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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tightening our Belts

Most of you know that we Leipprandts (that's Lie-Prants remember?) are Dave Ramsey groupies.

We've been working the good old Baby Steps since July '07 and if you don't believe me I have a 36+ page spreadsheet of monthly budgets in Excel to prove it. (Dork. Huge dork here.)

It's almost comical for me to look at some of the funds we had allocated in this "budget"thing back in the day. Dave encourages folks (once they have wiggle room in their budget) to have a "Blow" category that is essentially fun money with no strings attached. The first month we ever stuck to a written budget, we had $500 in this category.


WHAT THE WHAT? Who were we??

I'm both completely jealous of that couple and totally embarrassed for them. I'm sure my husband is shaking his head in disbelief. Yup babe. $500 big ones. Enough to buy that kayak we're saving up for now. In one month. Oh to be DINKs again. (Dual-Income, No-Kids) This wasn't some totally irresponsible allocation of money either - I checked. In the same month we socked away the recommended amount for savings and tithed. Oh yeah and we ALSO had a clothing budget. Like, for EACH of us.

These days we are lucky to have $20 left over after giving, saving and then paying for all our first world "needs." (Yes, DVR is a need for us. Don't judge.)

Last night when we sat down to create our September budget we were stoked to find that we had enough money leftover to actually allocate $50 to "BLOW" ...AND then we remembered an upcoming commitment that would in fact cost us exactly that much. -Sigh-

But don't go throwing any benefits for us. (Remember , we DO have a DVR.) I have enough foresight to realize that these lean years are going to be looked back on quite fondly when we're putting kids through college, paying for our daughter's wedding or helping our kids put together their first baby's nursery.

Until then...

I'm soaking up the nights when we have neighbors over for leftovers because going out isn't in the budget.

I'm savoring the quality time B Daddy and I spend pouring over our budget and deciding together how best to divide our extra $40 each month.

I'm realizing that the Squirt has just as much fun with an old wrapping paper tube and my hair brush as he would with a real t-ball set. (At least for now...)

So my question to you dear readers:

What are your fondest memories of being "broke"?
Or...if you're feeling like you're there right now...what do you love best about your "broke" lifestyle?

To read about our Cash Budget system and the time I spent the whole grocery budget in 19 HERE.
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