Posted by Jess | Filed under Jess
I know, I know. I’ve lost my mind right? Gone completely bonkers? I actually just put budget and party into the same phrase. And budget party we did.
A budget was something both my hubby and I needed to do, as well as my sister and brother in law. Both couples are fairly aware of the financial state of themselves as well as the other couple, so there was no big revealing skeletons in the closet. Plain and simple it was the start of a new season, with lots of money to come in and go out and the budget needed a facelift. So we made a night out of it! Why not turn something sucky into an excuse to hang out?
We gathered around their dining room table with Gail’s face smiling up from “Debt Free Forever” and four laptops (all of us students within the last few years) and crunched some numbers.
“How much money will we be making for the new semester?”
“What debts can we pay off right away?”
“Theres two weddings and two big birthdays to consider this summer”
If one person couldn’t find a hundred dollars in the budget that “had to be somewhere” the extra set of eyes were there to help. Advice, tricks of the trade, pitfalls and successes were passed around like a good wine. In the end my sister and BIL realized they needed to go back to jars and hubby and I realized we had a bit more wiggle room in the budget. This was a surprise to us, actually. One that we may not have found if it weren’t for the community style budgeting we did. Turns out that with the inclusion of our HST cheques, tax refund, and student loans (which give us enough for living expenses) plus some disciplined debt repayment on our part we will be able to pay down over half of our consumer debt by the end of the year while still affording to celebrate weddings and birthdays for our loved ones. Wait What? That shouldn’t work. I definitely checked the numbers three times or more, and the good news couldn’t lie.
The end of the year we were left feeling like all of our hard work had gone to waste with the unfortunate Quebec incident, but already by April we are able to feel positive again about our financial situation. Not out of the red yet, but well on our way!
As for the budget party, it was a great way for us to actually sit down and rehash the budget. We couldn’t put it off when there was a date made with another couple. This wouldn’t obviously work with any of your friends, but if you have people close to you that know your situation and are already living or trying to live a life free of credit suffocation then I recommend making an evening out of it and just getting it done! Money doesn’t have to be that thing you hide in the spare room when guests come over!