small victories in the baby steps

with the onset of another FPU, we decided to take the class very, very seriously once again. we had gotten a little, well, a lot, off track. we backslid 1 baby step all the way back to Baby Step #3 - 3-6 month emergency fund. so, we made a pact. a 90-day commitment to each other to stick to the plan, no matter what. and i'm happy to report that, so far, we are doing awesome! we're about 2 weeks into it. neither one of us is using our debit cards. we are using our cash envelopes. or not buying stuff. i am so proud of dave. and myself. this is all quite an adjustment. we'd gotten sloppy. if there wasn't enough $ for a certain category, we had started stealing it from other categories or from the emergency fund. well, that's cheating. and we will have no more of that. through all of this, we've had to make some tough choices. it is hard. i will not lie. but we are committed to sticking to this. having self control. making it work.

for example, i had $30 for gas and food this week and since the house payment is due to be sent out this weekend, next week we anticipate that we will get only $5 for food. luckily i have the freezer and pantry all stocked up with things we can eat. they may not be exactly what we want this week, but we will not starve. :) and this week i was also blessed to recall that i had gotten a $10 gift card from our insurance agent to target for referring a friend to her. so, i was able to take that gift card and buy a couple more groceries as well. it was cool how i had it at just the right time that i needed it. and i didn't end up using it on something frivolous. since i can find about 5000 frivolous things i want from target :) but anyways, i went thru the store keeping track of my total and i was able to get ham, bananas, milk, granola bars, refried beans and pretzels for $10.75 and i happened to have 75 cents in my coat pocket. it was perfect. :)

it is not necessarily fun to live like this. to analyze every dollar that is spent so we don't go over our budget. to roll up coins and take them to the bank to trade for quarters so i can afford to wash clothes at the laundry mat. to not go out to eat. to not be able to make plans with family about visiting them until 2 days before because we don't know if we'll make enough money this week to be able to drive there.

BUT it is fun for me to not have to work in a cubicle all day and feel like i want to kill myself daily. AND i know that it will be fun someday when we have an emergency to be able to pay for it and not go into debt. and it will be fun someday when we can give our child some money to go to college or buy a house or car. and it will be fun someday to actually be able to retire. and not have to work as a walmart greeter. or at mcdonalds.and it will be fun someday to pay off our mortgage (whether when we sell the house or finish paying it).

AND it will be fun at that point to make a choice to never borrow again. i will think LONG and HARD before i ever sign my name on a loan ever again in my life. no matter what the amount. even if i have to live in a 400 sq ft shack or something. i will do it. because debt stinks. i have a very intense hatred for it that grows more intense with each day of my life. life is so much simpler if we just wait and save and pay cash. the risk involved with debt is not worth it to me. there is no way for us to know what the future holds. if we sign up for say, a 15 year mortgage, what we are essentially doing is going out on a limb and having faith that we will continue to have work and health and income, etc. only God knows what the next 15 years hold. perhaps the very next year after signing for that loan, we could be injured and unable to earn money and unable to pay for that loan. and then what? only disaster. but if we saved up, paid cash for a very modest residence, then at least our family would have a place to live when we are injured.

anyways, i'll quit rambling. but i hope that this is some interesting food for thought for you.

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