sure what happened. Somewhere along the way, I think I must have gotten tired. I still wanted to get out of debt, but having to go to the bank to withdraw money every week for my envelopes started to wear on me. Because I didn’t have large enough paychecks, I couldn’t withdraw my full budget amount for groceries. I could only pull a portion of it. For example, if my grocery budget was $200 each month, I could only withdraw $50 each week due to my income limitation.
In 2017, I got a full-time job and am making more money. It got a little easier to budget my money, but I still had never gotten back into the great habits I had made the year before. I had started spending money a little unnecessarily. I wasn’t spending money on material things. After all, I had decided I was going to live more intentionally and call myself a minimalist. No, I wasn’t bringing in excessive physical goods. I was buying snacks, soda, sweets, and yarn to feed my crochet habit/addiction. I hadn’t budgeted for any of these items and was paying for it at the end of the month by not having any money left over.
I had become irresponsible and deviated from what I wanted to do. I didn’t fully realize I had been doing it until November 2017. Over half of 2017 was not budgeted. I was able to pay my bills just fine and I had paid down some of my debt but I hadn’t saved much.
In December I made the change. I took the steps to make my budget.
1. Wrote down my income and expenses for the month
2. Told my money where to go
3. Didn’t spend money on what I hadn’t budgeted
Since then, I haven’t done any additional spending. The only spending I’ve done from December to January has been for bills and groceries.
If you’ve gotten off track with your budget, or want to start a budget, start now! Don’t wait until it’s a “new month”. I didn’t wait until 2018 to start. Start new habits now or it may never happen. You can do it!