This summer marked two years since I started this blog. Most of you who follow this blog might not have been there at the very beginning. So I wanted to briefly share with you why I named it "Saving With A Smile"...
My husband and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage this November (whoo-hoo!). One of the things we were advised to do early on in our marriage was take a financial class together (Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University"-- we highly recommend it for couples, singles, college students, etc...) to get on the same page about budgeting and how we saved/spent our money. My husband worked full-time, and I worked part-time until we had our kids.
As we started figuring out a budget (and we still have to tweak it every few months as life changes), we established some family values that helped us make money decisions:
- We wanted to be debt free (other than a mortgage payment when we decide to buy a home)
- We want to save for future expenses (emergencies, house & auto repairs, traveling, clothing, etc...)
- We want to enjoy everyday life (budget for dates, "fun" things, personal hobbies, etc...)
- We want to be able to give to others (local families in need, our church, missionaries overseas, and sponsoring a child in other country)
Things have continually changed in the last few years, the biggest (financially) being moving from a two-income family to a one-income, and me personally transitioning from working outside the home to being a stay-at-home mom of two. But those four values haven't changed. We have re-worked our budget numerous times, but those have kept us focusing on our life, not just our money.
But having those values is why I named this blog "Saving With A Smile". I don't try to live as frugally as possible just to save money (I don't want to live life like Scrooge!). We live frugally and live on a budget so we can live well and enjoy life.
Do I wonder (aka "freak out") sometimes where money is going to come from for something? Yep.
Do I sometimes wish we had a little more wiggle room in the budget to allow for "------"? Yep.
Do I ever "blow" the budget in one area? Yeah, it happens.
We are by no means perfect in our financial decision, but we're working at it and learning as we go. Trying to stick to a budget has given us freedom in so many areas. All the "saving" we do enables us to "smile" a lot.