Getting Control of Your Finances: A New Year’s Resolution

hannah January 30, 2013

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By Lindsey Stomberg, Contributing Writer

I am not a New Year’s Resolution kind of girl, but this year I made an exception.  Due to some serious changes within our lifestyle and family last year, we needed to take a second look at our budget and do some major clean up before beginning a new year.

Over the last year and a half, my husband got a new job and we moved.  My daughter had some health problems, now resolved.  We had a baby and are now pregnant once more.  Our expenses last year shot way up, even though our income leveled out.  We ended up using a little credit to help us get by.

We made a lot of mistakes financially last year, but a new year has begun.  New years are for fresh starts, right?

A Course In Budgeting and Finances

My husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University before we were married.  We always try to return to what we learned there when we are reassessing our budget.  We obviously do not follow his advice to the letter, but he has many good principles that are common sense and easily applicable.

If you are looking to brush up on your knowledge in finances and/ or to get out of debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  There is even a Financial Peace for Youth version!  Teach your children early how to responsibly save and spend money.  When my children are older I plan to add his course to our home school program.

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New Year, New Budget

Dave Ramsey provides many budgeting tools directly on his website.  Many are FREE!  I use his free budgeting forms whenever I need to assess where all of our money is going each month.

1.) The Monthly Cash Flow Budget Form is perfect for monthly budgeting to assure that you know exactly what is coming in and what is going out of your bank account.

2.) The Quick Start Budget Form allows you a concise glance at hoe much money you will need each month to cover your necessities.  If you want to get into the details of credit card bills and such check out The Monthly Cash Flow Form.

3.) The Irregular Income Budget Form is for anyone who has irregular income, like those who are self-employed, such as BLOGGERS!  This form might be just what you need to budget that income you receive from your e-book sales and affiliate profits each month.

If you are not a paper person, and prefer to go green – and organized – by keeping everything directly online, then you must check out Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget.  This online tool will guide you as you get out of debt and will aid you as you budget your savings and spending each month.  Sign up and the first seven days are FREE!

A Little Advice

Finances are one of the most stressful parts of life and marriage.  Some of us are savers and some of us our spenders.  When opposites wed it is easy for one spouse to become bitter at the other for not holding to a particular set of financial “rules.”  This may be easy, but easy does not make it right.

It is a wonderful thing for spouses to go through a financial program of sorts to get on the same page.  It is a good thing for a couple to sit down together regularly and look at their bank accounts and budgets so that they are of one mind when they are saving and spending.

When you do this remember that you are on the same team.  Remember that your money does not belong to you, but to God.  Pray over your finances and ask that God show you how to best glorify Him with it.

Our bank accounts are not about setting us up for a cushy retirement, nor are they about making sure our children have a fully paid college tuition.  Albeit, these things are not bad, but, as in all things, we are God’s children, and all that we have we should use to glorify Him.  We must be good stewards of what God has given us and use it wisely as we serve Him.

Do You Budget In Your Home?  What Are Your Tips For Sticking To A Budget?


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  1. With 4 kids on a police officer income budgeting is totally necessary. Things that make our budgeting process the most successful are tweaking it every month (or even mid-month), never letting more than one week pass without entering our actual expenses and keeping every receipt until the expense in entered in the budget. We try to use cash as much as possible but sometimes at places like Target or Walmart we buy groceries, toiletries, clothing, etc all in one trip and I don’t always want to separate the items in to different transactions, or have the proper amount of cash in each envelope to pay cash for it all in one transaction. Then when I get home I can figure out how much I spent in each category and enter it accordingly in the budget. Also, if we overspend in one category we must make adjustments in another to compensate.


    • Kate,
      I know that some incomes require a more strict budget than others. This is the first time in our marriage where we could actually keep a strict budget. My husband was unemployed for over a year, and then we had a very unsteady income when he did get a job. We are now at a place where budgeting is possible.

      I am sure that you could teach me a lot! You sound like you have it all under control!


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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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