My Growing Family: The Reason I Love Budgets

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I believe that for most, managing your money well starts with a single moment. An epiphany. Something happens that stops you in your tracks and brings your money issues right to the forefront of your mind, showing you that you need a financial plan.

For me, that moment came when I got engaged to my now beautiful wife of over 5 years. I realized that I had blown through a TON of money, and without a financial plan in place, our marriage was going to start off in a world of financial trouble.

Michelle Engagement

We got on a wicked awesome budget, payed off debt while living in $14 an hour, and realized that money was just a tool to allow us to enjoy the more important things in life; each other.

I had a similar moment again when my wife showed me a positive pregnancy test in April of 2011. We had financially come a long way, but that moment changed everything. Knowing that my wife would be at home in 9 months lit a fire under me that has not stopped burning to this day.

Mr Nolan


And seeing my baby boy’s face confirmed once again that our money was just a tool to build a foundation that would allow us to enjoy every minute of being brand new parents.

On January 3rd, 2014, at 8:05pm, for the first time, I laid eyes on the most beautiful site, our newborn baby girl. In that moment, I was no longer just a daddy, but a daddy to a daughter. I cannot express how amazingly overjoyed I am to be daddy to a wonderful little girl, and my desire to provide for our family has never been stronger.


I am incredibly blessed, as evidenced in the pictures above. And these blessings are also the reason I LOVE BUDGETS.

A budget in and of itself is stupid. It’s putting a bunch of numbers on paper and trying to make them better and better (more income, less expenses, blah blah blah). But when you realize that a budget is just a tool, a guide to get you to the important things in life, they have meaning. And for me, my family is THE motivation for managing my money well. And my family is the reason that I Heart Budgets.

Thank you for stopping by my site. I highly recommend anyone looking for money answers to start by finding out WHY you want to manage your money better. Maybe you have had THAT moment and ended up here to take action and build a plan to achieve your new goals. Or maybe you haven’t had that moment, and are unsure of what really motivates you in life. In either case, finding the WHY will give you the motivation fuel you need to get moving with a life-changing, stress reducing, wonderfully freeing financial plan. And it’s called a budget.

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade has been a nationally-recognized personal finance expert for the past decade. He has written professionally for The Balance, The Spruce, LendingTree, Investing Answers, and other widely-followed sites. 
He’s also been a featured expert on CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, Go Banking Rates, and AOL Finance.

In 2018, Jacob quit his job and his family decided to sell everything (including their home) to take off on an adventure. They traveled the country in an RV for nearly 3 years, visiting over 38 states, 20+ national parks and eventually settling in the sunshine state!

38 thoughts on “My Growing Family: The Reason I Love Budgets”

  1. Congrats to your family! Knowing why you’re saving is a really powerful motivation to keep doing so – even for those of us who don’t have tiny people to care for. =)

  2. Congratulations mate your daughter is beautiful and you are both so very blessed. I can understand why your passion to budget and provide for your family are so strong. You make it right when you take that initiative for them. Mr.CBB

  3. Awwwww, congrats to you, Michelle and a BIG BROTHER! You will see an amazing change in your son. Those protective instincts will kick right in (unless he’s trying to see how much rough stuff she can take!). I remember my oldest at about 19 mos hearing her 2 month old sister crying. I watched as my baby/big girl ran straight to her toy bin and put on her stethoscope and proceed to check her sister’s head! All the while saying “shhhh shhhh, it’s otay baby lala”.

    You are all very blessed…just breathe it all in!

  4. Wow, congrats man! You’re a lucky guy. But then again, they’re pretty lucky too. I hope you guys are enjoying (and surviving) these first days as parents of two. It’s such an awesome time and I know you’ll cherish it. Can’t wait to hear more!

  5. Congrats. Everyone has advice, and well, if you’re reading this here is mine. Don’t waste the moments to snuggle and hold the baby, because soon she’ll be punching you in the neck when you try to hold her.

    The first 6 months are the best!

  6. Hi Jacob, great article. Congratulations on your baby girl! It’s obvious you absolutely adore your kids. I can relate, I have a 20 month old little girl and she is such a joy for my wife and I. Once you have kids, it’s amazing how your priorities change when it comes to finances. We had to make some big financial changes to get ready for starting a family, including getting rid of all debt and preparing to live on one income – which is not always that easy in my area.

  7. Congrats! She is beautiful and I love your financial redemption story.

    I will share a slightly unconventional way that budgets have and hopefully will benefit my family. Without getting into the ugly details, my husband and I realized last year that a healthy pregnancy may very likely not be in the cards for us. We were devastated. We started looking into adoption which got us excited but were frustrated with the high costs associated with it. We’ve always been decent budgeters, but had been slacking for a while. We made some tweaks and recommitted ourselves to living frugally, and have now saved over 25% towards our adoption fund :). We are hoping to get started with the process later this year.

    Although the pain of infertility and loss is real for us, it would have been much, much worse if we were buried in debt and with no savings. It also would have delayed our adoption dreams. I don’t share this story to make myself sound awesome (I’m really not), but to say how living on a budget can benefit a family in so many aspects of life, even if not in the ways you thought it would.

  8. Congratulations, she’s beautiful! That’s a great reason to heart budgets 🙂

    Family is always the best reason to do anything, isn’t it? The chance to spend more time with family is fueling my debt payoff and saving currently. I can’t think of a better reason to get my financial shit under control.


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