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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Some resources for managing your budget

I confessed that last week was kind of a wash when it came to eliminating waste in our home. This week, I'm hitting it hard, so maybe that makes up for it? :)
We are tackling spending, and I could, and maybe soon I will, write a whole lot on that subject. Right now, I'm just going to share some resources that I'm using to help me get our budgeting system back on track.
We have been pretty responsible with our budget, mostly from necessity. I'm so thankful to say that we've been able to avoid debt  in our family, which is so freeing, especially for a family in ministry. We are able to make decisions based on God's leading and not worry about making so many payments.
Lately, however, I've kind of let things go. With all of the traveling and challenges of pregnancy and me trying to stay sane with my hubby going out of town, we've kind of been in "survival mode". Too much spending and not enough tracking where that money is going. So, as I set goals and try to assess the situation, I'm using the following:
Dave Ramsey - this guy. Just, this guy. His teaching is the reason we've been able to stay out of debt. His ideas are why we were free to follow God's call to China, to seminary, and to adoption. I can't really express to you what being financially free does for a family. It's worth so much more than a nice car or house or a snazzy vacation.
coin keeper- this is an app on my smartphone. A friend introduced me to it. It's $6, which is officially the most expensive phone app I've ever purchased, but it's already worth every bit and more. I can keep up with our budget from anywhere and track our spending the moment I make a purchase. Before, our budget was on a spreadsheet on my computer, and I never knew off of the top of my head what I had spent that month. If you're familiar with the envelope system, this has a lot of the same benefits, but for me is simpler than carrying around a wad of cash. (not a good idea for someone with mommy brain and pregnancy brain!)
I am rereading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace RevisitedSeven-by-Jen-Hatmaker and setting some goals for our family. I'll share those with you next time.
How do you keep track of your budget? Do you have any tips for sticking to said budget?

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