I’m slowing learning about money – which makes no sense since I am now 41 years old! You’d think I’d have this all figured out. I blogged about Money and Happiness before, but until the past couple years, I never took it seriously. Not seriously enough anyway.
Like so many others, money has caused problems in our marriage. But still – I never really thought about what it does to our family; what it does to me.
I’m not what you’d call “High Maintenance” – I don’t shop constantly, I don’t have a million pairs of shoes or makeup or all that stuff. We don’t drive fancy cars, we really don’t mind the vehicles we do drive. But…we never had a real budget until recently. We’ve “dabbled” a little, but not for any length of time. We’d just revert back to our old habits.
We have spent money on technology – a little more than the average person because we’re a house full of geeks. I’ve been known to spend too much money on stuff that I think my kids would like – tending to buy too many things that they would end up not even playing with. I’m not sure why I did it, I’d rarely spend it on myself. But I would go crazy on their birthdays and Christmas buying all this cool stuff. I’d spend money in between “just because”, thinking they’d enjoy this or that.
Over the past two years, I’ve been cutting back. I’ve been trying to declutter and buy less. And it is finally starting to show. In a good way. We spend more time together. I rarely go to the mall. When I do need something, I shop locally and have even started to buy second-hand because that makes so much more sense!
Now that Krystal and I are working hard on our Minimalist Challenge, this is in the forefront of my mind. I have read many minimalist blogs that inspire me to change. As I change, my family has been changing. The kids are saving their money. My husband comes home with less because he is now thinking about his purchases before he makes them. I don’t “splurge” getting stuff for the kids as much. It is a refreshing change that we no longer fight about money!
I have been following a few blogs about getting out of debt and finding financial freedom. We’ve been inspired to follow some of their techniques. I recently began using an amazing budgeting tool called “You Need A Budget” and it is eye-opening and easy to use. I really see this working for us as we strive to stop living paycheck to paycheck and start moving forward in what we owe.
I intend to share more with you as my family journeys towards financial freedom. For now, I’d like to share some resources with you that may help you get out of debt as well:
- Engaged Marriage – My friend Dustin has been a huge inspiration in his blog posts, and put me on to the YNAB software. He’s got a lot of great ideas!
- You Need a Budget – budgeting software that I’m currently using
- Financially Poor – a blog I’ve been following for a while that has inspired me as well
- Enemy of Debt – this is a really good blog about managing your finances
- ManVs Debt – more good stuff!