Oh my goodness, we do. We took Financial Peace University at our church and boy oh boy, it is one of the best choices we have ever made. It's hard core, but in a good way. As a couple you budget once a month; first you give, then you save, then you divvy up each category, then you take out cash and place the cash into specified envelopes for the month; food, dining, etc, and only spend that much each month. If you run out, tough luck. It changes everything!
Sometimes I think about all the ways in which this system has affected our lives for the better, our marriage, our parenting, the people around us, and I just wish everyone could take it, I DO! In the first year we were out of debt, (just some lingering student debt), had never given more away or saved more.
It was AMAZING! Who were we? We were so grown up. ;)
Giving livens up your life. It gave us a deeper purpose to the daily grind, the best most anticipated aspect to our monthly 'budget meeting.' As with all areas of faith, at first you're freaked out and think it will be horrible, then of course it's the best thing ever. Duh, right?
Plus, it inspired us to find each and every way we could to save in every area of our lives. It was fun.
Here are some examples I saw this week. First, the weather was warming up, and I wanted to let the tiny have a little splash pool, but didn't want to spend the money at target.
So I emptied my wrapping paper tupperware and filled it up!
What else? Hmmm, how 'bout free hobbies. Like for us, we are now composting. Talk about free! Just save all you leftover natural materials, even coffee grinds in a bowl, then empty it into a compost bin! We're getting geared up for our next free hobby this summer: gardening!
Do you need a new frame for your home? You might want to start getting well acquainted with your local Goodwill. That's where I found this beaut...
Oh wait--NOT for sale? What a tease!
Free kids activities are easy. Our general rule of thumb with Finn is to just see how long we can go without buying him toys or clothes, and it's been great. Thank goodness I took the Dave Ramsey class before we had kids. This boy has plenty of hand me downs in both these areas, but even with a plethora of toys, he prefers sand handfuls, and a sweet friend.
And last but not least, we sometimes may or may not be oportunistic with what we find. Other people's trash is another person's treasure, right? Like this.