Anyone Have an Extra Copy of Budgeting for Dummies?

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I am sorry if my blog is leaning toward the money-saving genre lately. It’s a topic I think almost all of us can relate to, and something that is taking more and more precedence in my own life! It’s very much a part of that “being a good housewife” thing for which I strive, albeit certainly not the only part. While I will keep doing Menu Plan Monday featuring my grocery budgeting and Publix Bargain Meals, I hope to not focus entirely on budgeting as much as I have been lately! That said, here’s another episode in the ongoing saga.

Since most of the problem lies in my, well, wallet, I don’t think my husband will mind me sharing this information with y’all. I just want to honestly share what rests on my heart, and this has been very much a part of it lately.

I am not a good money person. In general, numbers just dance around in my head and I can’t make sense of them. I am ever grateful that I married a mathematician to take care of such silly things like bills for me. We don’t budget, and our policy has always been that if I am spending too much money, my husband will tell me so. We generally don’t use our credit card and live within our means. As we’ve added such things as “daycare” and “pediatrician visits” to our budget, the purse strings have become just a little tighter.

I spend a good deal of time reading blogs devoted to saving money: Money Saving Mom. $5 Dinners. Coupon Cravings. Like Merchant Ships. Sense to Save. (Have I mentioned that I am a blog addict?) And yet, I just seem to spend. It doesn’t seem like much at the time. But as I added up my purchases from February today, it kept stacking up. Fifty bucks on clothes for me. A pedicure. Three baby gifts. And lots of meals out, especially lunches. It all adds up quick.

I’ve been thinking more and more lately about wanting to stay at home with Libbie. It’s really not at all possible until August, and that is assuming Mr. V gets a decent job (even with a PhD, jobs are scarce these days). But if I ever want to make that happen, the spending has got to change. I have to prove that I CAN be frugal. I have to remind myself that the things are not worth the loss of minutes with my daughter as she grows.

I’ve been contemplating the lack of discipline in my life lately. Discipline should be a huge part of the Christian life. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be fun and awesome walking with God, because it is! But to be a disciple, you gotta be disciplined! Getting out of bed late, not taking care of my health, not having a daily Bible study time, not being able to control my spending … those things all scream LACK OF DISCIPLINE.

I know everything won’t change all at once. And being a Christian means continuous struggling toward improvement. But I want to start making those itty, bitty baby steps now.

I hope this is slightly coherent. Thanks for letting me stream my thoughts here.

8 thoughts on “Anyone Have an Extra Copy of Budgeting for Dummies?

  1. I did understand your post. Journaling what you spend really does help you know where your money is going. We very seldom eat out these days for a number of reasons. There are tons of sites out there with frugal tips and ideas. I stopped by today as I’m working on visiting the many blogs from Bloggy Carnival now that I have time to read and comment.

  2. I’ve certainly been in your shoes!

    I still spend more than I would like. And it’s all on silly things, like fast food.

    When I was in the workforce, we spent a ton of money on lunches and other takeout. It was ridiculous!

    Perhaps you can try using cash only. You can set aside a certain amount for groceries, entertainment, gifts, clothing, etc. Once you’ve spent the money for the month, you’re done.

    Keeping track of where the money goes is helpful to me.

  3. this post was just the confirmation I really need…as many problems as you say you have with budgeting, etc., I think you’re a great role model as a big sister with living within your means and using money and being a good steward. I’m really trying to work on that more…

  4. Jessie- I soo understand where you are coming from. I’m staying home with my kids now, but its getting harder and harder. My husband and I are going to be taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University next month. I’ve heard amazing things about the program. It really teaches you how to use your money, buget and save. I’m a horrible saver and new to budgetting. So thats my 2 cents. Good luck.

    http://www.daveramsey.com

  5. One of the hardest things for me about staying home is the lack of freedom with my money. I was a single professional woman for years before I married my husband. Then when I became a SAHM, I lost all that! It can be hard when I can’t automatically buy what I want, when I want. But you’re right…it’s about discipline. You do adjust. I used to get biweekly pedicures. I haven’t had one in a year now. You get used to a new way of life eventually. The biggest thing that helps me stay in check is our car situation. We’re a one car family, and we want to get another car so I’m not housebound during the week. I try to keep that in mind when I’m tempted to make a frivolous purchase. So that might help? Having a meaningful financial goal? Maybe a college account or something???

  6. Even those of us who are more used to financial discipline can be undisciplined in other ways!

    If you ever want to talk about this stuff over a cup of coffee, I’m here : )

  7. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Betty

    http://laptopprocessor.info

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