Worrying about car bills, feeling guilty over haircuts, or never having a holiday because we can’t justify the expense is no longer an issue.
My wife and I started using Grandma’s Jars 18 months into our marriage. Prior to this we had thought we were pretty savvy with our finances, especially as I’m an accountant. The system I’d imposed was a very steep savings target each month to help pay off our student loans as quickly as possible. Whilst it appeared we were reaching our savings goals, the reality was this was never true savings. My overly hopeful and optimistic outlook meant we were actually under-budgeting each month for what our actual needs were. We then constantly had to claw more money back from our savings account frequently to meet daily needs. This led to us feeling guilty and stressed each time we withdrew for ‘unexpected’ expenses, such as car registrations, university fees, new shoes and doctors visits, or ‘unnecessary’ expenses, such as going out for dinner, the movies or having a coffee. Things got so bad, my poor wife ended up feeling terrible every time she needed her hair cut! Obviously, something had to change.
It was at this time a friend recommended Grandma’s Jars to us. We were a bit unsure about this form of budgeting as it sounded like a lot of work and hassle, but we quickly came to realise the immense benefits and freedom that comes from this form of budgeting. We still have strong savings goals, but we also have a realistic understanding of our spending needs. Not much is ‘unexpected’ anymore as we have planned for most expenses and have the allotted amounts set aside to deal with them when they arise. We also realised we have room in our budget for ‘unnecessary’ expenses and see that they are actually beneficial to the strengthening of our marriage and wellbeing. Also, now when I calculate how much we can put in to our savings each month, I know with certainty that it is true savings, which gives us a real excitement about where we’ll be financially in the future.
Where GJs has helped us to calculate with certainty our ‘true’ savings each month to pay off our student loans. It has also enabled us to look beyond this debt to long-term financial goals and rewards, such as overseas travel. This meant that the day my brother told us he was having his wedding in Fiji, we didn’t even have to think about where the money would come from or how we could justify the expense when we still had a loan. As we’ve already been putting money aside for travel, we can remain excited about his wedding instead of stressing or worrying about the cost of it.
To sum up our experience of GJs, we both feel immense financial freedom. Our student loan debts are almost completely paid off, we are still saving, and yet we are still enjoying the present. Worrying about car bills, feeling guilty over haircuts, or never having a holiday because we can’t justify the expense is no longer an issue. We highly recommending GJs to all our friends and family.