No words are truer, being an adult is hard. I remember wanting so badly to “grow up” and be out in the world on-my-own. However, you’re never fully prepared for the rush of responsibility that comes with it. Thankfully, my momma raised me pretty darn well. Right out of high school, I was working full-time making more than most people I knew. I was doing great.
Then, I met my now husband, and after getting engaged, moving across the state, and having a baby, our world was turned upside down. It was like starting all over again.
A few years later, my husband was making minimum wage at not even full-time job, after his previous employer went out of business and he lost his job.
Two kids and barely enough money to cover all our bills and mortgage, our vehicle decided to brake down on us. They estimated repairs at 4k-6k, well above what we had saved up.
Between that and the credit card debt we’d accumulated, we decided to do something we’d never thought we’d have to do – file for bankruptcy.
We have no one to blame but our own there. Being a young couple, family even, we had made mistakes here and there, over spent in areas we shouldn’t have, and even though we had continue to strive to pay down our debt, it just exceeded our means.
Happy to say that since then, we’ve learned to live off of what we have only, nothing more. We’ve also had some amazing people in our lives that have been there for us, when we needed a little boost here and there – both our families and friends.
Since then, we have started to build up our credit more. We now have just ONE credit card, but we only use 30% of it’s maxim each month – just enough to reestablish our credit that sunk with the bankruptcy.
Plus, we’ve been working hard to follow these 4 steps in money management.
For us, we’ve made both short term and long term goals for our family. Long term goals include when we would like to buy another home, how much to have saved up by the end of the year, or planning for a family vacation. While short-term goals include how much we plan to save each month, and cutting back on eating out.
Make a Budget
Each month, I keep track of our incoming wages and outgoing expenses. It really lets you see your spending habits, and if you’re spending more than you should be. Once you’ve established a steady income, you can then set up specific amounts for things you’ll need, like clothing, food, gas, entertainment, and school. I’ve seen some people do the envelop/cash system, where they only can spend what’s allotted to them.
This has been the toughest one for us. At times it’s been easier to save money, and at times we’re having to spend more than we wanted to. Cutting back on things here and there definitely helps!
Since I’m probably not the only one always looking for more ways to save money, here’s some great places to start.
- 20 Ways to Save Money when Living Paycheck to Paycheck
- 97 Easy Ways to Save Money
- 20 Weird Ways to Save Money
Plan for the Future
This one has been important for us, not only for us, but for our children. Thankfully, my husband has a 401k through work, but this also ties into setting goals and saving. We’ve already set up savings accounts for our girls too, in hopes of being able to give them even a little something when they go out into the world.
Have any tips and/or advice about saving money and budgeting?
Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.