Tomorrow morning is budget meeting time with husband. We’ll head to a local coffee shop with our laptop, and over mocha (him) and green tea (me), we’ll look at how we did this week, what’s on tap for next week, and how we are doing relative to our year plan.
It took us so long to get here. So many overdrafts, late fees, tearful arguments. So much stress and fear and pain. We neither of us come from money, nor were we taught how to handle money. We financed everything. We bought what we wanted. We argued.
Once, when we were just about getting there, I miscalculated the timing of a bill. It lead to ten overdraft charges at our, then, big fancy bank. I went in and begged the bank manager to refund the charges. He sat impassively as I cried. He refunded nothing.
I swore that day that I would get out of debt and get out of that bank. We’ve been at a dear, small credit union for years now and I’ve never bounced a check with them. I came close once, but one of the employees called me to alert me that we were about to overdraft, was I aware? THAT’S customer service.
It took years, but we changed. And we are changed now, for good.
We went from fighting about money, to working our plan together.
We went from four credit cards to one debit card. My husband has the debit card hidden and we only get it out for agreed upon purchases online.
We use cash now for all of our weekly out-and-about purchases. I can’t go over budget if I’m out of green paper in my wallet.
This is what financial peace looks like in my house.
That’s what Dave Ramsey’s book is called, by the way, Financial Peace. The day we found Dave Ramsey’s book was a day that changed our lives. Check him out if you haven’t heard of him. Or if you’re still fighting about money.
Our budget is one a simple Excel spreadsheet. I tried the fancy programs, too much work. There are always adjustments, but the budget gives us a framework within which to work.
We stop at the bank every Saturday morning for our cash for the week. And I thank God that we have reached this point. I enjoy making purchases again, because there is no shame, no fear when I do.
If you have ever fought about money, know that it can be different for you. It can.