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...
$XXX!!!  And we aren't even going to mention eating out.  It was just sad really, the amount of money we were WASTING.  That made me angry and very determined to make this budgetting thing work, whatever it took.

After taking a long hard look at our actual numbers we discussed what we would like our budget to look like. What some realistic amounts would be for us in each category.  We wanted amounts that was well within our budget, something we could stick to, but also amounts that would leave us with some money left over for savings.  Sounds good right? 

Well, there were two things wrong with this picture.
1)  If you leave savings to "the money left over" you're never going to have savings.  At least in our case, there were not ANY leftovers.
2)  After all of our bills, debt repayments (including outrageous medical bills from our newborns NICU stay), and necessary expenses (groceries, gas, and the tiniest bit of fun money) we did not have leftovers.  That was a sad day indeed.

So, we decided that we had to get out of debt. Completely!  Could it be done? We have never known life without car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc...  I'm not sure we really thought it was possible, but we kept coming back to - "what if it is?"  That is when I discovered Dave Ramsey and was instantly hooked.  I poured over his Total Money Makeover book and Chris and I got on board the debt free bandwagon.  He makes it sound so easy, giving simple to follow "baby steps" - this is exactly what I had been looking for!

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