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Budget, Recap Week 4


After keeping a budget for 4 weeks, what have I learned?

Things don’t create happiness.  Living honestly does.  Learning does.  Sharing ones truth does.

As for money, it has regained its place as a tool not a master.

Have we kept to the budget?  Yes and no.  We kept spending within the jar amounts set for each week.  We even had money left over that we were able to redistribute to areas we want to save for (our New Years vacation!).  On the no side, a couple big things happened this month.  Hubby left his job and as a result received a larger check (leave payout, small bonus).  Since he already has work lined up for the month (thank God!), we used it to pay for some big ticket items (new tires and a snow blower, exciting I know).  To go back to our plan, future windfalls will be distributed according to our windfall plan.

One huge change in my life resulting directly from implementing a budget with my spouse, we don’t fight about money anymore.  Not once in four weeks.  This is a big deal for us as we have regularly fought about money  in the decade we have been married.  What was the change?  We each have “allowances”, an amount we receive a week to spend how we chose, no questions asked.  No more tiffs over lattes or drinks with friends, no more comparison of who spent what on clothes.  We are a team on the big picture of how we use our money and the day to day stuff no longer matters.  It is clear when we are meeting our goals.  Since we have completely combined our finances since day one, this means financial peace in our household.

Tell me, do you bicker over money? Do you give yourself an allowance?  Any tips for how you have found financial peace in your household?


Budget, once again (Part I)


After yet another day of deliveries arriving at our house (USPS, UPS, and FedEx all with at least two packages).  I began to wonder, how do you decide when enough is enough?

We have a list of things we would like to buy.  For the house, our hobbies, our family, vacations, events, etc.  Who doesn’t?  Since we had reached our big financial goal, what was stopping us?

In my early 20s the hubby and I began life planning (see money manifestation board).  We dreamed and discussed how we wanted to live our lives (how many kids, how and where to raise them, where we want to travel etc.).  So we developed a budget.  A pretty serious budget.  We sent directly to savings one of our salaries (we make about the same amount).  Our budget wasn’t austere but it gave us a framework for determining what was important to us and using our money to achieve those things.  Essentially, it made it simple to know when to say no to spending. 

Three years ago, that budget meant that we had saved enough to enact our first huge lifestyle change.  We welcomed our first child, moved across country to a small mountain town, I began to work from home (still fulltime) and hubby left his secure, salaried employment to start his own company.

As if that wasn’t enough change, the next two years brought the arrival our last child, hubby was hired by another salaried employer, and we bought and remodeled our forever home.  Somewhere in the midst of this change, we stopped using a budget.

So back to the deliveries…

As the deliveries came in the door I felt frustration. Sure, we reached a big financial goal. What is more important is we are not yet where we want to be to make the next lifestyle changes.   There are only so many hours in a lifetime.  There are many interests we both have that we want to pursue.   These deliveries (inexpensive items but everything adds up) were taking away from the present we want to be living.  While we have the dream manifestation board, we had lost the tool that is essential for making those dreams reality.  And so, it is time to yet again create a budget.

Talk back, do you have a budget?  What are your feelings about living on a budget?  Do you think one can ever have enough money to not find a budget helpful?

15 Minute Feng Shui

Www.lifeimagined.org 15 minute feng shui


New to feng shui?  Here is an easy introduction that provides a taste of the life changing philosophy in fifteen minutes.

Why feng shui?

Living a life surrounded by what you love and regularly use, leads to a simplified, intentional, and more harmonious life.

Let’s begin

Imagine a room, the blinds are drawn, the french doors are blocked by large furniture, piles of magazines, catalogues and bills to be paid.  On the wall is a painting given to you by a relative you don’t enjoy.  The coffee table is filled with projects you need to finish. How do you feel?

Now imagine you are placed in a different room.  The room is bright and open, with healthy plants outside the open french doors.   In front of you the coffee table holds a book you cannot wait to read, a card from a loved one and the walls are decorated with photos and art from friends and family who uplift you.

Again, how do you feel?

Which room inspires you to go after the life of your dreams?

By keeping only what you love and use, letting everything else go to find its’ home, life stays on a track of progression.   You are not stuck in the past.  You are free to live today.

15 minute feng shui exercise

Experience a feng shui energy boost in 15 minutes:

  • Set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes
  • Throw away/recycle everything in sight that you no longer need.
  • Reset timer for 5 minutes.
  • Put things away and make a pile (at the door) of things that belong in other rooms.
  • Reset timer for 5 minutes.
  • Place those piles in the rooms they belong in.
  • Time remaining?  Wipe down any surfaces in sight.

The more often you do this, the easier it will be to permanently clear your life of clutter.  The more you clear clutter out of your life, the more time and energy you will have to focus on your life goals.

Tell me, how did you feel after the 15 minutes?  I find that anytime I am stuck (work project, house project, creative project), clearing clutter and cleaning for 15 minutes releases newfound energy to tackle the project fresh.

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