Would you like to make the whole “money management” process easier for your family? Is this a stress point for you (like it was for me)?
We hope you’ll love this interview with Rachel Cruze, daughter of finance expert Dave Ramsey and author of Love Your Life, Not Theirs. We’ll discuss instant ideas that you can apply to your budget–and all the conversations and decisions that go with creating it! (See below how she inspired me to reorganize our budget categories!)
Our basic story is this:
For the first 17 years of our marriage, budgeting gave me a headache.
It wasn’t because I wanted to spend too much. And it wasn’t because I didn’t care. It’s just that budgeting dozens of random categories felt overwhelming–like I needed to be a fortune teller or something. And when the unexpected happened (pretty much always) and my numbers didn’t match up PERFECTLY, I felt like I had failed.
If I could go back to the night Eric and I got engaged (pictured here!), I would say, “April, listen to this recording and look over these screen shots from your future family budget. It’s not that hard. You’ll get better at it. But managing finances is an essential part of family life, and God has important things for you to do within your stewardship.”
Here’s what Rachel, Eric , and I will cover in the podcast:
- Rachel’s best advice for couples working together to establish a budget. She’ll share the key routines that will help you stay on target (she and her husband have been following this exact process for six years, and it works!).
- Eric’s perspective on “The 3 E’s” which explain the WHY behind his money-spending philosophy.
- Why we, as parents, can feel great about teaching our children about money–even if we haven’t done it perfectly in the past.
- How we can give ourselves some grace and time as we work to unify this process and system.
- How avoiding the “compare snare” is possible within our families.
- Why “giving” is an experience we want our children to have–and how to help them do this.
Would you like a peek into the current Perry Family Budget?
You may go through this process differently, but when I realized that the number of budgeting categories is what overwhelmed me, I re-positioned them into these four groups (using the YNAB software that we already had in place):
Things like paying tithing, helping those in need, and setting aside money for taxes happens right at the beginning.
(2) Expenses Already Decided
There are mostly utilities, insurances, and regular payments Eric and I feel good about for the time being and don’t need to reassess on a monthly basis. For irregular payments that happen once, twice, or four times a year, we add up the total, divide by 12, and set aside that amount each month.
(3) Expenses I Can Influence “A Little Bit”
I actually keep this section at the top of my budgeting software because I mostly only spend from this category. It includes food, household supplies, clothing, gifts, fun, and three different “discretionary” funds (Eric’s, April’s, and the Family’s). Not all of these are utilized every month, and money can easily be transferred between them. But this feels totally manageable to me, and it gives me a simple way to discuss purchasing choices with our children.
I realize that the topic of budgeting can feel painful. Unemployment, health challenges, debt, and heavy financial issues can weigh us down, and it might seem easier to ignore financial planning altogether.
But what I know is that when you face the situation, identify even one way you could move things in the right direction, and get your family on the same page, it brings relief, peace, and a knowledge that you are truly doing all you can.
I also believe that God wants us to be financially stable, and when we turn to our Higher Power for help, strength, and wisdom, it absolutely comes.
Take a moment to think about your current budget and identify just one way you could make the process easier for your family.