Thinking about money doesn’t control me. It doesn’t stress me out or cause me to fight with my husband. But it’s always there. I’m always considering it. Manipulating it so it goes farther.That’s why last week’s budget meeting was so shocking.
Jason and I are taking Financial Peace University again. We are really excited to see the new videos (Dave just updated them a few months ago) and lead a table discussion each week. Last Monday was the first class and I realized we had never taken FPU in a classroom setting. Only online. Which means, we never really did our homework each week. This time, we’ve committed to doing our homework assignments. Last week’s assignment was to have a budget meeting and create a quick budget.
I thought we had already had a budget. We didn’t. We had a good grasp on how much money comes in and how much money goes out, but we have not been living on a balanced budget that is updated every month based on our changing income. Jason’s base pay is barely enough to cover everything, but he usually gets some overtime. This overtime pay is the problem. It’s never a ginormous amount so it sort of sits around in our account and then it gets spent. Sometimes it goes into our debt snowball (where it’s suppose to go) but usually it’s just spent willy-nilly. I don’t know why, but I didn’t realize this. I’m trying hard not to do the math of how much extra we could have paid toward our debt because I can’t change that. I can only do better in the future.
I learned something else from this little budget. Jason’s base pay is barely enough. I knew this was the case in theory, but seeing it on paper was scary. Scary enough that I’m going to spend differently. I’m going to be even more aware of where our money goes.
A monthly budget meeting is going to become a way of life for us. With Jason’s fluctuating pay, there’s no other way than to do a different spending plan for every check. All I can say is, “This meeting better have cookies.”