This post has been a long time in the making. Like years. I don’t even know where to start, but some big changes have been happening in our household. A week ago (maybe more now, since I’m not sure when this will be posted) I took our mother’s helper and drove up to Marin (just north of San Fran), and sold our Jeep. In it’s place we now own a 2002 Explorer, and a smaller car payment. This is the first of many changes, changes that need to be made, that have needed to be made for a while but we’re finally in a mind-set that we can make them happen.
Neither one of us, me especially, had the greatest education when it came to money. My parents did the best they could but I really never knew how to handle money. I got a good example of how to work hard for what you want but nothing really beyond that. Thanks to Dave Ramsey, I’m getting a much needed education on how to handle things.
Gary and I have had a lot of fun since we first met, but at the expense of some credit card debt not to mention my student loans, and now our new smaller car loan. We had heard about Dave Ramsey after first getting to Guam, and tried to dabble here and there but nothing really stuck. I wasn’t myself after Alex was born and not being in a place that I wanted to be was pretty depressing. We weren’t in a place to do anything about it, and hence the buying of the Jeep. Not the smartest decision but it is what it is.
It’s time to do this, not only for us but for the kids. We won’t be able to do any of the things we want to do, including add to our family (since we can’t physically have any more kids ourselves) if we don’t get this done.
So, in hopefully 18ish months we should be almost debt free, including my student loans (potentially, we haven’t decided if we’re going to snowball those yet). And here’s how we’re doing it:
* Knocked almost $20k off our debt by selling the Jeep and getting an older model car that we can work on ourselves if something goes wrong.
* Finally doing an actual budget and sticking with it.
* Going through the crap and selling things we don’t want/need and living simply
* Cutting out all the big “extras”. We had planned to take a couple trips (within California) in the next 6 months, but those can wait. I sold my ticket to the sewing conference I was going to in Utah, and we’re going to stay around Monterey instead of venturing up to the mountains. This area is gorgeous and has a lot to offer, so we aren’t missing out!
* We’re also going to be teaching Arabella about money management on a much smaller scale. She’ll be able to earn 3o cents a day for doing “extra” help around the house. She’s required to partake in some things as a member of the family (keeping toys put away…which we’re still working on, and other “chores”) but if she does little extra things to help me or Gary out she’ll be able to earn a dime for each new envelope (spend, save, give) to teach her about how to handle the money she makes. I got some inspiration from Dave Ramsey as well as this blog post by The Guggie Daily: http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2013/07/sharing-bounty-money-and-unconditional.html
This post was really hard to write. Admitting to ourselves that things had to change, and then actually admitting them to other people is difficult. Our country is very consumerist, very new new new and now now now. Patience was never a virtue I had, but hoping to overcome this character flaw and really be in an amazing place financially.
Here’s our new ride! Just need to deck it out with some new stickers and she’ll be good to go. A couple bonuses of this car (besides the smaller price tag) were the tow hitch which we were going to have to pay to put on the Jeep, and a third row with latches for car seats so we can carry more people or kids if need be. Most of the time we keep the 3rd row folded down but I love that it’s there if we need it.