I can whole-heartedly say that having a budget has helped me become more content with my money. I used to think a budget meant just setting some guidelines for your money. We tried a budget when we were first married, but I didn’t follow it. Sure I had the categories written out, but I never changed it. It was always the same every month. We never really paid much attention to it. Then I started listening to Dave Ramsey. We decided we wanted to pay off our second mortgage. His budget really made sense to me. Every dollar had a name, and every month you do a new budget. All your money gets spent on paper before the month begins. It isn’t just a general oh I think we might spend this on that category. It is really sitting down and thinking about it. Giving fair numbers and doing it with your spouse. Then you stick to it. I thought at first it sounded constraining. But in reality it is actually much more freeing. Instead of feeling guilty when I buy a new shirt because I hadn’t kept track of how much I spent on clothing, I now know exactly what I have worked in to spend in the clothing category. Instead of griping at Loren for buying something, he has “pocket money” built in to spend it on whatever he wants. We both know exactly where our money is going. We don’t have to wonder. If you don’t do a budget currently, I highly recommend you try out Dave’s Budget. He always says a budget is about telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went. When you are constantly stressed out about money and where it goes, a budget will help get rid of that stress.
When you have a budget you can see just exactly what you can spend on things. It limits what you can buy so you don’t fall into the trap of buying whatever you feel like if you are feeling discontent, while at the same time allowing you to buy certain things without feeling bad about it! It doesn’t matter if you make a ton of money, or hardly any, I think a budget is an amazing tool on the road to contentment. We need to give some, save some, and spend some of our money. By having a written plan we can do all three things without guilt! A budget that we stick to is really just one big goal for our money.
Scripture to Ponder:
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
Homework for the Heart:
If you currently have no budget, look into it. Try it out. It will take time to get used to it so don’t give up right away. Dave says most of the time it takes around 3 months to really get the hang of it! Read the Total Money Makeover if you are interested even further in Dave Ramsey’s plan. I know it really helped us out.