So, part of my post that got lost in the Blogger hiccup yesterday was about getting back on track with our budget. I've still been tracking our expenses, so that's not the issue. We've gotten lazy about what we're spending our money on, though. The line between "needs" and "wants" has gotten blurred. Yes, Addison needed clothes for the next size up... but probably not as many as I bought her. Yes, the broadcast spreader works better than the one we had but either will do the job.
I can't speak for Tim, but for me I have gotten good at justifying things. The biggest justification is that we can "afford it". Like I said, we're tracking every penny and the money is there... it just probably should have been more focused toward debt. I guess that's the other justification. We're SO CLOSE to being debt free and we've paid HUGE sums toward debt already that I don't feel that guilt that often motivates people in the early stages of Baby Step 2. Well, I think it's time to get back on track and put things in perspective again.
Last night, Tim and I sat down and started putting some numbers down on paper. When we first started the Dave Ramsey program, the numbers were so big that we couldn't even get our arms around a realistic time table. I remember thinking that we would be doing REALLY well if we could have the school loan (the largest debt other than the house) paid off by the time Troy started school. This was a huge leap since my goal used to be having it paid off before they started college. When we sat down last night we realized that we could actually be debt free before the end of the summer... and if we're really diligent, we could probably have our emergency fund fully funded by the end of the year. This will take some discipline and effort, but it could be done.
So, what's the plan. First of all, having a goal is the best thing we can do. We know it can be done and we're determined to do it. Knowing that it's attainable is motivating. Very motivating. It would probably only be 3 months worth of expenses in the emergency fund, but it can be done. One small thing I'm doing is pledging "NO E-BAY IN MAY". Sounds silly, but I can totally get addicted to buying clothes on e-bay. It's evil. We're also participating in a neighborhood garage sale this weekend. I don't think we'll do as well as last year (not as much stuff), but I'm hoping to make a couple hundred dollars. Every little bit helps, right?! I think garage sales also help keep you grounded. It makes you realize that you don't need nearly as much stuff as you thought you did at one point. That's always a good thing when you are trying to keep your unnecessary spending to a minimum. The biggest part of the plan, though, is accountability. Now that I've told all of you what we're planning on doing, we better stick to it!