I have a confession.
I need a total money makeover. AGAIN. I’m in my mid thirties. I’ve fallen in to the trap of allowing debt, and although my book smarts side always knew it was not the right way to do things, I just have been lazy and complacent about knocking it out. Well, no more! It’s not just the debt. It’s how I’ve handled money. Two years ago we had completed most of these steps successfully. And frankly, who else is paying attention to that. We are the “Joneses.”
The epiphany came when my kindergartner wanted something from the store, and it was expensive for just a run of the mill shopping sort of day. I think it was a Lego set that was around $80. When I told him no, he simply and innocently replied, “just use the card. That’s where money comes from.” THAT MOMENT. Dagger to my heart. I realized that my actions are being watched so ever closely by the little man I am hoping to raise to be responsible, and I was completely glazing over that money is part of that equation.
We just sort of fell in to a rut. “Business debt isn’t the same as personal debt.” We are lying to ourselves. In the end, WE are responsible to pay for it, so let’s get it GONE. I’m the spender. Big time. I love buying my oils, and I just tracked my spending habits for Starbucks alone last month. $268. I love caramel macchiatos, but that’s a debt payment right there! Starbucks, I love you. I really do. But you have got to go. (We can visit for special occasions or when I get gift cards.) There’s also the health aspect. That daily coffee has so much sugar it’s crazy. And I could stand to lose a little jiggle in my middle. So my physical health can benefit from my financial health boost too. Not to mention the waste this habit produces.
Insert Dave Ramsey. Not familiar with DR principles? He wrote a book called The Total Money Makeover (affiliate link) that just puts things into simplistic form so you don’t need to strategize so hard. Yeah, we probably could all figure it out on our own through trial and error, but when you have debt hanging over you every month and needing to get bills paid, why stress over strategy too? There’s a great following of people in the same shoes, paying off debt one step at a time. I appreciate the community when I need it. This month, getting the “Baby Step 1” back in order and safely away from our regular spending accounts. It also is a free checking account, so no worries on fees.
Also, I know Dave isn’t a proponent of buying a house in this stage. But, rent would be higher than the payment is and we are in the middle of the process. It’s a commitment now we cannot, and will not, back out of. More on that later, I promise.
Bye, bye bad habits!
A few weeks ago, as usual, I just went on an online shopping spree. Amazon Prime, you are my downfall too! I ordered this wallet (affiliate link) by Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey’s daughter. It’s meant to be a trendy cash based wallet system that isn’t clunky like Dave’s paper envelope system. Paper and I, we just don’t mesh. I tend to spill my coffee on them too. Also, do you see the irony here? I’m using a credit card to buy a wallet to use cash. I’m so awful. It’s time to get those scissors out and cut up those cards. Also need to delete the saved card numbers from every online site I will be tempted to go to in the future! Amazon, we cannot be friends. Sorry.
Anyway… The wallet is mine and tags are gone and it’s going to keep me on track. It’s just so pretty. I’ve loaded it up, and made my own clips. They’re just mini binder clips that I used stickers on so I could write on them instead of the ones it came with. I LOVE LABELS. The wallet isn’t flimsy like my Target cheapies. I think it is close to designer grade, as a non fashion expert. I cannot really *feel* a difference between the Coach wallet I have that is supposed to hold a bazillion credit cards but no space for cash. Hmmmm…. see the trend?
My clips are ready to go, the credit cards are no longer there. I’m working on the budget for January now, and with hubby’s help, we can get on track while still building this house. There’s just so much clutter right now in my life, that I don’t know if it was an attempt to make us feel at home or what, but it’s not working. I’m really anxious all the time right now. I’m going to be working on that as well, but in all honesty, the money situation is a big, big part of it.
January is going to be a NO SPEND MONTH. It means that other than absolute necessities and doing the Total Money Makeover, no free spending whatsoever. I’ll need to be talked off the edge I’m sure, but what better way to start 2017 than financially lean and mean! I have plenty of crafts to do for the month, between the quilt I started squares for and the 2017 Sew Along Wardrobe I’m participating in (I already have the piles of fabric). I know I can do this. Pray for me. This is scary!
Goals for January:
- Get Baby Step 1 (BS1) funded and safe in our alternate bank.
- No spending other than absolute essentials and required debt payments.
- BUY NO STARBUCKS COFFEES. *tears*
- Start on my handmade wardrobe, and complete first item. (It’s a sweater!)
- Complete at least 24 quilt squares for quilt.
- Finish knitting my first scarf. (YouTube taught me!)
- Weed through closet and organize per “Konmari” principles.
- Menu plan for month, keeping balance between cost and nutrition needs.
- Track budget through Every Dollar app.
- Have weekly budget meetings with my husband where we cover budget as well as build updates on the house.