The Secret to Financial Success

The Secret to Financial Success! Sitting down and doing this as a couple and actually following through as made a world of difference. You'll want to start today!

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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.) 

Why Budget?

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!

Start Today!

The Secret to Financial Success! Sitting down and doing this as a couple and actually following through as made a world of difference. You'll want to start today!

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.

29 thoughts on “The Secret to Financial Success

  1. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    I couldn’t agree with this post more! My husband and I were in great debt in the beginning of our marriage. We worked hard to dig our way out before our children were born, and we have vowed never to be in that place again. The stress of debt isn’t worth having anything that the debt cost. There is such freedom in the debt-free life. At this point, we do have a small mortgage, but our desire is to have that gone as soon as possible. Thanks for the encouraging post and for the information about Mark & Lauren. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Amen. Debt isn’t worth it. Your kids will have you teaching them good financial wisdom and will learn from your story. Hopefully they’ll start their lives out of your house and firm ground financially. We are just like you – we have our small mortgage and are working on paying it off as quickly as possible. I can’t wait!!! We’ll celebrate the day that happens. Thanks for stopping by!

        1. Deanna Michaels Post author

          Thanks, Heather!!! I can’t wait until it happens. We had a mini celebration with a homemade cookie cake that said “we’re debt free” when we paid off my husband’s car and student loans after we got married. We are hoping to get the house paid off in the next couple years. I really hope it happens!!!

          1. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

            A couple years isn’t bad, Deanna. We still have roughly 9, but I am hoping it will be a little sooner. I think that having a paid for home is so important. I watch people in retirement struggle to pay rent or make house payments and I don’t want to be there when that time comes for us. Thanks, again, for the inspirational post.

          2. Deanna Michaels Post author

            Thanks, Heather! That would be awesome if you get yours paid off sooner too. I agree, it will be nice not to have the payments and to worry about them. If we ever move or need a bigger house I’m hoping we are able to save up the difference. I guess hopefully we’ll never move to a place where houses are crazy expensive. One nice thing living in Oklahoma. 🙂

  2. Stasia

    Completely agree… you will spend all of whatever you have if you don’t keep track of it! IT is getting a system that works in place and keeping yourself accountable that is the step that really puts your budget into a REALITY!

  3. Jayleen Zotti

    Budgeting is so much fun … sticking to it is a whole different story;0) I’m getting ready to do the October budget and hoping to include some savings for the emergency fund which has been diminished … ugh! I’m intrigued by The New American Dream Blog Tour … will have to check that out!

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Eeek, those crazy emergencies! It’s always a bummer to have to put other things on hold to build it back up. It’s worth it though. I’m with you – budgeting is great! After many years we’ve finally found a routine that works – makes it way easier to stick too. Hope you October planning goes well!

  4. Susan

    Baby steps is right! It’s wonderful that you were able to make a big down payment on your house and were ready to replace the car when the time came. Thank you for the encouragement!

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Baby steps really do add up to making a difference! Thanks for your comment, I’m very thankfully we’ve been able to put little bits of money into savings over the years.

  5. Sara K.

    Budgeting is a wonderful tool!

    We live “paycheck to paycheck” and don’t have an emergency fund built up, BUT thanks to sticking to a budget, I can pay the bills in full when the time rolls around. Like car insurance, real estate taxes, house insurance, etc.

    I pay cash for food, most of the time. I have a little saved up in the “food” bank account to handle visitors. (Our food bill doubles, sometimes triples when we have company.) I have money in the “travel” account, so if there’s an emergency and we need to travel suddenly, we can do it. And I have a few CD’s (low balances) that mature several times a month. So there’s a little bit of extra money if I need it.

    I guess my emergency fund is scattered among CD’s and bank accounts, earmarked for specific expenses. And in the past, it’s certainly helped us out with unexpected things (needing to purchase a car from the car account, hospital bills from the personal health account, etc.)

    Yep, a budget reduces stress! And having the funds to cover the unexpected is a blessing, no matter how it’s stashed, right? Anyone can do a budget. My son in college does a budget and saves for the future. And he’s learned to tweak it as life changes.

    Thank you for posting your article. It’s a very nice reminder that I am not alone in the budgeting world. 🙂

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Yes, it’s amazing what a little planning and setting aside can do for making paying bills painless – especially those high ones like insurance even when you aren’t rolling in the dough. 🙂

      You sound a lot like me, I have an envelope on my fridge with a little money in it for when we have company. We use a separate savings account where we are slowly saving up for when we need to replace a car and put in a storm shelter (we are in Oklahoma and even though we’ve lived here forever having kids makes those things a little more important). Then we save up where we can for things likes trips and other known expenses.

      You are right, it is such a blessing! That’s great that your son is budgeting and learning. How awesome that will be for him for the rest of his life.

      Thanks so much for your awesome comment and sharing how budgeting works for you. I agree, it’s nice to know that we aren’t the only ones budgeting and watching where our money goes. Have a great weekend.

  6. Tauna

    My husband does our budget and I’m so thankful for it! It helps us both really stay on track and be good stewards of what we have. Thanks for joining the Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up!

  7. Angi @ SchneiderPeeps

    What a great post – and one that most of our society needs to read. We do a monthly budget and while it’s sometimes hard to totally stick to it, it gets easier the more you do it. The budget is won or lost in the little things. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

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