1. This is God's money!
That concept can sound very odd in our materialistic culture today, but it really is true. One of the great things we both love about Dave Ramsey are the Biblical principles and mindset he has towards money. The money we make from our jobs does not belong to us to throw around whilly nilly. The money we earn is to take care of our own family, but also to bless others with who do not have as much as we do.
2. Learning to save for something I want makes me appreciate it more
My Mom always told me growing up that I would appreciate something more when I have saved and worked hard to get it. Paying with cash and not relying on credit cards, I have been amazed how much this is true!! With only a certain monthly amount for chump change, I have really learned to plan and prioritize certain purchases I want to make. For example, in the last few months I have begun to run and am training for a half marathon. Not owning a good pair of running shoes, I knew I would have to save for them. The day I went to Running Fit and paid for my shoes in cash felt SO GOOD. My Mom was right after all! I totally appreciated my new running shoes a lot more seeing the effort I put into saving so I could make the purchase without breaking the bank. This has been one of the greatest lessons I have learned so far.
3. Having a budget makes you talk with your spouse about money
Before all of this, the only time Jim and I ever talked about money was when we had to figure out how to pay the bills. I HATED those conversations, it involved stress, anxiety, and sometimes raised voices. At the time we didn't have a budget, and we certainly never talked about how to handle money or was accountable to how we spent it. Now that we have a working budget, we have a budget meeting at least twice a month. Its amazing what happens when you start being accountable to yourself for where your money goes.
4. You tell your money where to go
One of the songs Dave always sings is you tell your money where to go, plan out every last dollar and where it goes before a new month starts. The problem with I used to handle money is I was constantly telling my money to go down the drain. I would make time and save for the things I wanted without any thought to how the bills later that month would get paid...not the brightest idea! In planning out where your money goes each month, you're less likely to get off track...as long as you stick to the budget!
5. I can now actually see a light at the end of the debt tunnel
Before starting this plan, I honestly thought I would be paying off my school debt forever AND that was a normal thing, to have debt. I always thought it was normal for Americans to have credit card and school debt. With planning and strong follow-through, I see an actual time frame when we realistically will see ourselves debt free. That is exciting and definitely the encouragement I need when it sucks or I would rather give up....or if I wander into Target with no chump change money left to spend.
We won't have to be in debt forever as long as we both stick to it.
So yeah, thanks Dave for ruining my life...and teaching me how grow up financially. I wish I had done it sooner!
What about y'all? What is your relationship with money like? Any tips or tricks that help you stick to a budget?