Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

A couple of weeks ago after reading a book entitled "Total Money Makeover," Robyn and I decided to make a strict budget and combine bank accounts in an effort to live more frugally, save money, and try and tackle my crippling student loan debt that threatens to tear our marriage apart. I wanted to stay with Wells Fargo. She wanted to stay with Zion's Bank. We had both been with our respective banks for about 10 years. As is often the case, I acquiesced, and closed my Wells Fargo accounts. It was a gut wrenching scene down at the local WF branch as the bank employee pleaded with me through tears to tell her what they had done wrong to lose my business. After a few noble but ultimately unfruitful attempts to retain me as a customer, I took my $13 and deposited it in Zion's Bank.

Back to this Total Money Makeover thing. Dave Ramsey, the author, suggests that people live a pretty spartan lifestyle, sacrificing things you want now to pay off debts and save for the future. Arguably the most important part of that process is making a budget and ridding yourself of unneeded expenditures. The following is the Steeners' September budget to give you an idea of what a well-rounded budget looks like (some of these items are bought monthly in bulk and stored for future use):

Groceries: $100
Utilities: $150
Gas: $200
Shark Repellant: $175
Roofing Nails: $250
New Clothes Budget (Robyn): $1,000
New Clothes Budget (Matt): $25
Monthly Donation to Daughters of the American Revolution: $500
Scented Candles: $45
Fake Eyelashes (Robyn): $75
Typhoon Insurance: $125
Hand Soap: $75
Dryer Sheets: $100
Entertainment: $500
Eating Out: $700
Maid Service: $400
Fantasy Football: $50
Massage/Pedicures: $200
Ice Cream: $200
Ice Cream Toppings: $100
Emergency Replacement Cabinet Door Grabs: $250
Car Air Fresheners: $100
Lint Brushes: $100

Finally, I know that most of our 6 or 7 blog readers are friends of Robyn. Please know that I badger her almost daily to post something on here and my admonitions go unheeded. Please do whatever you can to encourage her to contribute to the Steeners' blog and keep it going.


Rumsey's said...

Glad you got so much out of that budget book.

We love your posts.

We're still stuck in San Diego (boo hoo... )

Clark dislocated his shoulder 9 years ago when he was snowboarding, then again on his mission, and then surfing last week. Does Matt know how to pop his back into place yet? A lot of surfers at my dad's surf camp know how to do it because it happens so often!

Love you guys,

Clark & Natalie

The Brophy's said...

I think the most sad thing about your budget is that Robyn's clothing allowance is probably a little too low!! You know most people I know combine accounts right after they get married. With Robyn's spending I think you were smart to give it a year or so before really taking the plunge. Good Luck!! And you know I love you Bobs!

Shawna Faye said...

Here's a few budget pointers. Eyelashes, new clothes budget(Robyn's), ice cream and shark repellant are all non-negotiable budget items. Groceries, utilities and insurance are the things you should try to cut back on. Then you take whatever you saved and sink it back into the new clothes budget to pad it a bit more.

Btw, I'm one of the 6 or 7 blog readers, but I must admit, I check your blog for updates at least twice a day. Kudos to you Matt for keeping me entertained here at work. Tell Robyn hi for me!

Jackie said...

A budget? What's that? It's hard to budget with Josh getting so many raises.

Barack said...


Your budget is like that of so many other bitter, religious, non-elite, proletarian rabble who are going to vote for me this November.

Why should you have to choose between paying off your student loans and, say, a lavish vacation in the Mediterranean? As Most Rad Deadsexiest President Ever, I will rescue you from your own poor decisions!

People have been budgeting and sacrificing for years. WE NEED CHANGE!!! WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!!!

But how? It's very simple. Evil unpatriotic rich people and corporations have too much money. You have too little. I take from them, give to you. Done.

I've become such a big fan of your blog. But where's Robyn??? Please tell me she's not hunting moose in Alaska. I HATE women who hunt moose in Alaska.

Your inevitable leader and embodiment of cool,


bradnlisa said...

Matt-love the budget! I think the shark repellant is especially important to have. I bet Robyn will blog when she's good and ready to. Keep up the good budget work!

Heather said...

Matt, I love your humor. I'm still laughing. Tell Robyn we miss her blogging more than she can imagine, and THANK YOU, THANK YOU for finally posting more! :)

Heather said...

P.S. CONGRATS!!!! What a relief to pass the boards. You are the man.

Rumsey's said...

Robyn, do you have facebook? I added someone with your name, but wasn't sure if it was you because there isn't a photo.

Jessica said...

Dave Ramsey ruined my life.