Uncle Dave Says, "You Could Have Done Better"
In case you missed it, start at the beginning:
Uncle Dave is old school. So, I'm sure some of the decisions we made along the way he would frown upon.
- We didn't purchase term life insurance. It's not that we didn't want to, we just didn't get it done. No excuse, it just never happened. However, we are going to shop around for a new insurance company this week.
- We also haven't yet looked for a bank that offers a great interest rate on a checking account. We hope to make a switch in the next month. With all the free time we have now that I'm not working a second job, we are starting to take care of some of these very important details.
- In Novemer 2009, we bought iPhones for Christmas. We took some small vacations to Okoboji and also spent a few hundred dollars on a staycation this past May. We still went out to eat (but not as much as we used to). And as Jon Acuff put it in his new book, as soon as you start a budget, inevitably it is the same year that all of your friends will get married or have a baby. Yep. In 2009 we were invited to 13 weddings and attended nine. Six of them Kelsey and I were either both in or one of us was in. Do the math on that...
These things sound harmless, but they add up quick. And we weren't exactly living on "rice and beans," as Dave would recommend, but we were living on a budget. And I think this is the most important thing: spend your money on paper at the beginning of the month before it spends itself. Because it will. And Uncle Dave warned us.
If you don't tell your money where to go, it will disappear like David Copperfield and leave you scratching your head.
I can't stress the importance of the budget enough. The No. 1 reason married couples fight is money. That's because it is powerful. It can be used for good, evil and everything in between. You can choose to ignore the problem and not talk about it, or take the bull by the horns and get it under control, make a plan and follow through.
I will leave you with three Dave quotes to ponder:
"Children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it."
"You can wander into debt, but you can't wander out."
"If you sit down together and work together, you end up agreeing on your value system, your fears, your dreams and your goals. A budget takes all of the knots out of your marriage, and you get ONENESS and unity."
You will want to come back next Tuesday. I've got something real nice in the works. It involves one of the greatest things I get to do now that we are debt-free.
All posts in this series: