September’s Theme: Budgeting

Wow, can you believe another month has gone by already?! This year is flying. This month’s theme is going to be about budgeting. This wasn’t my original theme of the month, but life being what it is, this has become the pressing idea in my brain- how to better budget our family resources. Not only money but time, energy, etc.

Something we feel sharply and monthly…

Of course, money is definitely a big component of budgeting. We are pretty budget conscious on a day to day basis, but thanks to recent life events (such as receiving the hospital bill from little guy’s ER visit) we are re-looking at our budgeting tools and possibilities and how to rebuild our demolished savings (having a baby is expensive y’all! And they don’t get cheaper I’m told…) but also in light of considering what we want our family life to look like going forward.

One of the most beautiful and meaningful parts of our marriage prep was our engaged encounter. We’re hoping once things settle down a bit that we can pass the love on and volunteer for a local engaged encounter in the future!

When we were going through our pre-marriage counseling (something I loved as a requirement of getting married in the Catholic church and that i would highly recommend whether or not you are religious), one of the topics we discussed was money/budgeting and another we discussed was values vs. ideals. The way the retreat we went on described it was that ideals are what you wish to be important and would focus on in an ideal world and values are what you actually focus on and make important in your life. I am trying to look at where our values and ideals are in line and where they are not as we reproach budgeting our time and money. Here’s a good example: an ideal we have is health. We are slowly making that an actual value in our lives, but we still have a way to go. exercise is still something we do when we have time instead of an important thing that comes as a priority. Same with money for organic food instead of basic staples or even doctors appointments which we make a priority to attend for our son but not for ourselves. It’s amazing how many decisions are starting to become clearer as we think about our values vs. ideals. I’m trying to remember that clarity as we approach re-budgeting and focus on it from a positive view.

So here’s the overview/what I’d love some feedback on: I already wrote about how I am currently using a paper planner to help budget and organize my time, but I’m interested in what systems you use to make time work for you. Do you have a morning routine you love that makes your whole day more productive or focused? Do you love an app that keeps you from going on time wasting websites? What about the money side of budgeting? We used to use an online service that monitored our cards/accounts/etc and didn’t love it and stopped using it when we realized we were potentially compromising our fraud protection by signing up for it…  so we are currently using old fashioned excel sheets which is… a pain in the but to update. Any favorite money managing apps? Or do you stick with the old fashioned way too?

Looking forward to sharing some of my favorite budget friendly tips we already use as a family of artists as well as exploring how we are going to change our budget going forward.

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