Imagine you need a quick extra $100 for groceries this month. You aren’t able to take that money from any other account but your grocery budget. Could you make that happen?
This is a big lesson we have learned the past couple of weeks.
You need margin in the budget. Creating margin, or a buffer, in your budget gives you another level of comfort, breathing room, to Drive your MoneyBus.
How to create budget margin:
How filling the accounts to provide for the family and your needs has given us more freedom.
When the cost of gas goes down, continue putting the money in the account to give you some breathing room for future purchases.
Taking time to make the budget gives you opportunity to make your choices and set yourself up for success
Living your most enriched life, within your means, you are creating freedom for yourself.
Find ways to create margin within one portion of your budget will give you more freedom.
When you change the focus and look to consume less, you are living enriched.
The March challenge:
This month we are going to downsize from our rental home to an apartment.
40-50% of size decrease in the home is the goal. I am working to eliminate 40-50% of our stuff. The junk.
You can read more about the challenge, and share your comments by following along here.
Week 1 is focusing on the bedrooms. I’ll eliminate the clothes we haven’t worn, the clothes that don’t fit properly right now, and the shoes we haven’t worn in years.
Determine your Emergency Fund
How much do you actually need in your emergency fund? After this experience, of an emergency trip home for Grandma’s funeral, consider;
Make a high-level plan. (remember those earthquake drills in elementary school…) Just a bare bones idea of the travel involved, the hotels, food, and other necessities and write out the numbers on a one-page form. Place this form in your budget/binder book.
Decide really how much will you need in the moment of crisis. Write it out on the page in your budget binder.
Open a new savings account specifically for this situation. Open the account today, either online or in person.
Start the savings for this. Make it automatic. $25/ a week can make a big difference in a quick year or less.
Sure, we all wonder about how money works in other homes. Today, my husband, Raul Robles joins the show. We open the curtain and share our struggle with money: the headaches & heartbreaks (that we can now laugh about); working through the fights; making a budget work; and finally, being able to see the finish line so close.
It is nearly an understatement to say that our marriage has completely changed from figuring out the finances.
Raul & I examine:
What we remember of the early days of our marriage trying to figure out our budget.
The resentment I had at that time.
The turning point that was the biggest fight of our marriage: “the car fight” that changed our lives
How I went to the first session of Financial Peace University by myself…and why Raul insisted I go.
The discussion after that first session & insight to our desire to change our family tree.
Instill hope: The reason I created this blog & podcast.
Learning & getting on the same page, working together as a team; our marriage is better for it.
The brutality of working through that first budget.
Why Saturday mornings working through the budget is the best time of the week for us to make it work.
And why Saturday morning budget time has become a habit.
The Christmas budget: why we had to categorize where the money was going.
Why we had to decide to allow our daughter to give this holiday.
How we have found a balance where Raul focuses on the details, and I keep us looking toward the big vision for our family.
What our friends & family have noticed about our situation.
How having a budget has allowed us to be much more open about money. Who knew?
The best example is to do it.
When did Raul know we were on the right path? That very first night of FPU.
The moment I knew we were on the right path? When we could do a budget in just a quick time.
The story of “The Little Engine that Could” comparison to our finances.
How the element of surprise has been removed from our budget.
The jar analogy: the big rocks, the pebbles, the sand and the water.
Raul is more analytical. I am more abstract and a feeler. We discuss how our communication styles have changed to be able to connect and reach out so that we are speaking the same language.
What advice Raul has for you, the one who knows there is an important conversation that needs to happen to fix your finances.
How having the budget eliminates the “awkward stressful conversations” in the store deciding on a purchase.
What Raul’s opinion on this podcast & what he has learned from this experience.
How Raul has helped me figure out how to work from home, including: setting up business hours; finding balance in family and creating; and how we are making podcasting a part of our life- but not everything in our life.
Raul asks me a question that I’ve never considered before.
The element of finances in our marriage has enriched our entire relationships.
Raul agrees to return with a status update on what we continue to learn about our finances.
Project management for families? Think of a family wedding.
Consider your stakeholders: Who has a dog in the fight?
A project has a definite beginning, a definite end, and creates a unique result.
By creating a project, you can see the outcome, the risks, the budgets, and the big picture to make it work.
You decide the project. Then you apply the principles of project management.
Step 1: Composing. Define the project. Make it as detailed as you can to see the finished project. Answer the question: What do we want to do?
Step 2: Decomposing. Take the requirements of the project. Break it down to manageable chunks. Don’t create actions, create things. Make lists of nouns, not verbs. Use a mind map, or a sticky note. Make it visual.
To motivate your partner/spouse, you’ll have champions and those against the project.
“90% of the work of project management is communication.”[clickToTweet tweet=”90% of the work of project management is communication. @cesarabeid ” quote=”90% of the work of project management is communication.”]
Help others realize that you are on the same team. Present the problem in the language that they will understand. Don’t talk budget. Talk results: the vacation. Or the car you can buy.
His book, Project Management for You, for the person trying to take on a major task: write a book, start a business. Someone creating a new product, setting up a new website, creating a more in-depth project.
Even as professional project manager, Cesar admits that he still struggles with organization and how this process has helped him personally & professionally.
“This something we can learn. We can also not be limited by the fear of starting something new. But our limitations should the ideas we have, and how many ideas we can have and handle, and not the fear of uncertainty. There is a system you can use to methodically, systematically turn those ideas into reality.” [clickToTweet tweet=”Our limitations should the ideas we have… and not the fear of uncertainty” quote=”our limitations should the ideas we have, and how many ideas we can have and handle, and not the fear of uncertainty”]
When you break down the project into smaller chunks and you can create the budgets. You can predict the time investment of a project, and the financial investment of the project.