A Simply Organized Life: Creating a Budget that Works

 Creating a Budget that Works with Dave Ramsey giveaway

Have you been keeping up with us on our journey to a simply organized life?  So far, we have put together a Master Account List so we have everything in one place and we have tackled our wills.  I hope you’re keeping up with us because we are not about to slack off.

Our topic for this month:  Budgeting

Do you have a budget?  Some people resist the idea of a budget.  They may think that a budget is restricting and  suffocating.  I know because once upon a time the man I married had these very thoughts.  I, on the other hand, love being on budget.  (I know, I’m a little quirky.)

For most everything financial, Dan and I have always been on the same page.  We didn’t carry debt other than our mortgage, but we weren’t really getting anywhere financially.  In fact, we often pulled from our savings.

That was when we enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University being taught at our church.  And our financial life was forever changed.

Why Set Up a Budget?

* You control where your money is going.
* Your money now works for you.
* You find great satisfaction as you are able to intentionally pay off debt and save for big purchases.
* You will be able to notice any “out of control” areas in your finances.
* You will get ahead financially because you have a plan.
* You will most likely save money!

After going through Financial Peace University (FPU), I traded my stress for financial peace.  It was and still is a great feeling to be in control of our finances.

Setting Up A Basic Budget

* Start by gathering your last year of bills.  Add up all twelve months of a particular bill, then divide by twelve.  This should be your monthly allocated amount for that expense.
* Think about how much you do (or should) spend on other categories.
* Want to check out how I budget?  I have taken out some our personal specifics, but this will give you a great start.  Download it for Free:  PDF version or customize the Excel version.
* For the first several months, work with it.  You’ll find you under-budgeted here and over-budgeted there.  It is a work in process (and quite frankly, I’m often still tweaking mine).

Financial Peace University Giveaway

And now, I am so excited to share with you our giveaway!  Thanks to the kind and generous folks at Financial Peace University, I have three Memberships to give away to our readers.

financial peace membership kit

What is Financial Peace University?

“We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God’s ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!”

The FPU classes meet all over the country for around an hour and a half each week for nine weeks.  Find a local class by going here.  Plus, you’ll be able to attend any classes again in the future.  Check out the lesson topics and preview.

I cannot more highly recommend this program.  No matter what your financial position, you will benefit from this class!  This is not some boring class.  You will enjoy Dave Ramsey’s humor and enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, go here to get a free copy of Dave Ramsey’s Guide To Budgeting.

Enter to win a Financial Peace University membership below.  Each membership is valued at $99.
The giveaway is open to U.S. Residents, 18+ (my apologies to my international readers.)  Ends Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 12:00am.

fp12_home_fpu_box_whats_in 2

top photo credit

Linked up with:  The Better Mom


  1. Anonymous says:

    I would LOVE to win a FPU membership!! How do I enter??? Michelle B.

  2. Perfect timing! I need that membership right about now!

  3. Yes! I love having a budget!

  4. Oh how I would LOVE to win one of the memberships.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No, but I would love to have a budget.

  6. We are just starting one and working on it…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes we do really well with a budget, other times we do not. Would really like to take the course through Financial Peace University to figure out how to stick to the budget all the time.

  8. As a missionary with an ever fluctuating income, keeping a budget is important, yet I find we dip into savings each month! I’d love to win this and follow Dave’s budgeting advice.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I need to do a budget, but haven’t done it yet.

  10. Denise S says:

    We have done them in the past and find it hard to stick to them. We are trying again and want to attend a FPU to keep motivated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    We have a working budget for the major bills and try to use the cash envelope system. Some months the all cash works for us and some months not so much. I can see how it does help spend less and be more mindful when purchasing. I love the freedom of not living paycheck to paycheck like we were before we started! That’s what a budget is supposed to do! Thanks for the giveaway!! I loved TMM and haven’t been through the FPU and would love to!
    Amy W

  12. No, I do not have a budget because I do not know where to start.

  13. My husband and I do have a budget that works well, but I’ve always wanted to take the class!!

  14. Yes, I have a budget, and try as I might to stick to it, something always seems to come up to derail my best laid plans.

  15. I don’t have one but know where I need to stay.


  16. We do have a budget but really need to stick to it better. Thanks for the chance.

  17. Currently there is no budget plan in our household….thing are going smooth for now, but would still like to win

  18. We do have a budget…we are working very hard about sticking to it and changing our attitudes about what we really need to purchase but it getting harder.

