August Budget

I decided this month I'm going to be very cautious with my money.

I took Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey at my church several months ago, and while I retained the information, I didn't apply it. After hearing more and more Dave Ramsey success stories lately and looking sadly at my bank statements, I've decided I need to make this financial change...not only for myself, but for my future family.

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University follows seven baby steps to bring each person to financial peace: 1.) $1,000 emergency fund. 2.) Pay off all debt using the debt snowball. 3.) 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings. 4.) Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and tax-advantaged retirement accounts. 5.) College funding for children. 6.) Pay off your house early. 7.) Build wealth and give!

This month I'm tackling baby steps 1 & 2.

I've set out a budget for the month of August and decided that I am going to stick to it! By cutting my costs for one single month, I will save myself an EXTRA $1,000. If I did this every month, it could save me $12,000 a year. It's not necessarily going to be a fun month, but I will find entertainment through time outdoors, Netflix, and reading.

How am I doing this? I've decided to only spend my income from nannying. Everything else I make will go into savings. I have given myself $20 a week for food. Through research and self control I know I am capable of this. My parents always have some sort of food in their house. I usually do my own thing, but this month I will eat whatever it is they are eating. My goal is to try to save that $20 a week for one special night out with friends. I am only allowing myself $100 in gas for the month. This means I have to be careful with my driving and can't just go for drives like I do sometimes. When I'm careful about how much I drive, I can make a $50 tank of gas last a couple weeks. I've set aside money for my bills, which include my credit card, phone, and student loans. However much I have left over at the end of the month of the nanny money, I am going to put towards paying off my credit card and student loans faster.

It's going to be a frugal month, but I know I'm capable, based on the teachings of Dave Ramsey and through strength from Christ.

For more information on Dave Ramsey and his financial wisdom, visit or check out his books such as "The Total Money Makeover" and "Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money."

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