FPU Week 3: Cash Flow Planning

This week's class is the real deal. The first two weeks, while important, kept things fairly light. Those not fully engaged in this plan got pulled in with the stories and the humor. And there's nothing wrong with that. But now it gets serious, folks.

The rubber officially met the road.

This is the budget lesson. Where nerd and free-spirit come together and make a plan for their money. It was 4 years and 6 months ago that we started living on a budget. And probably 4 years and 3 months ago that I saw the value of it.

I, like any good free-spirit, made fun of my wife when I found out that she was listening to AM radio. Turns out she wasn't rockin' out to ABBA on her way home from work. Slowly she tried to engage me - she talked about what she was doing, showed me what she was doing. I tried to be supportive, but was still really on the outside looking in.

At the same time, I was fed up with my job. My boss had gone nuts. Work was drying up. We had moved offices and went from a 10 minute city commute to a 45 minute gridlock commute. it was bad, but I started to lean on what I'd previously dismissed - the budget. But yet, we just couldn't work an angle to survive on just her income. She kept talking about having to sell my car. Years later I would realize how funny that is (Dave often refers to his radio show as the 'Sell the car' Show).

Keep in mind, the Mrs. was new to all of this too, and as Dave warns, your budget probably won't work for the first three months. It doesn't help when one partner is kinda sorta on board, yet not really participating. Fortunately, after three months of practice, we made that budget work on just her income. That was the same day I was laid off.

And we didn't have to sell my car!

It may have taken a slap to the face, but ever since then I've been a believer in the budget.

Who does the budget in your house? How well does your system work?


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