Cash System- Audra's Pick
When Jordan and I got married we were on our way to racking up a hefty credit card debt. Once we realized the mess we were in, we had no idea how to fix it. We decided to attend a finance course at our church, similar to a Dave Ramsey class. The class taught us how to not only pay off the debt, but how to divide out the money we had to spend each month into a cash system. This way we could physically see how much money we had to spend. When the cash was gone out of a certain category each month, it was gone...until the next month. This is a plan we still use today. Not only did it help us pay off the debt we had, but it has helped us to save a large percentage of our paychecks every month!
The "Spender" Pays the Bills - Laura's Pick
A couple of years ago we moved to a new town and during the moving process, I was overwhelmed by all of our "stuff". I began a journey of wanting to simplify our life! That's when I discovered a blog called, Becoming Minimalist. One day I stumbled upon "Don't Buy Stuff You Don't Need". In this particular blog, the author Joshua Becker, says to put the spender in charge of personal finances. Y'all this was a game changer for us!
With me being the spender in our marriage (and having no clue of our personal finances), I just could not understand why we were not able to save any money. Once I began paying the bills, I say things to Boogie like, "Do you know how many times we have been out to eat this month?" or "We are spending too much on ______ (whatever it might be)." He would just kindly smile at me, knowing that I was finally figuring it out! Now that I am in charge of the finances, I am much more aware of what's going in and what's going out and we are in a much better place now! I realize this may not work for everyone, but Boogie and I both agree that we do not want any debt, so this works for us.
Show Respect with Every Purchase - Rebecca's Pick
I jokingly like to say that financial wisdom is one of my husband's spiritual gifts. He has a lot of it (and I don't)! I recognized this very early in our marriage. I had a hefty credit card bill when he met me and he insisted that I pay it off before our wedding. Talk about hard core! But, I quickly realized that we were better for it and have since respected all his financial decisions which include not spending what we don't have (no credit cards), practicing prudence and contentment, thoroughly reading customer reviews before purchases, and clipping coupons. Oh, how he loves coupons! I will be walking into a store and a text from him will pop up on my phone with a coupon for that store. No joke!
But, above all, the winning ingredient is clear communication. No lying. No telling him the pre-tax price. No hiding purchases. No justifying purchases because it was a major "Sale". No "extra" purchases without receiving his blessing. This creates trust in our marriage and communicates to him (the sole provider) that I appreciate his hard work and use wisdom in my spending. I may not have many money saving tips but I have learned how to be respectful and transparent in my spending and that has saved us in other ways!
For more on trust and respect with money in marriage, read this.
Kids and Money - Tammy's Pick
Once our kiddos started hitting double digits, we quickly realized their wants were increasing with the years. We implemented a few guidelines.
1. Out with friends - If the kiddos are out with friends, the money they spend comes from their own pocket. No money, no outing. Want money, do a chore or two.
2. Material Goods - We pay for the basics. Anything over and above, they pay for half of the price of the item. As they age, we slowly step back our part. By 18, they'll pay the full amount.
3. Car - We've told our kids if they want a car at 16 or whenever, we will match what they save towards it.
4. Christmas/ Birthdays - We have a 3 gift limit as well as a set amount for each season so as to not over give or over spend.
5. Chores - We choose to pay for extra chores over the typical housekeeping chores.
These are just a few of the ideas we TRY to implement. It's hard with the changing times and pace of life, but it is our desire to prepare them for adult responsibilities during the time they are under our roof.
Break A Money Spending Habit - Colene's Pick
An excellent way to save money is to break a habit that continually costs you money. I have developed the unfortunate habit of buying things simply because they are on sale. Instead of patting myself on the back for finding such an excellent deal, I try to instead focus on the opportunity cost of this purchase. Asking questions like, "What else could I do with this money?" and "Do I really need this?" help me avoid wasteful purchases.
Read Colene's excellent post on money and faith here.