Budgeting can be a sticky subject and is often uncomfortable for most people to address. I find it to be incredibly fascinating. I review our accounts daily, enjoy investing money into our savings and am eager to pay off our student loans. Now that we’ve settled in, have a cozy pad to call home and have major purchases (i.e., new car, moving expenses, most traveling expenses) behind us, we’ve been refocusing our efforts on budgeting.

A few years back, we found a method that worked well for us, as we’ve continued with it since; tracking our expenditures and budgeting our monies for several years now. Except for a few splurge occasions here and there due to weddings, outings and other travel, we aim to adhere to our budget guidelines in order to put money into savings each month while continuing to pay off student loans (and now, a car loan).


money talk can be prickly, sticky and pretty fascinating stuff.

Recently and after a little inspiration from financial author, Dave Ramsey, I decided to take a different approach with our finances. In the past, we’ve focused most of our energy on paying off our student loan with the highest interest rate. We’ve managed it really well and have paid off a large portion of this particular loan; however, our other student loan, with a lower interest rate and lower borrowed amount seems to have slid to the back seat.

Making just above the minimum payment on this loan, I couldn’t help but wonder if we needed to reevaluate our methods, as we’ve seen little progress with it decreasing. Now, with a small car loan to account for too, timing couldn’t be more perfect for a budget adjustment. Instead of continuing to make crazily large payments on the loan with the highest interest rate, we’ve decided to try something new.


a new budgeting plan for 2014 is in the works!

According to Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball Method, attacking the loan with the lowest amount owed and really focusing on paying it off, will build confidence and motivation to continue the effort elsewhere.

Keeping that goal in mind, we’ve altered our loan payments slightly. Now, we are putting those extra bucks each month toward Mr. Buck Williams, our new whip. We’ve also adjusted our monthly expenditures and have delineated between categories we spend the most money on, like food, climbing trips and delicious beer. We’ve calculated our net pay between the two of us and have capped these categories with certain dollar amounts, hoping to adhere to these budget boundaries even more than in previous months. It will also help us to gain a better idea of what we can afford and what we can’t. I’ve taken a slight pay cut with my new job and we pay a bit more in rent than when we were living in Idaho. Revisiting our budget and updating it accordingly has me excited about managing our monies in the best, most effective way possible. Mr. Ramsey’s inspirational methods have us already monitoring our finances and prioritizing them a little differently, making our debt seem much more manageable.


new seasons, new changes! excited to see the progress!

It’s a pretty cool process and I look forward to calculating the newest totals next month. I’ll be sure to share our thoughts and any challenges we find along the way.

So, how about you? Do you adhere to a monthly budget? What works well for you and your family?

6 thoughts on “Budgeting Thoughts for 2014.

    1. We can’t wait either! We are closing the gap! Yipppeeee!

  1. You will be glad you developed this as the years fly by. Be sure to put some funds into a retirement account that will grow.

    1. Thanks, Rosemary! We’ve got a few retirement funds going now, which I am thankful for. A few with our employers and two on our own. Definitely worth investing in at an early age!

  2. I have never been the best at following a specific budget for groups of purchases. But we track every purchase now and watch it closely. If it seems like we are spending more than we should, we back off. We never spend more than we make and always “pay ourself” first by doing a direct deposit into savings and retirement out of our paycheck. So we never see that money which means we can’t spend it.

  3. Falco! Awesome. Thanks for sharing. We have a very similar setup. We definitely don’t spend more than what we bring home each month, we put money in to savings/retirement (although this will decrease a bit so we can pay more on loans), and we always pay our credit card in full each month. we track our expenditures via an excel spreadsheet, which has helped us visualize our spendings and not overspend. it’s worked really well for us over the past several years; now, we are looking to hammer away at our loans!

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