Before I dive into how my husband and I budget and save, let me talk a little bit about why.
We have a vision for our lives and for our marriage. In this vision there are many vacations and very few fights about money. We are realistic and know there will be fights, we just want to be sure they are not about money.
We know how much money is coming in, where that money is going, and how much is going to each thing. We also have set amounts for each of us to have as spending money. You can read all about that decision and why I believe it is an important category here.
There are many different ways individuals and couples work their budget and savings. There are tons of apps, different systems, etc. I am a pen and paper person typically but find it much easier to track all of our expenses in an excel document.
In excel we track all of our consistent bills and our fluctuating expenses like groceries. In this category we list our date and fun money expenses. We also track our income and can make sure it is higher than the expenses. We track both what we expect our fluctuating expenses to be and what they actually are.
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Tracking the differences in our budget for our fluctuating expenses and the actual amount spent and the difference in our income and expenses lets us see how much money we have available to transfer to our savings account at the end of the month. There are many other things involved in saving of course- keeping your expenses low, making difficult choices to save more, etc- but this is how we actual decide how much money gets put into our savings.
This is one of the things we do with a budget check-in. We can also see where we went over or where we were under budget and what adjustments we may need to make to the budget or our lifestyle.
Now for the living the life we want part. This part is more about mindset than anything else.
We are on a tight budget, that is for sure. Yet, we do not feel deprived. Sure, it would be nice to be able to afford a few nicer things, a bigger place, more nights out, but we are content with what we have.
We know that this stage of our lives is not forever. We are working on building careers while trying to save, pay down debt, and be able to travel. Some things will have to be given up.
But we have priorities. We have conversations and know we are on the same page with these priorities. We have our motivation and our goals and we are working towards them.
We also make sure that we are saving in every way possible on the things we do spend on. We use coupons on date nights, shop the sales, research and compare prices, whatever it takes to lower our expenses.
We do not live lavishly but instead are thankful for what we do have and find the little splurges extra special.When it comes to saving and budgeting, your mindset is even more important than any number crunched or bill cut.
So what is your mindset like right now on your budgeting journey? Are you happy with what you do have or wish you could have more? If the latter, are you ready to change your mindset?
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