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The secret to financial success?
Have a budget and stick to it! Sure, more money might be nice, but if you don’t know how to budget you’ll never have enough! (I speak from experience. When we’ve had a budget on paper, but not follow through we wasted money and spent more.)
Sometimes it can feel like a drag being limited by the cash in your envelope system when you really want to eat out instead of cook or buy the new piece of furniture for your house. It’s important to remember the big picture when you feel those thoughts of remorse and woe is me. You don’t have to say no forever to buying something for your house. Just wait until you have the money for it. You can go out for dinner sometimes, but when the money is gone, it’s gone!
Keep in mind the bigger picture – remember why you are doing what you do.
Budgeting reduces stress! It gives you a freedom you wouldn’t already have. Telling our money where to go and being able to put money aside in savings has been such a blessing over the 8 years of our marriage.Without budgeting and being careful with our money, we wouldn’t have an emergency fund built up. When life happens, as we know it will, we’d be sunk.
As I think back, our marriage started off with immediately paying off my husband’s school loans and car. After that we started saving for purchases and building the savings account for those unanticipated costs.
Over the past 8 years we’ve been thankful for a job with great health insurance. But still, without our savings my 9 day stay in the hospital with severe double pneumonia could have sunk us anyway. When our second car had officially fallen apart, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase a new (to us) vehicle. We had enough for a large down payment on our home and when the foundation needed piers, we were able to have them put in.
Being able to encounter most of what life throws at you without being stressed and worried about where the money is going to come from to pay for yet another thing is so worth it!
Even if you have debt and feel overwhelmed, today is the perfect time to start taking baby steps! You don’t have to stay burdened by money forever. Sit down and go over your expenses and your income. See where you can save, what you can eliminate entirely to free up even $10, $100, or $1,000 a month. Use that money to build an emergency fund and pay off the debts. It can be done!
Your stress will go down and your happiness will increase as you start living the New American Dream!
Does the idea of budgeting give you a sense of freedom or does it make you feel tied down? I’d love to know how budgeting has been a blessing to you over the years.
Mark and Lauren Greutman are the faces behind The New American Dream. They found themselves living the old dream. One that involved fancy cars, custom homes, and a pile of debt. They exchanged that overrated, stressed out dream for their new American dream of enjoying life together while living within their means. They’ll teach you how to jumpstart your new American dream. Visit them here.