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Asa and I were completely at a loss for words, we just sat there in silence completely confused by what had just happened. All I could think was, “We’ve only been married for one month and we are already fighting this bad… how could this be? What is happening to us?”
We were on a vacation that we probably shouldn’t have been on because as newly weds, well… we weren’t rolling in dough that’s for sure. Now, I said it then and I will say it now, Asa certainly provided for us and I did the best that I could with the little job that I had, but we just made a poor choice at the time and it ended up costing us not only mentally, but monetarily as well.
In the end, Asa asked me what I was truly feeling and what was weighing me down and I told him, “Honestly, it’s our finances. I don’t know how much we have in savings, I don’t know where all our bills go, I feel like I’m drowning and I don’t know how to make sense of all the things we have to pay for.”
You see I had not lived on my own and merely had small bills to pay for… maybe a phone, some gas for the car, and some food that I needed to buy here and there. Asa, on the other hand, had been living on his own for a while at this point and his brain becomes the calculator, folder, and output all in one and at the same time…. I do not have a super power like that… (after proof-reading this, Asa asked if he could have a cape.. HA!)
A couple of years ago my father had bought the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and had given it to Asa and me almost as a wedding gift. For Asa, his father also had taken and followed the Financial Peace University and so I can understand that Asa was a little resistant to the idea when I brought up possibly listening to the cd’s and starting a strict budgeting plan. I mean, Asa had been living on his own, following his own way of doing money and it had been working! Now as a new leader, in a new family, with new and efficient ways to do things, why would he want to follow a strict plan that isn’t… his? Well…. after trying to figure things out on our own and failing miserably we both decided that maybe doing things our way isn’t the best for us. Maybe, just maybe, we need some help in this area.
So, Asa sweetly said to me, why don’t we go ahead and start listening to the cd’s and just give them a try, and that we did. I can honestly say this with my whole heart that listening to the Dave Ramsey FPU course saved our marriage.
Statistics say that money is the second highest reason for divorce. They say the thing men most want from a woman in a relationship is to be respected, and what a woman most wants in a relationship is to be financially stable, and that course allowed both Asa and me to be fulfilled in both of those aspects and because of that, it saved our marriage.
Oddly enough, the course helped us communicate with one another and along with other pre-marriage counseling we had done, we learned that although we are perfect for one another doesn’t always mean that we are perfectly the same.
If you are not familiar with FPU, here is a simplified crash course of the baby steps to take.
After Asa and I built up our emergency fund we needed to create our budget. So, I had searched and searched for a budget that would provide everything that we need in one document, but I had a heck of a time! I’d find one budget that would have bits and pieces that we’d need, but then the layout wasn’t right, or it didn’t match what Asa and I needed.
So, I decided to take a basic budget excel sheet and create the perfect budgeting tool for Asa and I. Just as any project starts out, this excel sheet was very simple, but as the years passed I continued to modify and build the spreadsheet. Also, as those years passed, Asa and I have mentioned the great success we’ve had with the FPU course and the budget to friends and family.
Friends started to ask if they could use the spreadsheet as well! My answer to each of them has always been, “Yes!” If someone can receive as much happiness and weightlessness from this budget as Asa and I have, then absolutely! So, the thought jumped into my head… why not share it with everyone! So here is your free copy of the Excel Budget!
With this budget, you have the ability to:
- enter multiple income amounts
- customize your incomes, bills, and other expenses
- not only see number input but real-time graphic visual input and output
- catalog your bills’ websites with login information
- break up your bills based on when you get paid
- plan for other expenses aside from bills
- keep track of money that will be taken out from the bank
- have less stress and more time saved
and … it’s free!
Asa and I have used this exact budget for the past three years and it has grown to be a great life saver! In the Shared Excel Budget, there is a specific place to pay off the debt in large increments, this is called debt snowball. If you are unsure how to use debt snowball, don’t worry a post will be heading your way soon! But, through debt snowball, Asa and I have been able to pay off over $20,000! Now, we are not done with our debt by any means! Nope, we are still in the whopping 80% debt filled Americans as well, but we are hoping that we will soon be out of that. We know that with following this budget we will continue to be able to pay off large amounts of debt and soon feel freedom!
With all this being said, I hope you enjoy the free spread sheet and if you find that you need some help navigating and understanding the budget you may hop over to the store and purchase the Excel Budget 101. The e-pamphlet gives you a real-life example of how to use the budget in your everyday life and demonstrates how each section, found within the budget, is critical to making your budget work for you so you can become stress-free!
I hope you all found this helpful! Happy budgeting! 🙂