– When planning our cash flow (budgeting), we always look at two sources to help us think ahead: the bills and the calendar.   Bills show us what variable utilities like electric and water will cost.  Our calendar helps us look ahead to events and trips that will cost money this month or in the months to come.

– If you’re committing to living with no debt, looking ahead and planning for larger expenses becomes imperative.  Divide the amount you need to spend by the number of months you have to save to show how much you need to save each month.  If you need to replace a computer to the tune of $1000, and you have five months to save for it, we’ve got to be saving $200 each month.  A savings tracker spreadsheet can be helpful for this.

– The way to get both spouses involved in the planning process is to have the one who doesn’t do as much of the budgeting/cash flow management change something on the spending plan.  That creates buy-in, because both spouses have had a hand in the creation of the plan.  It changes it from a plan that one spouse has dictated to another spouse, to a plan that both have jointly created.  The difference is subtle, but powerful and important.