Have you ever noticed within a couple there are always two distinct personalities? Think Abbot and Costello, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Fred and Wilma Flintstone and Felix Unger and Oscar Madison. If those names don’t ring a bell, how about Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street? Everyone knows those guys. Bert is very neat, organized and has a certain routine he follows everyday day (boring.) Ernie on the other hand is a bit messy and never knows what he’ll be doing at any given time. A live-in-the-moment (fun) kind of guy. Enter the Roche family. My husband is so Bert (but not quite as neat) and I’m definitely Ernie (but not quite as messy.)
For years, my husband has told me “we need to have a routine for everything and stick to it everyday.” BORING! I like spontaneity. I like variety. I like new things. However, I have learned that routine can be good. It brings order to our lives and household. Everyone knows what’s happening and when.
The school year brings routine and order to our lives—backpacks, folders and lunchboxes all in their place ready to go. Lunches are made the night before. Dinners are planned for the week so I know exactly what to get from the grocery store. Homework, bath time and nightly reading are penciled in to our schedule. School clothes are ready at night for the next morning. We know where everything is and when something is going to happen. No questions asked—it’s the same thing everyday. Everything works well on a routine.
Budgeting is like a routine. After you do it for a while it becomes second nature…no questions asked. I have accounts for all of our bills. I know how much to deposit each week so at the end of the month I just pay the bill. I don’t have to worry about finding money to pay a bill. The money is already there. The same applies for our savings. Every week the same amount gets deposited. Now, I know where our money is going.
I have learned that having a routine does not mean boring. Being able to pay our bills and save money—now that’s exciting! One of our goals while participating in this challenge was to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Mission accomplished! Our income didn’t change, but our routine did.
Does the “routine” of budgeting get to you at times? If so, what do you do to stay on track and stay motivated to attain your financial goals?
This is an entry from the 2009 Connex Savings Challenge Blog, a place where you can keep up with the Savings Challenge families and they can share great financial tips, ways they are saving and budgeting and much more! For more blog entries and information on the Connex Savings Challenge, visit www.connexcu.org.