I keep promising I'll get better at this whole blogging thing and I keep dropping the ball. So all I can really say is I'm sorry --- for the umpteenth time.
Back to the matter at hand, I think it should be said that I'm a slow learner. After a year of FPU we FINALLY bit the bullet and started tithing. Dave says this should be the first expense every month but we've been giving only minimally. To be perfectly honest we've never tithed in our almost 8 years of marriage. It's always scared the pants off of me giving that much of my income away each month -- but God called me out recently and while He was kind to me, He made it quite obvious and I have a feeling had I not felt the conviction I probably would have been called out again in a not so kind way. Tough love. :)
Anyway, so we finally started tithing (which has been amazing and I can't believe we've done it AND made our bills each month. God says He will do it, but sometimes it's hard to let go) and I'm also finally getting Dave's "allocated budget" done. Yes, this incredibly crucial step to FPU is JUST NOW hitting the table in the Stevenson household because as I mentioned earlier -- I'm a little slow on these things. Last fall I took one look at the form and ran away to hide - it looked super complicated. The "zero-based budget" form is not an issue, we've filled it out religiously since we started, but the more important one is the allocated form and I was living in la-la land thinking we didn't need it. YEAH...
So anyway, this month's was rough but it's filled out. My plan is to start next month's early enough that I'm not piecing it together the night before and we actually have time for a real Budget Committee Meeting -- which brings me to the third and final area of FPU where we're failing miserably:
I still refer to everything as "I do this, I do that" because honestly, I do. Surely you see that in what I write. I have a hard time thinking in "we". That's kind of a major flaw for someone in a marriage, isn't it? I'm aware of this...which acknowledging it is the first step to fixing it, right? Right? Insert huge sigh here. So we are still not working as one on our budget. Sure we talk about it far more than we ever did prior to starting FPU and Caleb leads the class like a champ, but when it comes to the budget, I compile it all together at the last minute each month (usually after the kids are in bed and Caleb is at work) and still use singular pronouns.
I would like to blame it on what Dave calls Time Poverty seeing as we don't have much time together to sort these types of things out but that's a crap excuse. We watch TV for at least 30 mins every night after he gets in. Plus, I recently read an article over on MoneySavingMom that talked about a couple who woke up at 5 or 6 in the morning to have their Weekly Budget Committee since it was the only time they had free. If that doesn't make you feel like a loser in the time management department, I don't know what will.
Well that's where we are now, a year later. Doing okay and teaching okay but we could be so much better. No new debt has been racked up, but we haven't paid much down either. We're learning ... slowly.