8.25.2008

Money, Money, Money

So our computer got sick with a horrible virus, but thanks to Josh Coffman, it's feeling much better now and so are we. For about 2 weeks we were bored and I was a little stressed. It's amazing how much we do on the computer. Email, Facebook, Blog, Wachovia, Pay Bills, Sunday school lessons, work stuff, and the latest, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I am definitely the one in the family that deals with money,bills, and budgeting. My parents will tell you that money has always stressed me out and that I am a control freak when it comes to managing money. My parents never had to worry about me over spending. They have taught me to be very frugal with my money, which is a good thing and a bad thing. I am not a big spender, but at the same time, I am so detailed with money that I get stressed very easily. I have made a lot of progress since Brent and I got engaged. I promised him that I would not have any arguments with my parents about money during all the wedding planning. My mom and I had plenty of pointless arguments during that time (that's what happens when you are planning a wedding in Birmingham while living in Auburn and doing student teaching in Dadeville with a cooperating teacher who does not like you and wants you to be unsuccessful and your fiance is 12 hours away in Southwest Florida and your mom, who is doing most of the planning, is actually planning VBS and Kid's Camp at the same time...all in a span of 5 months, whew! But that's another story for another time.) but none of the arguments were about money. And since then, I have learned to not get so uptight about money. But...now we have started FPU. We did a zero-based budget tonight and had our first "Budget Committee Meeting" and I got a little testy. I already had a budget that was working fine. However, it did not include dog food, saving $3.34 a month for co-pays, vacation savings, entertainment fund, clothing fund, toiletry fund and a bunch of other crazy stuff that I didn't think to have a fund for. Yes, I did say I was detailed, but not to the point where I direct every last penny to a certain fund category every month. Ahhh! Dave Ramsey suggests the envelope system for things like groceries, gas and entertainment. That means, at the beginning of every month, we take out whatever we have set aside for those categories and put the cash in an envelope. Once the cash is gone, we can't eat anymore, buy anymore gas, and can't go to Maggie Moo's anymore for that month. Of course the point is to not run out of the cash until the end of the month. But, my first thought is, what if the house catches on fire and we lose that cash? I guess we have to keep the envelopes in our fire safety box. But, what if the fire gets so hot that the box melts (which is unlikely, but I still think about these things)? And, that means everytime I go to the grocery store or get gas, I have to remember to actually get the cash, which also means I have to go to the guest bedroom, pull the fire safety box out from under the bed, get the dust bunnies off, find the key, unlock the box, get the right envelope, lock it back, push it back under the bed, then go to the store or gas station. Because, if I forget the cash and use my debit card that means I have to go deposit the cash back into the bank for the amount I spent on groceries and gas. I say all of this with sarcasm, but it is so much to think about. Brain overload. I know all the hard work will pay off. Dave says, "If you live like no one else, then you will live like no one else." Meaning if I live now like I have no money, later I can live like I have money because I will be debt free. So, if anyone asks us to go out to eat and we say "no," it is not because we don't like you, it's because we do not have any more cash in our restaurant envelope. Instead we will go home and eat rice and beans. Yum-O! But you are more than welcome to come to our house and eat rice and beans with us. We would love your company over such a boring meal. But Dave would probably have us request that you bring your own rice and beans. Don't eat ours. Just kidding:)
I like Dave and know his system will work because it is based on Biblical principles. Believe it or not, I am actually excited about this.

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