  19. I have a budget but hubby doesnt participate in the budget so it doesnt always work


  20. I’ve made budgets in the past, but we have a hard time following them.

  21. I just recently made a budget. It was a wake-up call, for sure. So far it has really helped me watch my spending, but I have a ways to go!

  22. No, but we are trying and I think this will help us out!!

  23. We have a budget, but there is always something extra and unexpected that comes up taking away from it.

  24. Not exactly because my income varies each month, but I do write down everything I spend.

  25. We have a budget, but we are just starting out and need a little extra help figuring things out!

  26. I try to have a budget, but fail every time. I’m a student working as much as I can but still make so little that I can barely make ends meet. I would love to study Dave Ramsey’s material and see if I can make it work. Thank you!

  27. We got very off track with our finances when my husband was laid off for 16 months and we found out we were expecting baby #4 during that time. We depleted our savings in order to supplement his unemployment compensation and make our mortgage/COBRA payments, and even though we were blessed that he finally got another position, we’ve been playing catch-up ever since – particularly in the area of credit card debt. There was been no budget during the entire time, and we’ve lived paycheck to paycheck.

    My husband found a dusty copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book and made me start reading it. We are tired of the creditors controlling our finances and are now taking steps to get back in charge! AND we want our children to have a healthy financial future. Beginning with this month we have created an actual budget on paper and have made a priority to start paying off/down existing debt, close out cc accounts, build a savings for the first time in a long time (!), and live by a cash method. We have a ways to go but we finally feel empowered.

    A membership to FPU would be absolutely wonderful in helping us stay on track and teaching us the tools to never get in this place again!

    Thank you for the chance at the giveaway!! 🙂

  28. Bethany Beck says:

    We used a budget successfully about 8 years ago but have, ahem, strayed and have decided that 2013 is the year that we are getting back on track for good. Thanks for the opportunity to win a resource that would help us reach this goal.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’d love to win this!!!

  30. Anonymous says:

    We have a record of what we have spent and a rough draft of a budget but not the zero budget that Dave recommends. Works better than nothing but could definitely be improved!

  31. Anonymous says:

    We are trying really hard to get better organized and on a budget. Need all the help we can get!

  32. Anonymous says:

    I have just started a budget for the new year and a local church is offering the Dave Ramsey program but couldnt attend. Hope to win have heard great things about the classes! Thanks so much for this series. I just found it tonight and going to try to get up to date and follow from now on.

  33. We have a budget, but it is so tight lots of months we fail

  34. We have a budget just not always consistent!

  35. We do have a budget. Have followed Dave Ramsey for several years. Would love to win this. Have not been to his class.

  36. Amy Kowalski says:

    Winning a FPU membership would be an awesome blessing!

  37. We have a budget…still tweaking it!

  38. My husband and I are pretty consistent with our budget-but we love Dave Ramsey and would still love to take FPU!

  39. We recently started back on a budget after six years

  40. Katie Gordon says:

    This would be great for my husband and I!

  41. What a blessing! Thank you for offering the opportunity!!

  42. We have a budget, but are having a hard time sticking to it. Working on getting the husband completely on-board.

  43. We just started budgeting and using Dave Ramsey’s methods at the beginning of this year. So far it is working great. We are slowing digging ourselves out of our hole, but I feel so empowered having a controlled cash system.

  44. We are on a budget, we have stuck to it pretty faithfully, and were able to pay off my student loans in just 8 months!

  45. We have a budget, but would love more tips on saving money and living frugal. Thanks!

  46. Anonymous says:

    We really need this education. No budget but are in desperate need of one and some organization here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Anonymous says:

    No budget…not sure how we want to go about it.

  48. I have a budget and about 90% of the time it works for my family~we just need to be more focused!
    Lethea B
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

  49. I have a budget but it is difficult for me to follow because I still can’t cover everything on it.

  50. I do have a budget, but my hubby does not believe we need one..hence that is what is stopping us from getting where we need to
    christal c

  51. yes we use a budget
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  52. My husband and I are new to Dave Ramsey’s plan. We have a budget in the works and are just at the beginning of our getting out of debt plan.

  53. Anonymous says:

    We kindof have a budget, so it’s not really working for us.

  54. Anonymous says:

    We don’t really have a budget, mainly because I don’t know where to start…its kind of overwhelming!

  55. I do have a bill paying system but not really a budget because what is left over after paying bills goes towards food, gas ect.

  56. I don’t have a budget, but have been trying to get one started. The task seems so daunting, so I keep putting it away!

  57. I have a budget but somehow I always ends up with more debt due to unexpected expenses.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

  58. we have a budget and we do pretty good but we want to learn more
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com
    tony l smoaks on rafflecopter