Thursday, February 16, 2012

Budgeting 101

I dont know if it is even appropriate for me to have a "Series" considering I only have a few followers, but I want to share how our little family makes it work on one income. When I quit my job we cut our income in half and we have had to nickle and dime A LOT of stuff to make it work.

I have been struggling quite a bit with the "Keeping up with the Joneses" persona, which is in no way condusive to living on one income. I have to remind myself daily of Matthew 6:19-21.

 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I still want to go shopping everyday and buy a new car and my gosh I have to really keep myself in check with comparing myself to others. The saying, "If we all through our problems into a big pile everyone would go diving in looking for their own." I think that is sooooo true. I think my problems are big and then read a blog about a momma whose baby has cancer and WHAM it all puts everything into perspective for me. That is another post for another day though! ; )

At the end of the day our needs are always met, we have our health and each other. That is more than a lot of people have.

So onto the budgeting. I will start by giving a broad view of how we live then go into more detail in later post, like how to shop for groceries, make-up, kids cloths, etc.. on a budget.

We have all heard of Dave Ramsey right? The financial guru! Well our family lives by the envelope plan. For our groceries and gas we have a cash envelope system. We allot a certain amount for groceries and gas, take that amount out at the beginning of the month, stick in the envelopes and only pay cash for those two items. When the money is gone, we are done until the beginning of the month. It is very motivating to make that amount work. ; )

We both drive older cars, but they are paid off, so we do not have a car payment and John does most of the repairs on the cars including oil changes. I wouldn't necessarily call mine a "beater", but it is getting up there in years. I think 14 to be exact.

John drives an old dodge pick up.

I have a spreadsheet set up on the computer that has the amount that John makes each paycheck and what bills come out of the which paycheck based on there due date. Make sense? The bills come out before anything else. The minute his check hits the bank I sit down and pay all the bills.

I keep a list on my phone of any purchases we have coming up that is over $20. Car tags, walmart purchases that are not food, dog food, John's protein powder, diapers, or if we have anything we want, but don't necessarily need. Those are the second things that come out.

After that we just let the other money stay put for other expenses that always come up.

Any big purchases we save up for. If a store is offering no interest for 12 months or more we might make a large purchase from there and figure out the monthly payments to have it paid off in the amount of months necessary, so we don't pay interest. It helps keep our credit scores up as well.

Most of our credit cards are paid off; however, we have some monster student loans that are factored into our bills. If we ever get a large sum of money those will be the first to go. Hey a girl can dream right?

We also have 2 rental properties that we hope to use for retirement someday. They provide a little cushion now too.
I do clean one house a week for a little extra income and have been racking my brain for some other ideas to bring a little money in the home without having to put Crewe in daycare.There are days that I question whether or not I should go back to work full time and think how much more we could have if I did, but remind myself that our needs have always been met and we have never been without. I dare say that most of our wants are met too.

We don't drive the nicest cars, wear high dollar clothes, or live in a huge house, but it works for us!

I hope this helps even one person that is debating whether or not they can afford to stay at home. Trust me it can be done. There are just a few things that have to be tweeked and lifestyle changes that have to be made.

I promise that the consecutive post will not be months apart. I hope to make them once a week. Oh and please stick with through all the blog changes. I am trying to find a style that I like.

And just because this post didn't have a ton of pictures. Here are my sweet loves.

Tomorrow is Friday!! YAY!


  1. girl.... you know I LOVE this post :)
    You can do it!!! Just keep at it... your sweet boy will be grown before you know it. You don't want to miss a single day. Trust me... sweet sweet time :)
    E-mailing you back right now!

  2. I am so glad I happened to visit today to read this great wisdom. I have been totally stressing about money lately. We are a 2 income home (thank goodness) but between our mortgage and our car payments and just life in general there is never anything left at the end of the month! I think I will try that grocery store thing next month. I don't know if we could do it for gas because I travel for work and I never know where I will have to go from day to day. I think if I called my boss and said, my envelope for gas is empty I will see you on March 1 I would get in big trouble : )

    Your baby is too cute for words!

  3. You do a great job keeping your finances in order. I try, I really do, but then I get off track and feel so guilty. I should start writing my purchases down. Thanks for sharing this!

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  5. We love the Dave Ramsey plan, too. We're a two income home, but I am in student loan debt up to my eye balls, so this is what has to work for now. We don't have car payments either, but my car has over 200k (12 years old) and Chris' has 150k. I just keep praying that these cars keep running until my student loans are paid off (which will be when the kids are in school. Ha).

    With that being said, I do know the benefits of one parent staying at home with the kids. Chris went back to school to be a teacher and he was home for a year with Haven, while we just had my income (and my debt--eek!). It was so nice coming home to a house that was clean, food going, baby bathed, etc. I always joke that if I didn't have my student loans, he could be a stay at home dad like the show Up All Night. :) I did clean houses on the side during that time. I made up some cute business cards and stayed pretty busy. I stopped when I was pregnant with Olive and selling our house, but it is a great, easy income!

    Anyway... I love the excel sheets. I do the exact same thing. Every time I update it, I save it and send it to Chris.... I'm so worried that if something happens to me that all of the utilities would be shut off because Chris wouldn't know when/who to pay. Ha.

    Have a great weeekend, Alexis!!

  6. Hi! I'm a new follower from Casey Wiegand's blog. Your little boy is so adorable! I have a little blondie, too. :) My hubby and I started Dave Ramsey on December 1st, and we LOVE the results so far! I tell everyone about it! :)

  7. We couldn't do any of it without you! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you are home with Crewe! Getting emails or texts with movies or pictures makes my day so good! If he was with a day care I would never get that joy in my day! We will make it as long as we keep being smart! Hopefully my Beach Body Coaching will take off! You should start like a "Moms bring your babies workout group"! Might be a market that is untapped! Any ways, I love you and can't wait to see you tonight! Its Friday!!

  8. Have you thought about doing a direct selling business like Thirtyone? If there aren't many reps in your area, it mightbe a good way to bring in some extra dough. I sell 31 so let me know if you are interested. We do Dave Ramsey too, hoping to be out by te time we are 30, which is next year! Eek!