It’s been nearly two years since first discovering Dave Ramsey’s financial secrets and suggestions to becoming debt free. We’ve been diligent about adhering to our revised budgeting plan, previously discussed here. We are still paying on student loans; however, our totals have decreased dramatically, and in just a few short months, E’s loans will be paid in full. Dave Ramsey’s ideas on the Debt Snowball Method have really been helpful and a great tool in staying motivated throughout the process.

Chossy and I have been exploring several trails around Hailey. This has been a free activity that also provides mental and physical reward.

Chossy and I have been exploring several trails around Hailey. This free activity gets us out on new adventures and also provides mental and physical reward.

Now that summertime is upon us, we’ve also had to revise our budget a bit to account for a slight decrease in pay. Ethan and I both got new jobs and though my salary increased, Ethan’s decreased. Now, as we face a home mortgage and tackling my student loans, our budget (until October when E begins avalanche forecasting again) reflects a slightly lower net pay, with more of our disposable monies going toward our debt.

We've been adhering to our weekly meal plan and have saved a bit of money by having a plan for the week when

We’ve been adhering to our weekly meal plan and have saved a bit of money by doing so. Homemade pizza is a favorite of ours and one that saves us some money.

Having even stricter limitations with our money than before makes this process a bit more motivating (and challenging). We’ve already crafted our newest budget and a plan for the remainder of the summer. The last few weeks of June will be tight and we will likely have to impose austerity measures to get through them. I know we can do it.

Anyone else in a similar position? What budgeting plan or systems have worked well for you? What challenges are you facing? There are several budgeting plans and worksheets available online. I certainly won’t claim to be an expert, but our simple plan has worked well for us (sample plan coming soon). I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the subject matter, as I can talk money, budgeting and finances all day long. It’s seriously good stuff.

4 thoughts on “Budgeting Thoughts for 2016.

  1. Sara and I use YNAB (You Need A Budget). (I think we’ve had this convo before). The YNAB method sounds similar to David Ramsey’s method; snowballing debt, etc. It works well for us. Not only does it track your spending, but it breaks it down spending by category and compares it to other months. YNAB offers more than we need, but it certainly holds us accountable and allows us to plan more effectively. One of the cool concepts they use is “you always live off of last months income” which allows you to plan a little better. Its pretty basic, but helpful.

    1. This is great, Matt! I do remember chatting with you about this. I think you just started using YNAB at that time. I am happy to hear it is working for you and your little family. How has budgeting been with little man in tow? What about employment for Sara? Is she working full-time again? I love the concept of living off of last month’s income – definitely a great way to plan!

  2. That’s awesome Robyn! I read Dave Ramsey’s book too and got very inspired. Now that Alex and I both have full-time jobs and at least I have a regular pay every two weeks (Alex’s pay can vary a bit as he’s a carpenter and paid hourly but still pretty stable) we have found it the easiest to use my pay for all regular expenses such as rent, bills, grocieries etc. We leave that in checking to take care of that. A smaller portion of his pay we have intended for putting into emergency fund, health savings (this is mostly used by me as a diabetic since I have more medical costs) and also a travel fund. The rest of alexs pay, whatever it turns out to be that month, we put into our savings for down payment on a house. Congratulations to you guys for have purchased a house! That must be an awesome feeling. We can’t wait for our turn! Up here in Alaska the rent is super expensive so owning our own small house and paying mortgage instead could lower our monthly housing cost by 30%! When we realized that we got motivated to start saving for a house. Those extra couple of hundreds each month will cover a trip over to Europe each year! Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this budgeting-thing! It can be a lot more fun than we anticipate 🙂

    1. Katreen! It is so good to hear from you and thank you for sharing. We love owning our own home and even though we are paying on a mortgage – it is money we are investing in, rather than throwing at another person’s mortgage. Our mortgage is lower than most rental homes here and it is our home to do what we please. It is an incredible feeling! Good on you and Alex for saving and working hard toward your own home dreams. You will love every bit of home ownership!

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