I have always lived within my means. My parents always did and as a result, they have taught me well. But if you asked me if I was a good saver, that would be a different answer. I saved some, but also loved to spend most since as you probably have guessed from my many other inferences in past posts, I love clothes, handbags, and shoes. So basically, anything I wanted (within reason), I purchased. Then came along Daniel, my budget-lover husband. I had never based my purchases on a budget before. As long as I wasn’t in debt, I knew I was good to go. Daniel invited me to look at our income and spending in a more concise, structured way. He built our family a budget that covered all aspects of our income and spending during one calendar year. We would agree on how much we’d aim to spend annually within a category and further discuss what the breakdown was monthly. Every month we would revisit the budget and review where we stood with our goals. These discussions were always tough because I viewed Daniel as the budget tyrant, and would try to make my case for a more “flexible” spending approach, haha. Thus, I used to begrudgingly participate in this budget initiative, thinking I was only doing it for Daniel because he was so passionate about it. What I’ve come to learn is that I can also grow in my spending and saving ways. I am a lot more thoughtful and resourceful with spending money on groceries, home décor items, clothes, etc. It’s only been recently that it dawned on me that it is because we live within our means that we are able to move forward with big ticket items/ projects and go on vacation without debt concerns. I am glad I finally came around, and I know Daniel is too! This has also been significant in our marriage too because we are on the same page and consult one another on all big purchases.
Do you live within your means? Do you use a budget to calculate your income and spending? Any other wisdom on this topic?