Check-up

by GettingFreedom on September 2, 2008

Can you believe that it is September?! Wow. September is a lot of things for me. First, Labor Day. What a nice end to Summer. That and eight years ago on Labor Day, my oldest son was born. *sniff*

Hard to believe.

Also, fall is near. Fall is my favorite season. So cozy. Pumpkins. Apples. Cider. Bonfires. Oh the joy.

This September marks another thing to remember. Just one year ago my church offered the FPU courses by Dave Ramsey. Before these courses I had no earthly idea who that man was. Today, I owe a lot of my sanity to him!! In the last year, my husband and I have paid off over $16,000 worth of debt. Wow. To see that written out is just amazing!! What else is amazing is we have had no change in our income. It is the same today, as it was last year when we were thinking we were flat out broke. All our bills were being paid, we just didn’t have anything extra to play with (so we thought). We’ve even managed to save close to $300o in the process. Amazing. That is what that is. To see how much the Lord is rewarding us for our attempt to be good stewards, just floors me.

The light at the end of the (once) neverending debt tunnel, has never shone brighter. The end is near and I love it!

August was pretty good for us. We could have done better, but my addiction to paying bills sorta got in the way. I had forgotten about some expenses that came up, and used the extra to pay extra on the CC, only to figure out we needed it somewhere else.

OOPS!

However, we are currently only about $350 in CC debt. This compared to the $7000 in January. This would be gone, but we used the CC to buy Willie’s mom her 50th birthday present. She had a ton of old home movies on Beta, but no working Beta machine to play them on. We found one for her on Ebay, and was suppossed to be reimbursed by his siblings, but we never were. So, there we were. Moving on.

Basically the rest of our debt is the lawnmower we just got, and our truck. If we stay on track, which we have been, we should be completly done at the beginning of 2010.

We have had some set backs, but it is nice to know that even with those, we are still on target. My original goal of being CC free by the end of August didn’t happen. This goal however was in place before we bought the lawnmower, so I was thinking it would have to be moved to September anyway. So, September it is.

Then, we are going to snowball this money onto the truck. Originally we were going to put it on the lawnmower (which this would be what Dave Ramsey recommends since it is the smaller debt) but we want the truck debt down and gone.

My main goal for September is to get my grocery budget down. This is a struggle for me for one reason or another. I get good deals and all, but it seems as if I still buy too much food. I probably have enough food for a year, not including my meager stockpile. Okay, maybe just 6 months, but still! Currently we spend about $400/mo in groceries (this however is down from pre-Dave Ramsey. We were spending $600 plus and didn’t even know it or have anything to show for it). Hopefully, in September I can get this down to $300, and then we will go from there. I really want his number to be at the $200 mark.

And really, that is about it. Just a question to throw out there though, how much do you spend on groceries and how many are you buying for?







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Check-up

by GettingFreedom on July 10, 2008

Even though finances seem to be somewhat of a personal issue, we are pretty open about it. I have, through reading other blogs, found encouragement from others and hope that maybe my successes and failures could help someone in the same situation I have found myself in. Being in Financial Peace is very important to my family and one day we will be there!

I decided to go ahead and post my financial check-up even though June was a crazy month.
Before I knew it, it was over. However, all in all, God truly sent the blessings our way! Here is the recap:

  • We went farther into debt due to lawn mower situations….which was our biggest downer for the month.
  • We still managed to pay a little bit on our credit card debt. To the tune of: $150. We’re dwindling it down slowly…but atleast it is shrinking…right?!
  • We had some medical bills that came in, and instead of letting them pile up, we took the money out of our EF (emergency fund) to pay for them. This left us with only $850, instead of the $1000. We plan on replacing that as soon as we can…although I just got another medical bill in the mail this week!
  • In looking back through our bank statements, I “found” $100 that we just spent. I really thought we were doing good on our budget…apparently not. That would’ve been very beneficial on our CC debt!

So..my goals for July would be to have better control on our spending and hold ourselves more accountable. Cash is a must in this family! The extra money that was spent last month was due to debit card usuage…and in all honestly it is probably higher than $100 if I really analyzed it, and would make myself more accountable. June was rough for us though because we had to make 2 trips to the “city” almost 2 hours away for doctor visits. I didn’t add those expenses into the “found” money…although I probably should have…I’m afraid of that figure..so we’ll dismiss it! Well hopefully this little check-up will come as a reminder to me during this month, and remind me to do cash only and to give every dollar a name. When FPU first started we were much more strict with this, and as time has went on, the newness wore off. I see now why it is so important to do check-ups…you see exactly what is going on, instead of what you have fooled yourself into believing.

Also, our goal was to be completly credit card debt free by the end of August so that we could begin to dwindle down Willie’s truck payment with gazelle intesity. Now that we have the new debt of the lawn mower it will come first (after the cc)…which pushes everything else back. Hopefully not too far! In order to have the credit card paid for by the end of August we will have to pay $600 for both July and August. With school just around the corner, I just don’t know that we can accomplish that. We’re going to try. Afterall, God IS amazing!

If you have been thinking about doing Dave Ramsey’s plan, but just haven’t taken the step forward to do so….I highly recommend that you run to go buy his Total Money Makeover book, or you enroll in his FPU courses. It is worth your time, effort and investment. Hands down.

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