Thursday, June 30, 2011

Murphy's Law

Anything that can go wrong - will go wrong.

I always thought people that said this were too cynical, but it turns out either I am also cynical, or there is truth behind it.  Every time we had a couple of good months - BAM! - we had a really bad month that took us two steps back.  Yeah, we got our credit card paid off! The same month we had to replace walls and tile in our bathroom because of a leak behind the shower.  Here is what your e-fund (that $1000 from step 1) is for.

~You don't want to add new debt (if at all possible) so that is why step 1 comes first.~


Baby step 1 and 2

I put these two steps together because somehow we actually already had $1000 in savings.  It was in a savings account I had from before we got married and just never moved it to our joint account, so hey, we were on our way!  One down, 6 to go!

Baby step 2 (paying off all non-mortgage debt) is not as easy.  We were looking at mountains (to us anyways) of bills.  I am going to be very real here and go ahead and list them...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Making our Budget

First thing we did was sit down and write out all of our average expenses over the past 3 months.  This was a little time consuming, but not too difficult because we always used credit/debit cards so there were paper trails for everything.  Let me just say, it was embarassing to see the amount of money we (a family of 2 up until this point) spent on food.  I figured we spent $250/mo at the grocery store; I was off by...

What now?

Faced with the fact that I was not going to be able to stay at home under our current financial situation, we looked at ways we could change it.  There were two obvious answers to our problem: 
1) make more money
2) spend less money
Both of these sound very simple, and they really are, but doing either one is very hard.  My husband already works 50+ hours a week (he is in ministry and takes his work EVERYWHERE with him) so him getting another job was going to be difficult, and we were looking at this so I could work less, so me getting another job was not going to happen.  So, we went with option #2 - spend less money.  Where could we cut back?  Financial surgery (budgetting) is where we had to start. 

My next post tells about our struggle to actually start a budget and how we did it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Eye Opening Moment

I had just brought my son home from the hospital; he was born 6 weeks early and had to stay in the NICU for 2 weeks before he got to come home, but as soon as I sat down on the couch holding him it hit me - I want to be a stay at home mom.  There is no way in the world I can leave my new little love, so my husband, Chris, and I sat down and looked at our income and expenses to see how possible this new idea was.  As we sat and looked at our finances all written out (for the first time in the whole 2 years we had been married) not only did we see that it would be impossible for me to quit my job without us living on the streets; we also realized we were spending more then we made.  It was an eye opening experience to say the least.  This moment in April, 2010 is where it all started for us.  This is where we declared war on debt.  This is where our debt free journey began.