It is almost a fowl word in many households. People rationalize their resistance to the budget in many ways. However, there is nothing scary or intimidating about a budget.

Putting it in Writing

Dave Ramsey often says the budget must be “on paper, on purpose”. I agree. Budgetting is essentially putting everything in writing. A basic notebook, calculator and pencil will work. If you are more technologically inclined, then Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks, and other financial software does exist. The key is to pick something that you will actually feel comfortable using and USE it!

Income –

Begin by listing all money that comes into the house. This includes salaries, bonuses, tips, gifted money or found spare change. Every copper coin that comes into your household must be writen down. If you are a single adult, then you are accounting only for yourself. if you have a spouse, children, or other tendents, then their incomes must be recorded.

What MUST be paid

Now that you have on paper or spreadsheet all income that comes into the house, you must begin calculating what MUST be paid. Dave Ramsey often refers to this as “prioritized spending”. Home, food, and utilities must come first. To insure that my family has shelter, the first thing I list in my budget is the payment on our home. Secondly, the second thing on my list is food. We have a family of 4, so I have slated about $100 a week on our grocery budget. Thirdly, we pay our utilities. Every other bill falls somewhere else in the list.

This part is about the barebones minimum. I am not saying that other bills should be ignored, or that this number will not change. This is being real about what is the bare amount that has to be paid, no matter what.

Tweakin’ It – Or the Emergency Budget Committee Meeting

Once you have placed in writing what comes in and what must come out, then things will begin to get hairy. Realize that your first, second, or even third spending plan/budgets will need some tweaking. Let’s say you estimate that your family will only spend $50 a week on groceries, and that come 2 weeks into the month, you are finding it impossible to do. Don’t give up on your budget. Just Tweak it. Look at how you can adjust or sacrifice in one area to give yourself some extra in another. The key to the tweakin’ is in not giving up. My husband & I are in our 4th month of living “on paper, on purpose” as Dave Ramsey says and I suppose we have had about 6 “emergency budget committee meetings” since.

The key is not to give up. Find a system of record keeping (budgeting) that works best for you and tweak it until it becomes second nature. It is the budget that has helped to put my household on track to getting out of all debt.


Gather Little By Little: “Create a Budget and Follow it”

Christian Personal Finance: “How to Budget”

Bible Money Matters: “Cash Flow Planning (part of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University)”


Let me guess: you have realized that you have debt. Most Americans due, but that does not make it a normal thing by any means. You know you have debt because there is more month than money, you can’t ever seem to “get ahead”, or that big minus sign in your bank account tells you so. It doesn’t matter how that you came to the realization that you have debt, it only matters that you do realize that you have debt and that you actually would like to get out of debt.

Checking Your Supplies

I point to Dave Ramsey as the source for the following advice: “put it on paper on purpose”. Use a spreadsheet program of your choice, or just a pad of paper and a pencil. The idea here is to know exactly how much income that you have coming into your house. Use your net income.

In addition to income, its time to see what you have packed into your wagon. Are there items that you could sell to lighten up your debt load? Evaluate carefully what you could sell, and the profit from that sell. Include this income on paper, and commit yourself to a deadline by which you will have posted the item for sell, or to have your yard sell.

Plan Your Trip

If you were going to take a huge trip across country, you would probably make a plan for your trip. Getting to the Land of Better Money Days is going to take preperation as well.  Just as one individual is different from another, every person’s money plan will be different from anothers. Make a plan. Make the plan realistic, though.

Know the dangers

Getting out of debt does have dangers: they are called tempations and lack of responisbility. Be firm when temptations come – remember where you really want to go (Debt-free-opia) and stay AWAY from things that try to stir you from that directions. Others may try to get you to splurge on something, but remember that just one little splurge will default your debt-free efforts. Be responisble. If you are wanting to get yourself (and family) out of the valley of debt, you must be responsible with your decisions. Don’t be a five year old and want, want, want. Disciple yourself, delay pleasure – be an adult.

Get Started NOW

Don’t put it off any longer. If you want to get to the land of Better Money Situations, start today. Any procrastinating, any excuses – are not going to produce real results. Start TODAY!!!

I realize that my recent negative experience with a credit card company is non-unique; I am constantly reading on how individuals are being taken advantage of by the powerful mograls of credit.

My experience is with Macy. My husband & I made a recent commitment to pay it off, since we owe the least on it. Recently, we began to get many phone calls from Macy’s, claiming a $25 past-due fee. Each time that the credit card company has called, it is always JUST before the next billing cyle. Not wanting to contest, my husband sent off the $25 last month. Guess what? 3 days before this billing cycle, I received yet ANOTHER call, claiming ANOTHER $25 past-due fee. That has pushed my buttons!!

My solution? My husband & I are going to take whatever means necessary to pay it off by the end of the year, and cancel the card.

I’m curious.. Are we the only ones that MACY’s has polished out of $25 a month, month after month??

Reverse Snowflaking

April 21, 2008

What it is: Reverse snowflaking is essentially making irresponsible purchases.

How it works: You walk into the store to buy bread. You come out with 3 magazines, a bag of candy, and your bread. In short, it is undisciplined spending.

The effects: Little purchases add up, quickly. A little one day can quickly turn into spending $100 a week! In essence, Reverse snowflaking depleets any money you could have saved toward a more responsible (and well needed) expense.

How to prevent it:

  1. Make a store list & stick to it
  2. Eliminate unnecessary purchases
  3. Question the necessity of every purchase
  4. Allow room for special treats – but put a budget on yourself

Read up on Snowflaking!

How I started Snowflaking by PaidTwice

Snowflake your way to a better self by Remodeling This Life

10 Can’t Miss Ways to Kickstart Snowflaking by I’ve Paid for This Twice Already


Most of us know that organizing your home will save you countless hours searching for an item, or how it will save your sanity from the clutter. It can save you money as well.

Paper: By Organizing your paper clutter, you will not lose bills and be forced to pay past-due fees. Paper organization also includes organizing your coupons, keeping up with an employment benefit packet, or not buying another ‘Happy Birthday” card when you already have 50. Sort through your paper, dispense of the unnecessary, and organize what you want to keep. Use an organization method that works for you.

Clothes: Organizing your clothes should be important, whether or not you want to save money. I know people who have so many piles of clothes that they have to go out and buy more just to have something to wear. If you haven’t wore it in a year, get it out of your house!! As for saving money, organizing your clothing will keep you from making unnessary clothing purchases, and allow you to make a few bucks by having a yard sale with the excess. Many areas have consignment stores that buy clothing, and don’t forget to donate some articles to a local homeless shelter or church clothing ministry.

Office Supplies: I don’t think I have to explain how organizing these can keep you from making unneeded purchases. You may also find that there are somethings that you bought that you no longer need or use. I am sure that a local church or school could put those little extras to use.

Your time: I am a reluctant scheduler myself, but I have learned the great value of organizing my time. By planning my week, I can often find ways to combine tasks to save precious (and expensive) gas, and accomplish more in a short amount of time. Scheduling does not have to be a minute-by-minute thing, and must always include room for the unexpected. Scheduling does mean being more disciplined and structured. However, discipline and structure are required in most major lifestyle changes. If you want to get yourself out of debt, it will require disclipline and structure.

Here are a few blogs on the same subject:

WISEBREAD: Zen Spring Cleaning (and making a little cash off it too)
MOOLANOMY: Throw away junks, Organize, and save Money