A testimony from Jaime who blogs at Busy Mom on the Go
When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby (a girl!) I decided that this would be a great opportunity to use the cash system. I tend to use the cash system for purchases that have a likely chance of going over the budget and preparing for a baby girl easily fit into that category!
I just sat in the “would-be nursery” room and started imagining all of the ways I could dress it up. My imagination was running wild with ideas of a small chandelier with crystals hanging down, a Princess style crib with the matching changing table, a plush glider in the corner with a little end table adorned with light purple handles… and as you can see I needed to reel myself back in with a cash-based budget approach.
I needed a way to set limits. The cash system lends itself so easily to situations like this one. I could see myself buying a cluster of small items spread out over about seven months and not keeping an accurate track of each item and before too long we’re over the budget.
My husband and I sat down and discussed what we wanted for our baby’s nursery, researched the costs, and then set our cash budget.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
After we’d set limits, we had to prioritize our nursery room by creating two categories: needs and wants. As the months passed, we started out with our “necessary” remodel of the room itself. This included re-painting, installing new carpet, and replacing the old hollow wooden doors with new ones.
Afterward, we knew exactly how much we could spend to start the fun shopping by dressing up the room!
Ask for Help
As a budget conscious initiative I strongly encourage asking family and friends to go in together on baby shower gifts. If it’s appropriate, ask them to help you by buying the larger items off of your list first. My grandmother-in-law had provided us with a new crib and then my mom and sisters went in together to buy us the bedding.
Having a baby is such an amazing gift and as parents, we only want the absolute best for our kids. I thought about this when I asked myself initially why I was setting a budget in the first place because, after all, my baby is priceless.
Realistically though, everything needs a budget. It’s just a matter of determining if the situation best fits into the cash system or not.
Emily was welcomed into this world on Easter Sunday 2011. We brought her home to a beautiful nursery room all while keeping our budget in tact thanks to the discipline of the cash system.
Jaime Pyles is a full-time retirement planner during the day and co-editor of Busy Mom on the Go in the evening. She enjoys sharing her ideas and tips on personal financial management alongside her journey as a blessed mom. She says, “Emily has taught me more in 10 months than I would have learned in a lifetime without her. I love motherhood.”
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