Sunday, January 16, 2011

Moolah Monday - Debt Free Living

I'd be lying if I said we were debt free.  I'd also be lying if I said we were working on it.  Well, not lying per se, but that certainly wouldn't be the truth.  In fact, in the last year, we've certainly jumped feet first into significant debt with the purchase of a new home and a new car.  Nevertheless, debt-free living is our goal. 

What's the plan?  At some point my husband discovered Dave Ramsey and his seven baby steps.  The biggest challenge for us in this process, which involves working on building up a small saving before paying off all debt except the house, then saving up a sizeable emergency fund before working on other investment opportunities, is simply to be diligent in doing it!  It should be fairly easy for us to get past baby step one, but admittedly that's where we are at this moment.  It probably has to do with moving into a new house and everything else that has gone on in the past year, but we're gonna get back into it, God willing. 

We were great at following a budget back before our son was born.  We needed to learn to live off less so that we could save up enough to provide while I took the full leave allotted (it ended up being 13 weeks).  Because we had to, I was able to learn to save $700 each month simply by following a budget.  At that point the goal was $1 per person, per meal, or $125 per month for food for the two of us.  Most months we did just fine.  What was the key?  Having a serious goal - and being passionate about reaching it. 

Probably most important?  Being on the same page as my spouse. 

Nowadays we have a loose budget in our head.  Clearly we never stick to it because, well, I know what's in our bank account and I already told you we're on baby step one despite there being no real reason we should still be there.  We've been given grace in this area, but its not where we want to be.  We have to save up that $1000, then work on our few credit cards which don't have that much on them, pay off the car, then pay off the student loans I've racked up, most of them during my Masters program. It will be a long journey that we need to be more fired up about, but that's where we're headed. 

Debt-free is a real option.  Who's with us?

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