Part 1: How to Live on Less ~ Starting Point
Attitude of Gratitude
The first thing Mike and I had to change was our way of thinking. We had to sit down and agree that saving money was something that had to be done and that we were willing to do it. We had to not only come together as a team, but we had to be a united front when we discussed this with our boys.
Our boys are older, so we feel they should be learning the value of money and what it takes to make it in the world. When we folded our business, we sat them down and talked about some upcoming changes that would be taking place and why. We talked about the fact that money would be very tight so we wouldn’t be doing a lot of ‘extras’.
One of our main talks concerned our hearts. We talked about having an Attitude of Gratitude. If we are thankful for what we have, we don’t need much else. It was a heart change – for everyone.
When things got tough financially for us, I hate to admit it, but I started to take it out on Mike. Being a woman, one of our strongest needs is security. I failed to look at how hard he was working to make our other business work – all I could see were the bills not getting paid. It really wasn’t fair to him at all. As a man, he puts his own self-value on providing for his family. I was taking what was already bringing him stress and pressure and adding to it immensely.
Being a part of the team, it was also my responsibility to help out. That’s what partners do. I took a temporary job to help make ends meet. Ladies, you may find yourself in this same position. Don’t leave everything on your husbands shoulders, especially with this economy and high unemployment. You can get through it together, we did.
Starting Point – Evaluate
I can’t tell you how many times we had heard about creating a budget. But you know what, we never took the time to sit down and do the work. Once we did, we felt empowered knowing exactly where we were at and knowing that we now had a plan in place. Our situation didn’t immediately change – but we were on our way.
Create a budget that works for your family. There are many free budget templates on the web. I found this one to work for our family. Sit down (with your spouse) and decide what you will allocate to each category.
Look at your bills and see if you are overpaying for anything or if there is anything you can cut. We looked at canceling our cable to find a cheaper alternative. Once our cable provider knew we were on our way out, they made us a deal on a much cheaper plan (our cell phone company did the same). You will find that many companies will do a similar offer to save your business.
Creating a budget really is the starting point. Now that you now where your are starting, you can choose your destination! Set some goals. Write them down and make them personal and specific with a time frame attached to them. I have to admit, I am terrible at setting goals. I may have some ‘idea’ of what I would like, but I have a hard time writing them down. I am glad to have a husband who reminds me that this is so important.
Join us for Part 2 … Coupons: Learning the Lingo & Organizing.
I am very excited for this series. I need to be and stay on a budget. Im on my own with two kids and barely making it.. so any tips and stories of struggle/hope are just what I need. Thank you
Thank you for writing this! It could not come at a better time because my husband lost his job last week and we were a one income family. Thank God we had some money saved but there’s no telling how long it will take to find another job. So I appreciate this post very much and cant wait for the next!
Thanks for sharing this. My husband and my best (and hardest) times were when he was in school (on loans) and I was the sole bread-winner (so we were living on half an income). The budget was simple and helped a lot.
Now, after 3 job losses in the last 6 years, we’re still recovering – we HAD an emergency fund, we HAD 1 severance. Now, we HAVE bills. I know we’ll get through it – and with 2 little ones, it’s much more complicated now.
It’s some comfort to know others are in the same boat (even though I wouldn’t want others to be in my boat…).
Thank you so much for the tips. I need to write a budget for myself, in a big way.
Very Helpful and there is truth in EVERY word!!! Shared on FB
r u up and around where i can ask a few questions? i am trying really hard to come up with a plan and i just seem to be going in circles…….
I love that you make a point that this is a team thing – because I was in charge of the money I felt like all the stress and responsibility was completely on me. When my husband and I talked and came together as a team, it took a mental weight off of me. When we got married we knew we were better together than apart, the same is true when it comes to our finances – when we come together and are in agreement we are unstoppable! Thanks for the encouragement!