Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texan Papa is Going All ‘Dave Ramsey’ On Me

For YEARS now I have been trying to get my husband to get on a budget. And, I’m really no better. I suck at budgeting. I want what I want when I want it. But, I know how to control my spending. Especially since getting married, I think a lot harder about not stockpiling anything (especially food) just because it’s on sale; I get what our family needs, maybe a little extra, and no more. Also, when I see something at the store that I really want, but it seems wasteful to buy it, I will try to figure out if I already have something at home that I could get by with instead. If I already have something that works perfectly well, I have a hard time getting rid of it for no reason. Also, sometimes I will just simply put off buying stuff for a week or two. If the urge is still there after a few weeks, then I can re-evaluate our financial situation and if I really need it. More often than not, though, I realize I’ve forgotten all about the thing I just HAD to have.

But anyway, back to my husband. He’s like a “feast or famine” type of budgeter. If we are doing okay with money, he wants to splurge and buy things that he wants. Maybe he’s wanted them for a long time – but that doesn’t stop him from wanting them. Recently he bought a handgun. I have NO idea why. He claims, “Because I’ve always wanted one. And, we live in Texas. And, I can.” All stupid reasons, in my opinion. But, what if I wanted a Cricut machine? He’d probably think that is just as stupid.

Okay, crap, I’m getting off-topic again.

So, when our finances are good, we have fun with what we’ve got. We eat out, we have friends over, we give extra to our church, etc. But, when finances are tight, I’ve been told things like, “Let’s see how long we can go without going to the grocery store.” Uh, What??? Or, “Let’s go down to liability only on our car insurance.” Oh, hay-yell no. Or, “Let’s have a garage sale! We can sell this extra furniture!” Uh, WHAT extra furniture? You mean the chair that you don’t like, but sit in anyway because it’s the only upholstered chair we’ve got? Is THAT what you mean??? When we count every penny at the end of the month, I feel like I can’t even buy a 99-cent Big Gulp because it might put us into the poor house. Really, though, my husband has a great attitude about money. We save for retirement (but of course we could be doing more), our only debt is our mortgage (no car loans or student loans or credit cards), and we faithfully tithe to our church. All this on only one income, for over 11 years.

So, naturally, I was surprised when my husband tells me, completely out of the blue, “I’ve been thinking about money. I think I want to put my credit card in a drawer, and just use cash for everything. I’ll take, like, $200 out each week and use that for gas, eating out, going to Wal-Mart, etc. When it’s gone, it’s gone.”

The angels sang. HA-LE-LU-JAH!

We pay off our credit cards every month. But our problem is that we just spend too much on things we don’t pay any attention to. Things like, eating out, or clothes for the kids, or the clearance aisle at Wal-mart. By only spending a set amount of money each week or month, I am hoping this will curb Texan Papa’s urge to spend frivolously. Yes, it’s still a FAR leap from creating a budget where we set aside money for car repairs or Christmas gifts. But it’s a start.

Now, for the bad part: I guess this means he’s going to expect ME to do it too.

12 comments:

Christine said...

I have a huge crush on Dave Ramsey. His common sense and logical way of budgeting just speaks to me.....but my husband I think is jealous.

If I so much as mention darling Dave anymore I get completely ignored and reminded that I am married to a financial guru (that succeeds in helping pretty much everyone but ourselves)

I pray for they day that the budget becomes completely mine and I can start handing out evil edicts on spending to my husband and putting the family on a ramen noodle diet. Unfortunately, it remains a pipe dream.

Maybe that epiphany moment will come to mine just as it came to yours.

Jennifer said...

I'm horrible with a budget too, and I'm an accountant, which makes it way sadder.

Grampy said...

What you need to do is hide away a little of the cash for emergencies.Yours of course.I have an award for you.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

We don't do a budget, but, yeah, we need to. Seriously need to.

Foursons said...

Dave Ramsey works if you follow the plan. Unfortunately for me, it was so hard to follow that plan!

Amber Page Writes said...

That's a great idea...but not one I can ever stick to. I just never, ever get my butt to the bank. So I end up charging $2 at McD's. Not a good plan.

Good luck!

A Lil Enchanted said...

We've been doing the cash thing for awhile now and I really like knowing how much money I have available. As soon as the check comes we put the bill money in the checking account... set aside enough for gas until next payday... and what is left is what we have for groceries and other spending... when it's gone it's gone. We don't have to worry about overdraft fees because we don't spend what we don't have.

It's not nearly as bad as you might think... and it keeps spending under control.

A Lil Enchanted,
~LaShan~

Swizz said...

We went through the Dave Ramsey program back in Atlanta. I've always been thrifty, but using only cash just took it to a whole other level.

So did cutting coupons and doing extreme grocery shopping, but that's another story. :o)

Good for you guys! I say when the guys jump on board, make them feel like it is their idea and the best idea in the whole wide world. Just might stick!

Emily said...

I love how you said that "feast or famine"...my hubs is TOTALLY like that! And he just recently took my cc and said that I can have it when I need it! Crazy...

Bear and Bones Mama said...

We've done the same thing, only we gave ourselves $200/month for "personal spending" meaning eating out, anything that was just for us to do, not the family (movies, music, clothes, lattes, etc). It worked kinda well, tho my DH didn't always do it. I like the cash system tho. I'm not sure $200 is enough per month, tho it seems like it should be.....

Bear and Bones Mama said...

oh yes, and I totally get into the mode of "how long can I wait to go grocery shopping..." It's amazing, barring fresh fruit and veggies, how well we can eat w/o spending money.

Anyone out there read "Miserly Moms"?

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Budgeting is very very tough!