Hello again, wow 2 posts in one week hey look at me….I am actually taking the time to eat lunch and write a post imagine that! I wanted to update you guys on some of the budget changes we made and our progress on paying off the house.
For the last 5 months or so we started using cash envelopes for our grocery, eating out, and fun money. We normally used credit cards to purchase everything and then would record our payments using the GoodBudget app, but we found ourselves veering off track and spending more. It is easier to do when you just swipe a card and don’t really think about it. We would tell ourselves “oh we are close enough we can spend a little more”. Well once that bad behavior keeps happening month after month we noticed that we didn’t have as much money leftover as we planned hmmmm where did it all go??? To food, beer, and going out….it adds up quick when you aren’t paying attention! So, we decided to start using cash for these things to keep us on track. Now, at the beginning of the month, we get our entire month’s worth of grocery and food money that we budget in cash. Same thing for our fun money, we withdraw the cash for the whole month of budgeted fun. We will keep the cash in separate envelopes and only grab what we might need weekly so we aren’t carrying around a huge pile of cash with us everywhere. And once that cash is gone, then that’s it no more food or going out until the next month! We have found that we are way more disciplined with our budget when we have it in cash….we can see exactly how much we have and what we have left to spend. Having that visual keeps us from over spending and in fact sometimes we don’t even spend it all and move it to the next month! If you are having trouble staying on budget in certain areas definitely try using cash.
We also cut even more things out…we cancelled our gym membership that we have had for like 10 years and I cancelled my Jazzercise membership. The prices on both kept going up every month and we didn’t feel like spending $150 a month for these things. We decided we are going to use the beautiful outdoors to get our cardio on and just the weights and dumbbells that we already have at home. We can run up and down the hills around us and then come home to lift and squat it up. Right now we would rather use that money for traveling or paying off the house that is $1,800 a year so we cut those expenses from our budget.
Speaking of paying off the house, our new goal is to have it completely paid off by this August!! We haven’t been as intense on the extra payments lately but now that my business has more steady income and the hubs got a raise at work we can start throwing extra money at it again. In fact, on April 1st we will be paying $10,000 towards it and that is no joke! We saved up, sold a car, and tax season has been good to me so we decided to save that extra money in order to pay more on the mortgage. We just need 2 more big chunks like this and we will be completely debt free! We do have plans to do our debt free scream on the Dave Ramsay show once we are all done so I will let you know when we go and you can hear/see us! It has been a 5 year journey so we plan on celebrating big!!
Now, I am not sharing this with you to brag or show off….I wanted to show you that it can be done. We are not millionaires, we are not trust fund babies, we are regular middle class people. We worked full time jobs and had student loans, car loans, and a mortgage just like most Americans. We have even made that mistake of cashing out a retirement fund to pay for things. The only thing different about us now is that we woke up and began to budget and plan. We realized that being in debt means you are trapped always having to work to pay these bills and wondering where all your money went. So we sat down figured out where all our money was going and changed it. We made a budget and a plan for every single dollar coming in. We paid off debts one by one which gave us more money to work with every month. We sacrificed by not going out all the time, having vacations every year, or buying bigger and newer things we didn’t need. I now truly understand when Dave Ramsay says “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else”. Yeah you may have to sacrifice and cut some things out of your life for a little while but once you do then you have all this freedom and flexibility. You live like a pauper so that later you can live like a king! When you aren’t trapped you can do anything you want to….travel the world, start your own business, stay at home with the kids, whatever would make you happy. You no longer have any risk to do what you want to do with your life because you are no longer a slave to bills. You may not be able to pay an extra $10,000 all at once but how about $100, $500 or $1,000 extra? You have to start small but the important thing is to start and you will gain momentum. Find out where your money is going and change it….if we can do it so can you!