(just to make it known, on the “resource” page I have provided the budget sheet & the ledger we use. We’ve been successful, I recommend you take a look)
I am happy and blessed to be able to say that the only debt we have is student loans (boo) and our mortgage.
We follow the concept taught by Dave Ramsey. ( A great friend and mentor of mine also taught me what I know first, luckily her teaching met with what Ramsey teaches, so it was easy for me to catch on, thank you Amy!)
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else”- this man has GREAT quotes- I recommend you check them out —> Dave Ramsey Quotes
We are doing just that- we are living like no one else! AMEN! No credit cards (I will admit, I got sucked in to Younkers and got a card so I could ge 20% off my purchase… she also told me i’d get 20% off every time I used the card… NOT TRUE, there is ALWAYS a catch! Cutting it up NOW!). We pay cash, if we don’t have the cash it we don’t buy it, we budget and we know where everything is going, when it’s going, how it’s going and why it’s going. (when I say cash, I don’t literally mean CASH, we use a debit card). We have an emergency fund- and when we run low, we use that. And when we use the emergency fund to get back on our feet, any savings left over from the month we put back into the fund to build it back up. When we are back to a full emergency fund we move on! I’m on my 3rd car (well, it’s a van and we LOVE it) since we got married, and we paid cash each time. Let me tell you- that emergency fund has been and is our saving grace! There are steps to take and an order to do them in according to Dave Ramsey.
(you can also catch up by reading the “livin’ on the edge” page and learn about what we’ve been through!)
We were in an apartment for almost 2 years- it was getting more expensive every year (what a waste of money) so we were looking for somewhere else. We moved in with Marc’s parents, intending to only stay a few weeks. That turned into a year. IT WAS AWESOME! I loved living with them 🙂
We saved a ton of money, I got preggo and BAM we needed a house A SAP! Our great friend & Realtor Andy Richter, was helping us find a home. After a long time coming we found it! DEFINITELY NOT our DREAM HOME- it was a foreclosure, with pee stains, pee walls, awful paint, rotting decks, and college-kid-cooties all over it. BUT it has a gigantic kitchen, tons of storage, a finished basement, CENTRAL AIR, trees surrounding it and 4 bedrooms- now THAT is a dream for a preggo with twins! We had it inspected, foundation was great, got a new roof put on along with city water hook up and TADA! Our home 🙂
PLEASE- I wish it was that easy. It took 5 months to close on this pain in the butt. The people we were dealing with were not honest people. Oh Lord, bless Andy and his sweet wife Erika for dealing with this for 5 months! It was a headache and I wouldn’t have been surprised if Marc showed up on this guys doorstep and showed him what his Marine-self was made of.
Needless to say- a million signatures, 3 failed closings and 5 months later- we didn’t put any money down (glory of a VA loan!), got a 5,000 first-time-home-buyer veteran credit, got $80 paid to US at closing and the scum bag that was in charge of selling the house (foreclosure, so he didn’t give a crap) ended up putting HIS money in OUR escrow because we said we weren’t (rightfully so!). After the credit, we paid what we offered for the house in the first place. God is ON OUR SIDE- and we won. We were confident our hearts were right and we surrendered to God. A, a, amen for His faithfulness! He works in our favor- acknowledge that.
We moved in the weekend before we had the girls- moved in Saturday (with the help of our awesome family and friends, thank you!!!), cleaned Sunday, carpet laid & stove delivered Monday, went to hospital Monday night… talk about stressful! I was on bedrest and couldn’t help with the house. What do I have to say to that? sd;foih)*@#&$ojashf;ljgh! I sat in a chair, ate the guys food and drank their pop as I watched my body swell… THEN when we got home from the hospital, it had been a week… ONE WEEK. The pipe burst in the bathroom and we had our first flood. Bye bye new wood floors… hello 1am, really loud humidifiers, strange men in my home, months without a floor, dealing with insurance, two week old twins, un-needed added stress… I almost started to cry and Marc told me “now is not the time”. Okay baby love, lets do this! I tackled the bathroom and Marc tackled the rainforest in the basement. Want to know the blessings? The water didn’t damage anything that couldn’t be replaced. We did some work ourselves and saved insurance money to re-do the basement and put the wood onto our stairs. The girls slept through the whole ordeal, loud vacuum and all! We got them up, fed them, put them back down, and as we laid our heads on our pillows, my God fearing husband said something like this “good will come out of this, God’s got something for us”, and we went to bed with joy. Eat that satan- I’m not even going to capitalize your “s” because YOU SUCK!
