Monday, June 29, 2009

What was the hardest part?

Another question Dave asked us. For me, this answer is simple... just getting started. Tim had talked about this financial guy on the radio. I already knew we needed to stop using our credit cards (and we actually had). I didn't need some guy to tell me some thing I already knew... especially some guy that is on Christian talk radio stations. I love my husband to death, but he listens to some crazy guys on the radio. Why would I listen to it too!?!

I'm not even sure exactly what convinced me to listen - to Tim or Dave. I know we started talking about it when we started trying to get pregnant 2 summers ago. I had just gotten sued and we were trying to figure out if it was "worth it" for me to even continue to keep working. We had often talked about me staying home with the kids. I just never believed we could "pull it off". We weren't hurting for money, but I thought it would be far too stressful making the decisions and sacrifices we would need to in order to make it from day to day. Tim was convinced that we could make it and said that if we just put the numbers on paper we could prove it.

The very first budget we made was so stressful. In my head, a budget meant we were restricting ourselves. It took a long time for me to realize that wasn't the case (I'll save that for another post). What was the real eye opener for me was when we were discussing food. We went back to our bank records to figure out our average food bill over the past few months. In groceries alone we were spending well over $700. That's just INSANE! That is when I knew we needed to get serious. We were wasting our money.

When I saw that I got real anal about the whole thing and insisted we start tracking every penny. It took a couple months before we really got the hang of what worked for us. We started with the envelope/cash system, but I found it hard to really keep track of every thing and often forgot our envelopes at home when we needed it. It was too much work shuffling things around. We ultimately figured out that the debit card was the best tracking tool for us. We started buying EVERY THING on our card (chosing credit, instead of debit of course) so we could sit down with our on-line record each Sunday and make sure we had accounted for every thing. About that same time, Tim bought the Financial Peace University kit on sale and we started listening. It wasn't long before it all "clicked" with me and I quickly became the "nerd" of the relationship. Once we got started and I could start seeing progress, it made it a lot easier to keep the momentum. And, just like the snowball... things really started rolling from there!

1 comment:

Kara said...

So, talk to me about sinking funds ... did you guys set them up? I know you didn't really use the envelope system, but how did you decide what categories needed to be in your budget?

Thanks!

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