a budget buddy

As most of you know from reading my blog, we live on a budget.  And lately with grad school, it's an even more tight budget.  Thankfully, although it's tough sometimes to not be able to buy all the "extras" and things we just want...we're being so blessed during this season of our lives where we only focus on the necessities.  And as Dave Ramsey says...."Live like no one else...so later, you can live like no one else."  That's a commonly quoted statement in our home right now as we try to remain focused.

Well I'm always looking for something to help keep things "together" and organized while budgeting.  I love, love the blog Money Saving Mom.  Although I'm not a mom yet, she gives amazing advice on how her and her hubby got the point they are as frugal parents where she is able to stay/work at home.  Anywho...she offers awesome advice that really is in line with mine and Justin's money beliefs based on our Christian faith and what the bible says about being stewards of what God has give you and not to be in debt to others.

Mint.com  is a great resource I found through Money Saving Mom's blog and has become my "budget buddy".  If you're into budgeting (which I highly recommend) and enjoy organization like me (umm, yes please!), then this website is great for you.  (This isn't an endorsement...simply my own opinion for what it's worth.)  It links to your bank account (100% safely....I researched) and allows you to tag all of your transactions to fit specific sections ("envelopes" in Dave Ramsey language) in your budget.  You can set the specific budget for each section (i.e. eating out, gas, electric bill, etc.) and it shows how much over or under you are on your budget based on your transactions.  Being crazy about using cash in our envelopes to remain on track, we set an "envelope" budget and just tag that transaction where we get the money out each month as "envelopes".  The great thing is, you create the names and can even add a transaction if you need to just to remain right on track.  (For example, we recently just cashed one of Justin's checks.  I still wanted it to go through on mint, so I added the transaction to claim it as income.)  What's so great about this is that areas where we don't use cash for our envelope system, such as gas and tithing, we can keep track with how much we are spending much more easily than before.  Finally, you can even get help organizing setting aside money each month toward a "goal" such as a new car or even school payments.

If you are more interested in the "envelope system" lingo and want to check out Dave Ramsey, you can find his website here.

Questions about this? Feel free to ask! Your own ideas and thoughts on budgeting? I would love to hear them! Do share!

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  1. Dave Ramsey is such a wise man, and it makes me so happy to see people using his system. We've struggled with the envelope system and using cash because of things like bills and gas where we don't use cash...I like the idea of this mint.com that you mentioned. May have to look in to that!

  2. That sounds amazing! I know you had mentioned this website to me before but I didn't know all that it encompassed. It's on my list of things to do today!! : ) It sounds amazing.
    We love Dave around here too. I haven't read the book, but Tony has and he explains it all to me. We are also trying to be completely debt free except for our mortgage. We're currently putting money in savings to save up for a car several years down the road which seems silly, but when you think of the THOUSANDS of dollars of interest we won't pay, it is SO worth it to wait a few more years for a new car! We decided this year to put my entire salary towards student loans to try to get the paid off (or close) before babies come around hopefully! Glad to know another couple who tries to be good stewards : )

  3. It's hard for us to stick with a budget. My husband has been unemployed for over a year now. Thankfully, work is starting to come in. We have 4 children (two that eat me out of house and home) and it's hard to stick with it sometimes. I know of most of the sites and tips you mentioned. It's a reminder that I need to buckle down and get serious about budgeting.


Thanks for stopping by! Your support and insight encourage and inspire me! I would love to hear your thoughts.

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