The New Year and My New Challenge…

Proverbs 31:16
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
Insight: She is good at saving money and then investing it.

I’m not much for New Years resolutions. I never have been… This year is a little different though.

I feel very strongly that we as Americans are incredibly blessed. We are so blessed that we have, in many cases, had the luxury of having mixed up ideas about what is a need, and what is just a want.

We have always made pretty good decisions with our money for the most part. We had a little debt, but overall not too bad… Then I read “Americas Cheapest Family Gets You Right On the Money” and “Total Money Makeover”. We may not have been making bad decisions with our money, but we weren’t making good ones either. After a lot of discussion, we decided that we needed to be more intentional with our money. So we started working on and implementing the following areas:

Budgeting
Couponing
Keeping our utilities down
Purchasing secondhand as much as possible
Making almost all of our Christmas presents this year
Paying off our cars
Getting life insurance

It is a good start, but we have decided to use the mark of the new year to take the next step. Starting at the beginning of this month (January 2013) we switched over to using cash. We are not planning on cutting up our credit cards like the books recomend (we have 2 and neither one has a balance) and we will still use them for the reoccurring utilities or large purchases that we already have money saved up for (our parents still live in Alaska, and we like getting the air miles so we can visit them :-).

What we will use cash for are the areas that we have a hard time staying on budget in. Those areas for us are “Food and Dining” and “Everything Else” categories. To help me keep track of what money is for what, I asked for this money organizer from A Time 4 Everything for Christmas (and got it thanks to my Mother-In-Law!).

20130103-222850.jpg

So far I really like it! It does what it is meant to do without extra bulk and is very well made. (A lot of the money organizers I looked at were really thick and bulky) I would highly recommend it if you would like to take a stab at the cash system. 🙂

Like I said, I am not much for New Years resolutions, but this year is different. We have been working towards this step for a while and I can’t think of a better time to take it than the beginning of a new year.

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