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div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”/divbr /Does that sound odd to you?nbsp; It did to me when I heard it.nbsp; How can you be free when you have a budget?br /br /a href=”” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”img border=”0″ height=”146″ src=”” width=”200″ //aBefore we started the Dave Ramsey plan, we never had a written budget.nbsp; I paid the bills online and always had a running total of what was in our checking account in my head. We never carried cash and used our debit card for everything.nbsp; When we were running low in our account we used a credit card.nbsp; We had no boundaries, no guidelines in how we spent our money.nbsp; Every two weeks before payday, we couldn’t figure out why we never had extra money.nbsp; So much for /br /After we took a href=””Financial Peace University/a, we sat down to figure out a budget AND set up a cash system AND stop using credit cards as our backup plan.nbsp; It wasn’t easy. I always had the “What ifs” going through my /br /”What if I need more money for groceries?”br /”What if there is a field trip for school?”br /”What if…What if…What if…”br /br /ibWhat if you just try it out and see what happens?!?/b/inbsp;i{My self talk can be pretty blunt.}/i nbsp;But it was true. nbsp;We just needed to attempt it and adjust it if needed. nbsp;Dave Ramsey says that it won’t be perfect the first time, or second, or even the third. nbsp;And is wasn’t…br /br /We blew the budget the first month, but we had a better idea of what worked and what did not. nbsp;It took several months where we could stay within the budget without having to readjust something. nbsp;I had already set up our household bills to be paid automatically. nbsp;I discovered that I needed to rearrange some credit card due dates to fall at different times throughout the month so we weren’t hit with a mass amount of bills at one /br /We started the a href=””envelope system/a. nbsp;It was a little difficult at first, but then I figured out that less is more i{less envelopes-more money is always helpful}/i. nbsp;I will show you our envelope system /br /After a few months on a budget and using cash from our envelopes, we started having bexcess /bmoney at the end of the month. It was a bit shocking. nbsp;It was almost unbelievable. nbsp;Putting boundaries on how we spent our money gave us more in the /br /In the last 18 months I have realized that there is freedom in a budget because I no longer worry about running out of money at the end of the month. nbsp;Not having that worry about how we are going to pay for XYZ is priceless. nbsp;Life became a little less stressful and “conversations” about money only happen when there are fees coming up.nbsp;i{2 kids in sports can be pricey when they have to be registered at the same time.}/ibr /ibr //ibr /Plus, my husband and I agree on where the money is going. nbsp;There is no longer “surprise” purchases like lunches or coffee. nbsp;We designate our personal blow money for those /br /Figuring out a budget doesn’t have to be a tedious process. nbsp;You just need to try it out and not beat yourself up if you fail the first few times. nbsp;iJust try it out and see what happens./ibr /br /biIf you need some guidance, Dave Ramsey offers some a href=””budgeting forms/a on his website./i/bbr /br /a href=”” target=”_blank”img alt=”Anna” border=”0″ src=”” //a