Monday, January 4, 2010

Controversial Monday: To budget or not to budget. That is the Question

Over our almost 10 years of marriage we have never really budgeted. Of course I have jotted things down a few times just to get an idea of what's going on. And of course I budget in my mind.

We have just never felt the need to write one out. We have been fortunate enough to have wiggle room from month to month and since we both firmly believe in spending less than we earn, it has never been a problem.

And besides that, I like the freedom and flexibiltiy of not being tied to a budget, just some general guidelines.

I am pretty sure that if we had a budget I would become a budget Nazi.

I am a rule follower, remember?

Noah is a rule breaker.

A budget could lead to fights.

Which is why Dave Ramsey says if you are married you need to come up with a budget together.

Easier said than done, dear Dave.

Here is a letter I could write to Mr. Ramsey.

Dear Mr. Ramsey,

What do you do when you want to make a budget with your husband but everytime you sit down to work on it, all he does is write you love poems?



Maybe some of you can relate.

Anyway, I decided to make a budget for this year. I figure if we save money without one, just think of how much we could save with one. At least that is my hope, I am a little leery to mess with an already working system...

But my suspician is that things won't actually change much. I have a feeling I do more budgeting in my head then I realize and that since we don't routinely buy stuff we don't need, that things will stay about the same.

So, give me some advice on this Monday. Do you budget? Are you super strict? Does it give you more freedom or less freedom? If you don't, why don't you?


Rachel said...

I'm a little surprised you guys don't budget - I thought Noah seemed the type, but since it's been years since I've been around you guys maybe I'm just a bad judge of personality.

We do budget, though Paul's method is very different than any budget I've ever done on my own or in the past (I'm a bad budgeter, so I'm glad he's a bit anal about it). The budget is always less than is brought in and it is so we can pay off our house in less years as well as the tractor and car. It also includes money going into savings, which is a great relief for me since I'm a worrier.

Lesley said...

We follow a budget and we use Dave Ramesey's "cash envelope" system. Our budget is basically just a record of the bills we pay and keeping track of everything that goes out. Each payday, we put cash in envelopes for food, gas, etc., and it's nice to always know what we're spending, where it's going, and how much is left in each category. For me, it just really gives some peace of mind to know where we are spending our money. One thing we really need to work more on, though is saving.

I think if the system you're using works, that's great! Each family and their finances are so different -- I don't think there is just one way to go about budgeting. We've modified Dave Ramsey's version quite a bit to make it fit our family better.

Anyway, good luck! :)

Karla said...

No budget...coming from the family I did I guess I have never needed one(: We just never spent our money or if we did we never went over what we had. Since I came back from Brasil it has been harder, because I didn't have much and didn't have a job. I try to guess how much food, gas, etc will cost a month and so far I have been doing pretty good at that.