It was one year ago today that I started this blog. We were not doing well financially. Every month we were spending more than we were making, and using the credit card to make up the difference. If our car broke down we had to make sure to choose a mechanic who would take a credit card. I didn't know where our money was going, and mostly I blamed being gluten free. Our groceries were more expensive than other people's. How were we *expected* to get by?
I checked to see if we qualified for food stamps or WIC. (Answer = almost.) I looked into Consumer Credit Counseling. Deferring our student loans. Or selling our house.
Instead, I started listening to Dave Ramsey. And I realized that, yeah, our budget is pretty small, but it's doable. We just had to make it work. So we:
- Started actually budgeting. As in living within our means.
- Began living on a cash budget.
- Stopped caring what other people had, and thinking we were doing something wrong if we couldn't afford that too. (Well, until I lost my mind and bought a leather couch. Oops.)
July 9, 2007 - July 9, 2008
Debt: $104, 307 - $100,311
Savings: $0 - $2,898
Monthly Expenses: $2,145 - $2,390
Monthly Saving/Debt Repay Goal: $131 (emergency fund) - $697 (baby fund)
Take Home Pay: $2,417 - $3,349*
Achieved This Year:
- Paid off $3,996 in debt
- Built up our $1000 emergency fund
- Weathered an additional $245 in monthly expenses (gas, cable, mortgage, and student loan payments all went up)
- Made major purchases (van, bed, couch, fridge, two air conditioners) of $8,900 and our total debt still went down
- On track to save enough so that having a baby will (for the first time) not put us into debt
- Cut back on life insurance $65/month (perhaps not advisable)
- Changed our tax withholdings so that we won't get the big return this year $300/month
- I started doing some freelance writing work from home $367/month
- I started working at Weight Watchers $80/month
- Annual raise $149/month
As an anniversary present, I'd love to get lots of comments! :) Even if you've never commented before, please comment now! Well, if you're going to be nice, that is.