Is anyone here sick of the budget blues? Are you weary of trying to get ahead and it seems like you are going backward?
For sure you are not alone with those frustrations. That is why I have asked Budget specialist and author Charissa Quade to come and share some of her story with us. The story behind her newly published book –
(I can’t wait to tell you – at the end of the interview, there is an exclusive deal ONLY for Bloggers Lifestyle readers) Read on –
With no money for their honeymoon, needing to pay rent and the realization that they both brought debt into their marriage, the initial excitement and glow of being newly married soon began to dim.
Q1. Charissa, can you describe what that pressure felt like?
A.1. Charissa:- We did have a honeymoon in San Diego, thanks to my wonderful father-in-law, but the honeymoon was quickly over. Within two months, there was $1,600 in car repairs and I was heading into my slowest work period.
The stress I felt was overwhelming, all of a sudden I was shouldered with the responsibility of supporting my family on a really tight income and paying for my husband’s school.
My income got stretched even more thinly as several hundred dollars went out every month on debt payments. I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to do it and often had a panic knot in my stomach, especially when I was buying groceries (and spending more than I had).
I was so desperate for a solution that I tried everything!
Q2. You and Jeremy found some help from the Dave Ramsay teachings on debt reduction. Did that help ease the tensions in your relationship?
A2. Charissa:- Finding Dave Ramsey’s baby step plan was a huge relief for me. I finally had a simple and easy plan to pay off debt. Plus I had hope that it was possible to become debt free and that I actually could live debt free. A lot of my stress was reduced, which resulted in better interactions with my husband.
One of the lessons I learned from Dave Ramsey was working together with your spouse on the budget. I started coming up with a monthly budget and sitting down to talk to Jeremy about it once a month. These meetings led to greater communication between us as we could both see there were just some things that had to wait until there was more money.
Becoming debt free
Q3. You learned to budget on a variable income and worked hard to pay down debt. For those of us who have not managed to be debt free, what was it like when you were finally debt free?
A3. Charissa:- I honestly thought when we paid our last payment it would be this huge dramatic moment, but it was just quiet. We celebrated by going to eat ice cream and used a gift card; I wasn’t ready to start spending money yet!
A couple of months later, as I entered into my slow work period, I was blown away by how much peace and less stress there was, simply because I didn’t have any debt.
As time has passed, I have found that being debt free is so freeing and there is so much peace, knowing that I have full control of my entire income. Money is not leaving in the form of payments.
It has become a passion of mine to help people become debt free and live without any payments!
Not having any debt has contributed greatly to being able to pay cash for my husband’s education, which is such a blessing.
Q.4. Your new book, Budgeting Made Easy, describes a period of time where you seemed obsessed with earning and saving money. You were taking all the extra work you could find, working much more than was healthy for you, and placing stress on all of your relationships. Can you relate to us what this time was like and how you found some balance?
A4. Charissa:- I must admit that this season was a tough time for me. I had already been working hard for years to this point. I was tired and discouraged because it seemed as though I wasn’t making any progress towards my money dreams, barely able to keep up with tuition payments each semester.
The motivating tactic
I started tracking every dollar I was able to put into savings, just to show myself that I was able to save money. I needed one final push to save for the last year of my husband’s school, and I needed some motivation.
Watching my savings grow each month as I intentionally tracked what I could save was so helpful. I found motivation to cut expenses even deeper and strength to work more hours.
Exhaustion sets in (sound familiar?)
I wasn’t obsessed with working a ton or saving money but really felt stuck. I had made the commitment to provide for my family and pay for my husband’s education; there didn’t seem to be any other option that would bring in the money I needed.
I felt so much stress and utter exhaustion that I couldn’t enjoy spending time with those I loved because I was worried about getting to my next job or bringing in enough work.
I was short-tempered more often than I liked and resentment started creeping in. My health suffered because I wasn’t taking the time to rest. Sleep was often broken.
I didn’t like who I had become, and I was so tired of trying to keep up, I knew something had to change. There was a longing in my heart for rest.Want to learn how to thrive on your present income? Awesome interview with a budget specialist. Click To Tweet
The decision to cut back work hours
In 2016, I made the decision to cut back on my work hours and make it a year of rest. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I put limits on when I was available to work and quit my part time job.
