Since my site is happymoneysaver.com I thought maybe it was time to discuss one of the most taboo topics in our society….dun, dun, dun….money!
More specifically I would like to share with you some of the ups and downs that I have experienced while dealing with the family budget. I can’t be the only one who has ever been kept awake at night wondering how the bills are going to get paid, or wondering if that check I sent to the electric company is going to go through, can I?
Early in my marriage my husband and I did not talk about money much. He tried to be the one to pay the bills, but because of his busy schedule with work, he often times fell short. He would forget to send in checks, or forget to tell me what my grocery budget was. We were bouncing checks monthly, and the result of that was disastrous. ( It is a well known fact that accounts cant balance their own check books. Haha.)I don’t know about you, but my bank charges 28$ per bounced check, and we mustn’t forget the often times 50$ charge from the company that you sent the bad check to. If this has ever been you, take a deep breath, and know that you are not a bad person. People make mistakes. Eventually, my husband came to me and told me he just couldn’t do it anymore. So, with my knees a-knockin’ I agreed to take over the finances.
I have to admit, for the first few years, I wasn’t any better at it than him. I would forget about checks I had sent out, and see a cute scarf at the store. When I looked at the balance book I thought “Yes, I have enough money to splurge!” To my dismay, that was rarely the case. So, for a while we continued dealing with NSF fees, and of course arguments about how we were going to make ends meet.
Eventually, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the money envelope budgeting system. By now I am sure you have heard of it; You cash your paycheck and divide it up into envelopes (car insurance, gas money, electric bill, fun money, etc.) Every penny is delegated out according to priority and importance. For a long time, there was no fun money, and we had many boring weekends and holidays. Also, I must admit that it wasn’t a program that I held onto forever. Though this system taught me how to prioritize, more importantly, it taught me self control, and gave me new ideas for how to better control my budget.
I now keep a log of all my bills and each payday I make sure they get paid. Check bouncing isn’t an issue anymore. One, because most of my bills are paid online with my debit card. Thank you to the electronic/computer era! Two, because each day before I leave the house I update my budget in a record book so that I know exactly how much money I have to spend on that gorgeous new pair of shoes that I have been eyeballing all season.
There are so many options when it comes to the “How to’s” of budgeting and staying out of debt. Find what works for your family, and don’t be afraid to discuss new ideas with your partner, and even your friends. If you don’t know where to start the conversation considering giving onUp.com a try. They have this neat quiz that helps you understand where you fit, financially, in society, and it gives you ideas and solutions to improve in the areas where you are struggling. With #onUup you can get onUpdates that will also help you reach your financial goals, and navigate you to a more successful future. At the very least you can get peace of mind. I know I did when I found out that 44% of the American population has admitted to having the same money troubles and triumphs that I have had.
With #onUp I have even more tools to help my family succeed, and maybe,eventually, I will even have enough money in my savings to take that family vacation to Disney World!
At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. When you feel confident about your money, you can save for your goals and spend knowingly on what matters most to you.
The onUp movement was created to guide millions of people one step at a time towards a more financially confident life without ever losing sight of the moments that matter along the way.
Why is SunTrust sparking a movement?
Over 70% of Americans are financially stressed
12% of Americans skip going to the doctor because of financial concerns
80% of people admitted that their personal finances keep them awake at night
21% of couples who rate their financial stress as at least “somewhat high” are arguing more
32% of adults say their finances keep them from living a healthy lifestyle
Join the growing number of people transforming their stress into positive motivation to move onUp.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.