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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Creating A Budget Is Like A Bad Horror Comedy Movie

Dani and I decided to go through Financial Peace University just a few months after being married when we both realized that the different ways in which we handled money was going to get us into trouble. Dani is a saver. I'm a spender. Neither of us knew how to properly handle money and we were driving each other nuts.

I foresaw a major conflict in our future, and we both knew that we needed to get on the same page when it came to our budget. I heard about Financial Peace University through our church and strongly suggested that we take the class. Dani was glad to do it.

But the class alone was not our saving grace. Our first few months of budgeting were like a bad horror comedy. We'd argue. We'd cry. We'd get angry and frustrated at the piece of paper in front of us that told us how much money we didn't have. It was a turbulent time.

After about sixteen months of following the principles in FPU, we've finally got a system down. Budget meetings are quick and neither of waste any time crying or arguing because we know where our money is going, we can see the plan working, and we know it will continue to work as long as we keep employing it.

Now that we're leading an FPU class, we've realized that we're not the only ones who have a hard time jump-starting a budget. Setting aside money for upcoming payments is a hard task to do when you've got a payment due in one week. But both Dani and I can say from experience that it gets easier. Those first few months of budgeting are tough. We stumbled. We made mistakes. We had to erase and start over. But once our money started building up in our accounts, once we had three or four months of practice, things started to come together.

As put off as I was at first by the idea of budgeting, it was worth going through those few months of agony to develop a unified vision for our finances. The tension lifted. The crying stopped. Sure we have our moments every now and then, but things have gotten a lot better.

If you're not working on a budget with your spouse, start. Don't give up after a few months of turmoil. Keep at it. It WILL get easier. And you'll be happier for it.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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