Friday, January 29, 2010

Hello, Budget!

Jason and I have been lucky in our first years of marriage not to have to worry about budgeting too much.  This is mainly because we were dual-income and we're both fairly frugal and responsible with saving and searching for good deals on just about everything we buy.

Now, things are going to change dramatically.  At the end of May, I'm going to stop working.  Our income is going to be literally cut in half.  Sometime in July (probably), we're going to add two new members to our family.  Luckily, they won't be driving yet or asking us to stop at McDonald's every day, but they're still not going to be cheap.

And so we've started to look at developing a budget.  How much money should we save?  How much should we pay on our mortgage?  Should we stop making extra mortgage payments?  How much should we expect to spend on food each month?  Should we cut back on the money that we give to the church, charities and missionaries?  Should we cut back on our utilities and other recurring costs?  How should we budget for unexpected bigger expenses like having the cars fixed or plane tickets to visit family during the holidays (which is going to be something like $1200 or more per trip once the kids are over 2 years old!!)?

This is certainly going to mean some changes, and much more tracking of our expenses.  It will be easier to actually figure out what our real expenses are after I stop traveling for work and putting all of my reimbursed work expenses on my credit card. (Was that a work Pei Wei meal or a personal Pei Wei meal??)

And this makes me wonder how much we really need.  Do we really need this house?  Would I be just as happy in a smaller house?  Do we really need DVR cable (*gasp*)?  Could I survive in this wilderness without my iPhone?  I think we could probably live on much, much less and still be very happy.  It's not the stuff that brings joy to my life, it's the people.  And I can't wait to meet these two new people who are growing inside me.

We're starting to use some online tools for this.  If anyone else has any nifty suggestions on saving money or budgeting, please send them our way!


  1. I just love the little timeline at the top of this page! I love the twins like peas in a pod!

  2. We use
    Convenient - and fun little budgety things and spending warnings and sorts of yadda yadda. You probably already know 'bout it.

  3. Don't stress too much about money, it seems to work it's self out. Plus you will be going out to eat a lot less and traveling a lot less, I think we saved money the first 3 months. Also don't cancel the DVR until after the first 3 months, you can't exactly feed two kids and read a book. We scaled back our TV once Adria started trying to watch.

  4.'s AWESOME! And if you haven't yet, check out Dave Ramsey, for sure. We've been really helped by a lot of his stuff (although I'm perhaps SLIGHTLY more excited than Steve!). And just remember, babies need a LOT less than people say they'll be amazed at how little you can survive with. Now, if they eat solids like Elsie, that's another story...:) But that'll be at least 9 months after they're born! hehehe. so excited for you guys! Now we HAVE to find a way to come visit!

  5. Budgets ~ fun stuff...
    We use too to track and even I find it pretty fascinating.
    Pray about it too, God will lead you to ways to cut back while still giving freely to others. And you will find that while some of the cuts are painful at first that they are better for you as you go along. Trust me!

  6. Brian and I use too! We also follow Dave Ramsey's Financial peace plan but cater it a little to our lives.