If it ain’t broke…

We’ve all heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, right? Well, I’m in the exact opposite position. It seems as if I’m in a season of life of “fixing” things that are broken, and have been broken for a long time. I have what I like to call a “possum” personality…if there’s any type of problem/conflict/area of life where I might be disappointing somebody, I freeze. I play dead. I act as if nothing is happening, or there is no problem, no matter if the problem is akin to a gaping wound on my calf that’s oozing vast quantities of blood out of my body. Too graphic? Sorry. But, the reality is that in the face of conflict I become paralyzed.

It’s no secret that the two biggest areas of my life that I’ve been “fixing” are my body and my boundaries, today we’re going to add to that list the “M” word. Money. Doesn’t that excite you? Doesn’t that just make you jump for joy? Money! Budgets! Discipline! God help me.

Today was my breaking point. Brad called me at lunch time and asked what I bought at Target. I knew from the tone of his voice that something was wrong. I told him I bought snacks for the plane and a couple other things. He then told me how much money was in the account. I was baffled, mad, in complete disbelief, and really really really ticked off at the same time. How on earth could that number be true? I JUST looked at the account yesterday for heaven’s sake! I knew I had spent $60 at Target, but the number he told me was over $100 less than what it was yesterday. Something must be wrong! We must not have seen a bill coming, or something. I got off the phone with him and went to check the account myself. Unfortunately, there was no unexpected bill, there was no hijacking of the account. No. There was just two people with debit cards and an uncomfortably low number. I was so mad I could’ve spit nails. Let me clarify. I was so mad at the situation {definitely not at Brad…I am by far the bigger spender in our relationship}.

I was/am mad enough to change. Apparently with this season of life that I’m in there has to be a breaking point for me to wake up and quit playing possum. Brad and I have talked about money before. I’ve read Dave Ramsey’s book and have all the practical how-to’s filed away in my head. But, we’ve never done anything about our conversations. Brad is not an instigator, and I don’t like rules….and that doesn’t make for a very “stuck to” budget. At all.
To top that off, I’m not really a huge fan of having to “answer” for things. I don’t know why. I just really really really don’t like it. It feels suffocating to me. So, that means that in genearl {aside from Brad} I have problems with budgets. It’s not that I haven’t tried numerous times to have a budget…it’s just that they never stick. Brad, on the other hand, feels the burden of providing for his family and just gets completely frustrated with the situation we’re in. Let me say this right now, we knowingly and willfully chose for me to stay home with Zoe. We knew that it would cut our income in half. We knew that things were going to be tighter than tight. This isn’t about finances being tight, or Brad being the sole provider. This is about not being wise with the money that we do have…no matter how much we’re working with.

I have a friend who is AWESOME at budgets. She makes her goals and then she just sticks to them. Simple as that. And, it’s ridiculous too. She cares that she sticks to her budget. So much so that she will eat the craziest concoctions that you’ve ever heard of for lunch, because it’s not “in the budget” to go out to eat. I’m serious. She could have $2,000 in her bank account, but if it’s not “in the budget” to go out to eat, she’ll stay home and eat tuna fish out of the can, a can of beans, and 2 cookies for lunch instead. I don’t have that type of willpower.

At least not yet. The way I see it, if I can beat my body to a pulp 5 days a week, and see results. And if I can set boundaries with myself and others for the first time in my life, and see results. Then, shouldn’t I be able to confront this issue with money? I can and I will. I just don’t exactly have a plan yet! Wish me/us luck 😉

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11 responses to “If it ain’t broke…

  1. You CAN do it!! I thought I would be awful with a budget- but we switched to using cash/the envelope system 2 years ago, and it has made ALL the difference. Good luck!!

    • thanks! We’re going to need it! we’re going to be doing a cash/envelope system too…along with a spreadsheet.

  2. I love this! When Adam and I decided for me to stay home it cut our income in half as well – actually a little more because I made a little more than him. So I know how you feel – it is so hard – but it is worth it all at the same time! We are going to be at Mandi and Dave O’s baby shower hopefully we will see you there!

  3. We are so alike in this area! But I can speak from experience as a stay-at-home mommy too, it’s hard and you sacrifice but when you’re able to stick to a budget it works. And when you budget in $ for you to spend how ever you like, that helps.so.much!
    You can do it! Excited for you and this next step!

  4. Hmm, sounds like I’d really get along with this frugal friend of yours! 😉 I have an Excel spreadsheet for budgets if you don’t already have one (can’t remember if I sent it to you a while back). Budgets are kinda like a naming game: every dollar has a name. You get a cash gift – name it! Savings, JEA bill, fun money, diapers…every bit has to be named. Budgets are simply a naming guide. And of course, as you already know, remember to budget in some fun to keep morale up! 🙂

  5. Check out mint.com….in case you didn’t already know about it. It lets you automatically track spending, budgets, etc.

  6. eek!! making budgets and keeping them SUCKS but at the end of the month when you have done it and have $$ left over it feels amazing and makes all of the crap worth it!! i am a bad spender and bad budgeter too so we have multiple accounts…one is my fun money, one is his fun money and out of that we spend whatever we want on whatever we want (we give ourselves a monthly allowance – not much and we have to save if we want something big!) then we have our “main” where all of our bills, groceries, gas, etc come out of and then we have a catch all – our tax refunds and anything extra go in there and that is what we pull for trips, wedding gifts, christmases, birthdays etc from. anyway, not that you care about how we do it, but having it divided out ensures that i dont overspend!!! good luck and keep us posted. 🙂

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