Marc didn’t have a full time job with benefits until a few months before the girls came. THEN they closed down in January 2014… I worked 2 days a week… The Lord gave me a TON of hours while Marc was out of work! God provided, now Marc is in school a few weeks a month, and started a CAREER on Monday, in a field he LOVES… AND he can work from the couch 🙂 Now THAT’S favor.
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us- yes, establish the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17 NIV
Back to Dave!
When we got engaged my in-laws offered this class to us. My father-in-law was actually teaching and has done so for a few sessions. They are DEBT FREE! The cool thing is the first time you take the class, you are able to take all the other classes for free (if it is new material you will need to purchase the new book/workbook etc. or you can just sit in and listen).
IT IS THE BEST THING THAT WE COULD HAVE EVER DONE!
I can proudly say that disagreements about money are very minimal in our marriage- then again, our marriage isn’t your typical marriage 😉
Dave Ramsey talks about a “free spirit” and a “nerd”. Well, I was the “nerd” and Marc was the “free spirit”. This was very difficult for me at first- isn’t it the man’s job to be the head of the finances? After all, he’s the head of everything else! Spiritual head, head of making decisions, head of the home… The Lord put me in my place and I didn’t accept that at first. I’m good with numbers, I’m SUPER anal about money, I’m organized (post-pregnancy organized is a bit different than pre-pregnancy organized!) and it is a gift the Lord has laid upon me and I was PISSED about it! Pride.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10
Well, that put me in my place. I needed to give this ugly part of my pride to God, and let Him change my heart.
It. was. not. easy.
Being the “nerd” meant doing the math, and for a while I felt as though I was alone in this part of our marriage. I kind of was- but some very close friends (Andy & Erika, AGAIN, geez you’ve blessed us so much!) helped to open our eyes, and a few years later here we are at a much better understanding of one another, of the purpose of doing finances together and of our role in the budget. USUALLY- I balance (DOWN TO THE PENNY! Haven’t lost track of a cent since 2010, check out the “resources” page for the budget sheets I use!!) and place spending into the budget sheet. We are SUPPOSED to sit down together and go over bills, monthly spending, blah blah blah, but that hasn’t happened in a while. Right now we are just trying to make it- and so far we’ve found MASSIVE amounts of favor with the Lord and have made it through since January when Marc’s workplace shut down. I still do the majority of the budget- and although I would rather not, it has taken me a few years to realize that Marc fills my weak spots and I fill his. Where he’s talented, I’m not! What if he were to say “so, I know I’m really great at being the husband buuuuut, I think I’d rather you do it because I don’t think it’s fair to have to lay down my life for you”… Think about that next time you don’t think something is “fair”. Men have a HIGH calling- respect them, even if they’re falling short. They need you.
GOSH, I love that man! Sweet, sexy, tall, musician of mine… t-hehehe
We fought with unemployment from February until now, and just in the end of May we FINALLY received back pay from 4 MONTHS! It got so bad that Marc contacted a State Representative- THAT is how we got payed- NOT because unemployment paid us, but because we fought for what we knew we deserved and prayed our way through the financial storm.
The point of all of this?
Money sucks. It ruins relationships, takes our joy and sucks our energy. Budget, budget, budget. Know where your money is going. Tithe your 10% and watch your life change ( for a better understanding of tithing, check this out “focus on the family”, also a great site for other matters!). I know this post went from budget, to me and my life, to budget, to God and back. But seriously- I wanted you to see what we went through and how we GOT through. We followed God’s word- and I hope that, to you, our life is proof of His faithfulness.
God WANTS to bless you.