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Every dollar needs a name

Every dollar needs a name.

Dollar bills have names, like George or Ben or Lincoln. I want every one of my dollars to have a name. Some of my dollars will have the same name, like house payment, grocery, or electric bill.

When my dollars don’t have names by choice, they get names by impulse. Four dollars last week were called Latte. And some of the dollars were called tree.

I know what you are thinking, “Four dollars? What’s the big deal.” I thought the same thing. What’s a latte? It is only four dollars!  Then my latte’s became more than once a month, but three or four times a week at $16.00 x 52 weeks = $832.00. It adds up.

I didn’t need the latte or the tree.

We must consult our means rather than our wishes.
― George Washington

We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class two years ago. The course has been helpful. We cut up our credit cards during the class and  started to pay off debt.  We saved $1,000 for an emergency fund, and stopped using the credit cards to pay for emergencies.

We still have debt. 

We were good for a year or so, budgeting, putting cash in envelopes. Then we became like a frog in a pot of water on the stove. We didn’t notice our bad habits coming back.

Not having a budget is like a frog in a pot of water.

We need a budget.

This weekend we will have a budget. It is so easy to say, “We will set up a budget tomorrow.”  We were going to have a budget meeting on Tuesday night, but that was game six of the NBA play-offs. And then Wednesday night my husband stayed at work late and didn’t  come home until 10:00 p.m.  Last night, Thursday,was game seven of the NBA play-offs. And then we have today, Friday. Tonight my husband and I will have a date in front of the computer making a budget.

We need a budget.  It is time to put the cash back in the envelopes and only spend what is budgeted. If the envelope is empty, it is empty.

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you. ― Dave Ramsey

Do you have a name of each dollar you earn? Are you on a budget?

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Janelle

    When my husband lost his job just over a year ago, I was so thankful I’d done the course. Our debt had already been eliminated except our mortgage, and we had an emergency fund. It gave us great peace, and made a stressful situation much less difficult.

    • Janelle you were so wise to save an emergency fund. I understand what it is like to have a husband lose his job. I pray all is well in your household.

  • Lucie

    Naming your dollars! Now that’s something I hadn’t heard of. I took the Crown Ministries financial course years ago, with the founder’s wife and their National Prayer Coordinator, but didn’t stick with the program. I don’t have a budget per se, but this week I paid off my one credit card with a balance and this month, stopped using it for things I could instead pay cash for. I don’t plan to cut it up as I believe in having at least one for emergencies, but the idea was to get it to where I could again pay it off completely each month.

    • Lucie, that is great that you paid off the balance on one card. You have great will power to not use your credit card. My husband and I lack money self-control so we don’t even have a credit card.
      Hello to your cat from me.

  • No, and no. Your article really convicted me though. I am going to get my house in order. And give my dollars names.

    • Please let me know what you name your dollars. A few of my dollars are named, “Trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the Storyline Conference with Donald Miller.”

  • Dave Ramsey is awesome. My method was to work overtime when available, then invest it before I spent it. Worked great.

    • Sounds like a great idea Josh. When I sell my books I will pay off debt immediately or invest it, before it turns into more trees in my backyard.

  • I’ve done the same thing, Pamela. I had the little pocket envelope where I kept my cash. Eventually, everything fell by the wayside. We have less than a year to get things in order for full retirement. Possibly, two. I haven’t done very well to prepare. This morning, I sat down to pay close attention to our bills. I’ve got to build up our emergency fun. Thank you for reminding me of how important this is.

    • You are very welcome Shelley. I hope the reminder helps. I don’t want to be a frog in a pot ever again.