It’s been an interesting couple of months in the OFB household. Life has been crazy. I’ve hinted at this a few times, but seriously, the last few months just really kicked our trash. Johnny has been traveling more than ever for work, and his workload has also been heavier than ever. And I’ve had some personal hiccups arise as well the past couple of months, which have been harder than usual since all my energy is already consumed by a toddler who thinks “no” means “yes” (she really does).
At times like this when life is throwing us more than we can handle, Johnny and I sometimes sit back and ask ourselves why we’re adding OFB to the mix. It’s not a question of should we? We decided that a long time ago. But it’s a question of why? What is the purpose of Our Freaking Budget? Do we feel like we’re actually helping to proliferate the discussion of sound personal finance? Two hours of discussion later (because that’s how we roll), we realized it all comes back to one very simple principle: keeping a budget has made everything possible. That is what we believe, and that is our message. And that message applies to anyone in any stage of life.
- A student on the cusp of graduating and starting a first real career with thousands in student loans
- A newlywed couple trying to traverse the financial changes that their new life brings
- New parents trying to get a grip on how to have a baby without breaking the bank
- A family of three with a husband/wife who recently lost a job, needing to find a way to make ends meet until they find their next job
We’ve been there. And each and every single scenario required one simple remedy — a budget.
Because of our budget, we’ve been able to get out of debt in less than two years, save for a rainy day, go on vacations (and keep a budget while we’re on them), put money toward retirement, and plan for our daughter’s future. We haven’t been able to do any of this because we’re smart. Or because we’re rich. Trust me, we’re neither of those. We’ve been able to do it because we’ve consistently stuck to a budget.
There are an abundance of sites that preach the nitty-gritty details people need to optimize their finances — what to invest in, growing your portfolio, the stock market, IRAs, etc. And while all of that stuff is good and well (and stuff that we have or will blog about at some point), it all means nothing if you’re not bringing in more than you spend. And there’s no better roadmap to following that principle than a budget.
So we hope to continue writing about all the weird, random stuff we currently write about, but we want to make sure that we don’t forget why we believe in this. (This post is starting to sound like an AA meeting.) So whether you’ve never taken a crack at budgeting or you’re still trying to figure yours out — or even if you’re an all-star budgeter who has your budget on autopilot and you rarely check it, we hope that we’ll have something worthwhile to share (even if it’s just a photo of Sally with another variety of food smeared all over her face). And here’s to hoping the demands of life become a bit easier to juggle in the near future!