Enjoying ourselves responsibly
I remember when Moriah first presented the idea of Project Money to me. My first thought was "We won't be able to have any fun for half a year!" I think many of us equate responsible money managing to not spending money on non-essentials to focus on debt and saving. No doubt that is part of it, but we have found it need not be that strict. Not everyone is cut out for the "beans and rice" approach as Dave Ramsey famously suggest. Personally, I feel people should be able to enjoy some of the fruits of their labors responsibly regardless of their financial situation. Here's how we do it.
As we've mentioned in previous blogs, Moriah and I have our own accounts separate from our joint account that we can do what we wish with. We give ourselves a modest allowance from our pay that we can run on from week to week. We figured we give ourselves enough to get by until the next check comes. But a funny thing happened. When we began applying the principles we've learned from this process, how we used our personal money changed. Somethings became unimportant and we stopped using any of our funds on them. The result was our personal accounts grew. And with a surplus we are able to make guilt-free purchases, have impromptu date nights and the like every now and then. And that's a great feeling from to impulse buyers like ourselves!
The root of this came from having a plan. We built our plan to be a sustainable lifestyle change. While we wanted to get our spending under control, we by no means wanted this to be an exercise of total self-denial. Such restrictions are an easy setup for failure. My advice is to get a plan! Strive for success! Forgive and correct your failures! Before you know it, financial responsibility will be achieved. And you'll enjoy it!