Monday, January 31, 2011

Time is flying fast

Wow January is basically over. I cannot believe it. Life is going pretty fast but God is keeping Brian and I totally in love and Really trusting him.
We recently tried an experiment. I was calling it our budget adventure. We long ago planned out a budget to see if we could live on just Brian's income alone. I have been reading some info and books by Dave Ramsey, and was enticed to try something. I wanted to see if we could live on the budget we made, and figured well we should see if we really can do it.

I am happy to say we did a good job. The plan was to basically only purchase immediate needs and only eat from home including taking our lunch to work the entire month. I have tried hard to try and shop from a list only and have a menu planned before shopping. I have postponed wants, even though I still want them. No buying because it is on sale, it has to be necessary. I don't have crazy storage for things so I have to be realistic with what we bring home. We started January 1st, and today is the last day. I have not crunched the official numbers but it is so nice to be a team financially with my husband.

Some bumps happened but we both stayed strong and I learned a few things. Our truck needed some repairs, $300. I took my family to dinner for Mom's b-day. We did go to a young marrieds dinner date but figured this is something we would want to do if we were on one salary anyway. It is tax time. Also my computer has been threatening to shut down eternally, and I will be needing a new one soon. Lots of threatening situations but all is well. God helped us keep focused and stay on track, even with a Pampered Chef party mixed in there.

I really am noticing how much time as well as $ we were spending just because we could. Target trips are not as exciting now but it is good to see our savings goals being met, which really motivates me. One of the big habits I have mostly broken is that I would often spend the time from when I got home to when Brian came home, like 4 hours, at the store doing errands. Basically it was my way of spending the time. But this month has shown me I was SPENDING a lot more.
We are not planning to live this bare minimum style for the rest of the year, but it did give us some new behaviors to follow. We are gonna keep trying to take our lunches as much as possible. I am gonna try to stick more to the only need shopping lists. Otherwise if we are purchasing something, we agreed we will have to talk to each other and pray about it at least for a day before we purchase.

I hope we hit a couple more milestones very soon. But it is nice to see some great improvements.


smartypants728 said...

I've read a bit in the last few months about the benefits of living on one income as well. Unfortunately Kyle and I make almost exactly the same amount of money so we'd be living on 52%ish if we tried it right now. Or is that just an excuse?? It's definitely something I want to try to implement after we (or Kyle, since he'll be first) graduate though.

Did you still contribute to retirement and tithe out of your income or did you do that out of Brian's this month?

Zoogirl said...

Well I have not done the official calculations yet. I was thinking about this though. I did not totally count my tithing and 401K into the equation because they would not exist if I did not have a job.
We mostly did it based on net, so that is why 401K did not work into the equation. I did include both our Roth contributions out of his take home since that hopefully will continue if a time such as this occurs, and that is taken after we get his paycheck home.

I think the biggest part of this was really trying to not SPEND on any extras. Really our main goal was to see what we could really live off of and what we could save to put towards other smarter things instead of things We just WANTED.

It is a fun challenge and I recommend it to anyone wanting to look at their true needs and budget. We budget through It is pretty awesome if you have not checked it out.
I don't think your 52% comment really works as an argument. that is the income you have so pick one. Or just try to skimp it for a month and see how it feels. Even if it is using both I bet you will save some $ you did not see otherwise.

Good luck and really just talk about it before and try it. some say you should do it for 90 days but that is all up to you and your spouse. We actually decided to do this in december and talked about it to start the next month. It just happened to fall in January and looks like a resolution because of that.