As a newly wed couple, me and the wife had to sit down (literally) and discuss a new family budget together. Each had a budget already, but now that we are married, it was time to coordinate and combine it into one. But being from two different schools of thought on budgeting and how to save and spend, the negotiation process wasn’t easy! We had to settle a lot of differences. As a single girl with not a lot of financial obligations, she was used to spending a lot of money and save little. Things had to change, now that she is married.
One of the things I suggested to my wife is to have a motto for our life and how we work and live it. It is three words short. These three words could help us live the rest of our lives together, happily, fruitfully and hopefully with little conflicts.
“Work . Save . Play”
And yes, they are in order, and can’t be re-arranged.
It all starts with work. If we don’t work and have jobs, we can’t do the next thing, ‘saving.’
Saving should be an essential component of every family budget. If you want to be able to afford life and the things you want and need, you have to save now and always. Which brings us to the third part in our motto: ‘Play’
Most of you probably know what we mean by ‘Play.’ It is the ability to enjoy life with no regrets. Be it traveling, partying, eating out, buying things you have always wanted etc. If you have taken care of saving money already, you will be able to play and enjoy life to the fullest. Just remember, just because you have already taken care of the ‘saving’ part doesn’t mean you go crazy and spend all the money that is left (based on one pay cycle.)
We have seen people re-arrange our motto in many different ways. Whether it is to just play and do nothing else. Working and playing, and saving nothing in the process. Or even playing first and saving later. Different individuals and families may have different needs and circumstances. But as a core basic principle, saving should come before playing, otherwise you risk spending all your money and having nothing left for saving. And if you have no savings, you can’t play and enjoy life to the fullest.
And remember, as we have often preached, the sooner you start saving, the sooner you can start enjoying what life has to offer. More importantly, don’t forget to enjoy life and not spend all your time working and saving money. As long as you remember to save before you spend!