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No. of Recommendations: 4
Hi CatfishDB,

My thought to make budgeting more interesting is keep a balance sheet on you and DW's finances listing all liabilities down one column and all assets down the other.

Total up the assets and subtract the liabilities hopefully this a positive number but, even so does not really matter, it's just a number.

Now, give purpose to your budget a goal. How quickly can you increase your Net worth by 10K? IMO trying to eat the HELOC elephant all at once could easily become frustrating its to far over the hill. For the numbers your using it should only take you a few months to get to that goal. How many days did it take? Reward your selves a bit after the 10K by increasing you or DW's 401K by 1% more or to a ROTH. Then push yourselves for the next 10K on net worth.

Catfish, I agree with your DW, budgeting by itself sucks – But, if you use budgeting to work for a goal, then you have something there.

What drives me to budget is small goals. Presently all I want from my budget is another 1% of DW's income or 14.5 cents and hour, by itself that sounds like nothing much but, by having little goals like this I am in the wonderful position where the next raise I get, should be next month, I will raise DW's 401K since I already contribute at a rate that will max out my 401K and Roth. So my guess it really will not take that long to get her saving percentage way up.

With such a large chunk of debt it takes a lot of determination and discipline but, if you will divide into easier milestones it's not so hard. I would highly recommend some reward at each milestone – Note - it is probably not a good idea to have the reward be spending for a while – I would suggest something that increase you Net worth but also gives you the feeling the budget is doing more than directing money down a bottomless pit of a HELOC.

Roy (little goals, big dreams, that kind of stuff….:0)

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