Simple Budgeting Tool

I remember applying for my first credit card. I was 18 or 19 years old. I was living on my own, had a full time job, a new car and all the expenses associated with all of that. With time, my car needed maintenance done to it, to help keep it running smoothly, which included tires. I didn't have the money for new tires and didn't know, at the time, about used tires so I applied for a credit card to help me pay for the upkeep of my car. In my head, I rationalized getting this piece of plastic. I told myself it was a need. I qualified, bought my tires and was on my way. 


Baby steps for getting out of debt, Family Budget

I hardly used the credit card but for rare times when I felt it was "needed". I still have it today, but usually keep it at a zero balance. See, I was raised in a home where my parents didn't use credit cards that often. They handled their finances wisely. They paid cash for most of the things they bought. I'm fortunate to have a husband that came from a similar family background when it came to debt and staying out of it.

 This coming July, my husband and I, will be married for 15 years and the only debt we have is our home mortgage and a small student loan. No credit card debt. No car loans. We are blessed. 


Our philosophy is to always pay cash for things we want. If we do not have the money to pay cash then we can not afford it. Simple. We save our money for the things we would like to purchase.


Do we have a big screen tv? No 


Do we have brand new cars? No 


Some items we purchase second hand, like kids clothes. They grow so fast! 


What we do have is almost no debt and good credit. 


Every time we get a paycheck, we go over our simple budget. Groceries, bills and gas money get paid first. Anything else is discussed between the two of us on whether to purchase now or wait. Of course, we budget in a date night here and there, if we can afford it. All left over monies, if any, go in to the savings account. 


We do not keep up with the "Jones's". 


We do not spend over our income. 


All our needs are met. We have a cozy home, two vehicles, two laptops, a tv, internet, cell phones, plenty of food on our table and clothes on our back. 


Spending more money than what you bring in will lead you down the dark road of out of control debt. 


Of course, we could go out and get the bigger, nicer TV, car, home, add a boat in there and then some but we would rather not have the added stress and burdens that, being in that amount of debt, brings along with it. 


Let's say you can comfortably make all those monthly payments for the things you have purchased on credit. That's great your job pays so well, but what if tomorrow you get in an accident and had to be out of work for several months to heal? Or What if the company you work for goes under or downsizes? No one is beyond the hardships of a layoff. Are you prepared? God forbid those situations would occur to any of us, but life happens and we should be intentional about being prepared for the security of our family.


Some financial experts suggest having a 3 to 6 month emergency fund for such hardships in life. Do you know how much it would take to pay all your bills and provide for your family for 3 months? If so, do you have that in your savings account? If not, than you can not afford the stuff you are purchasing on credit. 


I know this probably sounds backwards and maybe a tad harsh. I understand in today's society it is shoved down our throats and widely encouraged to buy bigger and better than everyone else around you. 


However, who is there to help with the spiraling out of control debt problems?

There was a daily average of 3,422 bankruptcy filings in February, compared to 3,804 from the previous year. Total February bankruptcy filings were just over 65,000.

We have created a very simple budget, that we use regularly, to help us see where our money is going and what we are doing with it. I would like to share it with you. Click on image below to get your FREE Printable Simple Budgeting Tool



Getting our of debt


It's time to take baby steps to get out of debt. Be patient with yourselves. 

Read this post I wrote on 10 Ways to Save Money.

If you have any questions about the simple budgeting tool, please do not hesitate to ask. 

I strongly encourage you to Pray over your finances and ask God to give you discipline and wisdom in handling your money in a way that honors Him. 

Have you paid off any debt lately? Share in the comments below so we can congratulate you! 

More than blessed, 


Starla J. 






16 comments:

  1. I paid off my student loans this year!!

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    1. Awesome! Isn't it a wonderful feeling!! I'm working on paying mine off.

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  2. Great post. I did not grow up in a home with financially responsible parents, and so this is something that I am STILL struggling with after almost 18 years of marriage. My poor husband. I feel lucky that he's put up with me this long. I am trying so hard to budget better, though.

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  3. Love this! It is something that our society today is all about financing everything! Once you make the commitment of asking yourself is this a need or a want you can realize that many things in life are wants. If you really want to get out of debt you have to commit and prioritize needs over those wants. We paid off all of our debt ( credit cards,car loans, student loans) except for our mortgage in two years. I went to work with two young kids and put my paycheck for our debt. It was not easy but now I am home with the kids and there is a bit of financial freedom! Great post!

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  4. Awesome! I so want to get debt free but I can't seem to make a budget work for us.

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  5. Love your attitude, we also live debt free. We like using Mint.com to keep track of our money.

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  6. Wonderful and very practical tips! We don't all need "new" everything.... and lots of great things can be bought second hand, or from yard sales, thrift stores, etc. and etc.!

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  7. We live in the same way. When we got married 17 years ago, my husband started an excel budgeting spreadsheet. Now he uses quicken, though for beginners, yours looks great!

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  8. Great post! Excellent tips. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. always refreshing to be encouraged to live within our means! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. wish i had this when i was in debt all those years ago

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  11. This is so helpful! It's such a shame that so many feel the need to accumulate wealth and show off their possessions. Great ideas on the printable!

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  12. My husband and I follow the same philosophy. I definitely struggle with wanting to keep us with the Jonses', but being debt free has been such a blessing that I know it's not worth having car loans, big screen TV's, etc.

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  13. Good for you! We have 11 years left on our house and that's our only debt. We don't have the flat screen TVs either. :) We've come to not mind our rabbit ears, too. (I do miss DVR though!) God will always provide when we are faithful.

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  14. Love the wisdom in this post, Starla. You're right - people don't want to hear this much these days but the truth is that there is no freedom like being debt free. We have personally experienced declining income for various reasons over the past 10 years. If we had been in debt, things would be even more challenging than they already are.

    We only carry mortgage debt and can't wait to be rid of it in 6 short years. Thanks for the encouraging post. It isn't easy or fun, but the peace is worth it. Erin is right, too, God does provide when we are faithful. May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing!

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