Putting more margins in between my freelance jobs so I could go to the park for lunch. I began to enjoy gardening. Sleep became a priority, and I started exercising.
It was a matter of trusting God to provide, and He did. I was coming to be ok with moving slower on the things I wanted to accomplish. Learning to rest and find balance was/is hard, but it is so worth it!
I am in such a better place emotionally, physically, and relationally now than I was before.
The Bare Bones Budget – thriving on any income
Q5. You have developed the Bare Bones Budget approach. How has this method changed your lifestyle and financial management?
A5. Charissa:- There were so many months where money was extremely tight; I simply couldn’t afford everything, and so there were certain things that just had to wait. In the Bare Bones Budget, I prioritized the expenses that I needed to pay every month. This reduced a lot of money stress as I would take my checks and pay down the list in order.
This way, there was always enough money to cover the basics, and I knew exactly what had to go if there wasn’t enough money. It’s a matter of being intentional and having a plan that makes budgeting those tight months doable.
Another benefit is that it is far easier to stick to a budget when you already know where your money needs to go. Then it’s easier to say no to unnecessary purchases. Just blame it on the budget!
Following a Bare Bones Budget was instrumental in allowing us to pay off debt, pay for school and put money into savings. If those items are already in your budget, then you know what looks like ‘extra’ money in your account actually has a job to do and you can’t spend it.
Who would find help by using the Bare Bones Budget?
Q6. Who would benefit from using the Bare Bones Budget? We know how it can transform working on a variable income but could it help fixed income earners too?
A6. Charissa:- I think everyone could certainly benefit from using the Bare Bones Budget. Your expenses are listed in a prioritized order, covering the essentials first. which eliminates a lot of worries and possible mishandling of money, just because it is in your account.
The Bare Bones Budget gives you a plan to follow, and you can build in paying off debt, saving money, or any other money dream you have and actually accomplish it!!
While everyone’s income may not vary, like mine does, monthly expenses sure do vary for all of us!
Maybe there’s an unexpected medical bill, or a car breaks down, and you have to figure out how to come up with the extra money. A Bare Bones Budget will help you do just that.
In my book, Budgeting Made Easy I show you how to set up a Bare Bones Budget. Also what to do in those months you just don’t think you can make it, how to pay off debt, and save money, plus so much more! I want to see you have a plan of action so you can have a successful budget and thrive on your income!
Kathleen:- Charissa, I am hearing over and over that money concerns are the main stressors in marriage relationships. I know that this incredible budget resource has the power to change that.
On behalf of our readers, I want to thank you for taking the time to share parts of your story that led to you developing this brand new tool. A tool designed for budget success and peace of mind. Honestly, we all want to learn how to thrive on the income we have right now.
Charissa:- Thank you so very much for inviting me to your site Kathleen and for interviewing me! I greatly appreciate the opportunity, and I am so honored to share with your readers.
Budgeting Made Easy: Thriving on Any Income – went on sale for the first time a week ago and all the first week sales are over.
But don’t despair, here is an exclusive offer just for ‘Blogger’s Lifestyle’ readers – use the code Welcome20 and until the 15th of December you can get 20% off.
Finally, you can make a successful budget and make serious progress towards your money dreams.
Here is what you will be getting –
- Step-by-step instructions to setting up a budget.
- Ways to reduce expenses.
- Real-life examples.
- Sample budgets.
- Practical and helpful action steps at every section.
- A plan to pay off debt quickly.
- Ideas to manage those months you just don’t think you will make it.
- Strategies to increase your income.
- Proven ways to eliminate money stress
- Bonus book of budget worksheets.
- And so much more!
Don’t waste any more time, get the resource; dedicate some time to learn; get the family all on the same page; put it into practice. Give a big sigh of relief that at last, you control the budget – it does not control you.
Don’t forget your exclusive offer and use your code – Welcome20 and get 20% off only until the 15th of December.
Charissa Quade the author of Budgeting Made Easy: Thriving on Any Income
Cook With a Shoe|The value of living life on a shoestring budget by choice
This is an incredible budget resource – don’t miss our readers’ exclusive offer – The offer ends in a few days.
Leave your valuable comments below. Feel free to ask Charissa some questions as well.
Join us – we uplift and encourage each other –