We sold our second car right before we moved from San Diego. When looking for the location of our house, we really wanted something close to Isaac's work. That left our options a little limited, but not as limited as one would think. Our town has a great public transportation system and we knew that would be an option if needs be. Our house, however, ended up being just a couple of blocks away from work and is easily walked to. Well, except when it's the dead of winter, of course. So far we haven't really noticed a lack in being a one car family, but there are times we talk about getting a second one. We saw a small electric car at the farmer's market a few weeks ago and we're both really intrigued. We're thinking that may be the perfect way to go for an extra around town / errands / Isaac to work when it's cold car. However, we haven't had a car payment in nearly nine years, so when the time comes, we'll most definitely have to have the money saved to pay for it in cash. Time to open another savings account!
Why is money such a taboo topic? I think specifics, sure, aren't for general knowledge, but I think general budgeting items are helpful - the whole it takes a village thing; this is what works for us, maybe it'll help someone concept. I don't know. We love knowing what works for others and our budget is definitely flexible enough to incorporate different ideas.
Isaac and I are both savers. Always have been. There were a couple of years in my 20s when that got away from me (and trust me, I hated EVERY second of it and had it cause lots of misery!), but after we got married, we dug ourselves out of that debt hole and never looked back. I think one of my proudest moments is how we saved and paid off debt while in grad school. We're also a cash family - in fact, I went to the grocery store the other day and my favorite cashier mentioned how odd it was for me to pay with a card instead of cash! After everything gets thrown into one of our (many!) savings accounts, I take out money for groceries and household that week. It's a set amount and when it's gone, it's gone. It may not work for everyone, but for us, it's nice to know that we don't have any credit card debt (something that is easy to have get out of control) and the different savings for different things, for us, gives us the mentality that specific accounts are for 'something' and we surprisingly don't touch them. It's funny to think we've been on a variation of this budget for ten years now. I secretly think the tellers at our bank think we're nuts with our millions of accounts, but hey! It works...
One of the first things we did as a couple was establish "our money". You know, Isaac and my allowance (how I hate that word and wish there was another besides mad money!). Coming from my divorce, I felt it important to the life of our marriage that we both had spending money that was unaccounted for. The amount has changed from that first $5 / payday we had, but the concept is alive and well. It's saved many an argument and frustration with us!
All of this money talk was important to us and especially important to show Isaac that the debt I came with was truly not me. We had a simple action plan for the debt laid out before we were married and then the budget is reviewed and changed as needed. We wanted to really talk about what was important to us and start early in meeting those goals. It's worked well so far. We know, with our situation, that Sammy will be in a different financial position than either of us ever were. Our talks lately stem from that. We don't want him to be ungrateful. We want him to know how to work his way through college...just maybe not as hard as we both did! I think it may be time to pull out the book so we're ready.