Budgeting Goals


As newlyweds, we are trying to figure out how to budget and what to save, etc. Since February, I started my own Excel spreadsheet with categories to keep track of things monthly. Since then, I recreated it several times and added formulas, too, but I still felt like we would spend over designated amounts. I have realized that Budgets are difficult because monthly expenses change and they require an extremely high dose of self-control for two people. As we got into the summer, I (Vanessa) no longer had my part-time job and I was searching for a real job, so I did not get a new one. I didn't think we would start missing a measly $200/month, but over the summer I realized we were still living closer to paycheck to paycheck than I wanted. We do not want to be too specific with how much we make, but the amount of money we were able to save in the first few months did not match up with how much we made and spent. It was amazing to see how God blessed us in our efforts to be godly with our money and use it to glorify Him. God truly multiplies and feeds the five thousand.

However, we started to spend more than we made and being the one that handles the money, this required some effort on my part to TRUST in the Lord Almighty to get us through this time. I would of tried harder to shave off expenses, but we honestly had legitimate bills that we had to pay. Once again, God is good. He is very good! Because around this time, He had us both change/start new jobs! The relief of making two incomes is very nice because I no longer worry about how much extra we are needing to have out of our savings to cover unmet expenses. Instead, I can ask the Lord, where he wants us to put the extra.

As far as the extra (which I am so thankful for), we have read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. Thankfully, due to wonderful parents who taught us about money, they really helped us to be ready financially to be married. With Dave's plan, you cut up your credit cards. We had one just for emergencies, but if you read his book, he convinces you that you do not need one even for that because your first goal is to SAVE $1000 for true "emergencies." For us, this is a savings account hooked onto our checking that we can easily transfer to/from as needed. Until of late, I was super stingy about touching it, but our self-control wore off as we lived month to month. NOW, we are praying that we will not have any unexpected expense the rest of this month that will prevent us from putting that back up the the $1000 mark.

Our next financial plan will be to pay off all our debts in the Debt Snowball. You list your debts from smallest to largest and have your way at paying them off. What ends up happening is that you have a few quick victories with the small ones and the momentum encourages you to pay off the following ones. It is pretty fun.

Our Debt Snowball is rather small, but still challenging. We have one bill from our mechanic who lets us pay him monthly (Lord, bless him). Then we have two home loans (not our mortgage loan). One is a smaller loan that we had to get as a 1st time home buyer that is no interest for 2 years. However, after reading this book, we are ready to pay that off, most likely next month (using some of our savings to do it). So hopefully, by next month we will have 2 out of 3 things on our Debt Snowball payed off. The last thing on the list is a larger loan that we got automatically from the Government for buying a house last year. It is a no interest loan for 15 years. I would rather die than have this loan for 15 years. Mostly, because I hate debt ad would not want this hanging over our heads that long! We really did not even want this loan, but after considering the fact that we were able to make a pretty even exchange of paying off my USC loan for school (a very high interest rate) with the amount for the house from the government (0% interest rate).

I do not know when the Lord will allow us to pay off that amount, but I am praying that this first year that I am making money (in addition to Hart), we can get debt free completely and then get a good amount put way as an Emergency Fund. An Emergency Fund is money that should last you roughly 6 months in case something happens and you cannot work. We know God would provide even in a trial of that kind, but we want to be prepared and wise as best that we can.

So these are our goals! I'm excited to see what happens in the next few months! Mostly, we want God to be glorified through this!


  1. Jesse and I love Dave Ramsey! We're on our last debt and now that Jesse will have a contract again at the end of the month (Thank you, Lord!)...we should have that paid off sometime next month, Lord willing. Thank you for sharing your life with us! It's so encouraging to see other young married couples who love and want to live for the King of kings. Let's try and get together sometime soon.

  2. It sounds like you two have wonderful goals and the right attitude to make them happen. My wife and I have taken and led Financial Peace University and each time we go through the course it's a welcome reminder of the principles of healthy relationships with money. May God bless you two in your stewardship!


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