We started budgeting in 2013. It's worked out pretty well. I feel like we're both on the same page with money and we have a common outlook toward our future. -- I originally wrote these first couple sentences almost a year ago, but it still holds true.
We have a new-to-us house, which has changed our budgeting.We did a ton of remodeling and used savings plus some cash flow to fund all the renovations. In addition, my work-life has been turned upside down in various ways since last September. Right now, I'm working very part-time and it's kind of weird. I've been getting little projects done around the house, but it's just weird not having someplace to go every day. Thankfully, Jason is gainfully employed. :-)
On the plus side, I've been able to volunteer a bit more, exercise a bit more and cook more, so overall, it's been pretty positive. I haven't been pursuing a full-time job just yet because we're waiting to adopt. So I'm using this time as a time to get refreshed. I have no idea how long it will take to find children to adopt. We're adopting through the foster system. We got officially licensed in April and so far, we've only received one call about twin boys, but they fell through. I'm not sure why the process is so slow. Maybe bureaucracy? I have no idea.
Since 2013, we've been using Mint.com, but last week I decided to try something else. The best thing Mint has going for it is that it's easy. It's a lazy man's finance tool. You enter all your information and it will automatically download your transactions. The bad thing is that the budgeting tool sucks. It's so hard to interpret. So last week I downloaded You Need a Budget. The interface doesn't automatically download everything, but I can download transactions in Quicken format and upload to the program. It also has mobile apps for iPhone and Android. August will be our first whole month using it. I'm excited to see how we like it. I already like how the budgeting looks WAY better than how it's formatted in Mint.
The next financial goal is to pay off the house early. We've been paying a little extra toward the mortgage each month. If we precisely followed the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps, we'd pay any extra we have in our budget toward the house after putting our 15% into our retirement plans. I'm not sure if we will follow this exactly. We will have to scrutinize the incoming funds for August to figure out how much is reasonable.
More of an update on You Need a Budget after I've used it for a full month.