Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You Can Only Go Forward

It's my new mantra. Really I think it is the best way to live your life. Stop looking back and beating yourself up. Learn from what has been done but don't miss out on today because you are feeling bad about something from yesterday, last week or ten years ago.

So here we are with a new mantra and a fresh start. Let's focus on the positives.
  • Everyone is healthy
  • We have two solid incomes
  • We have a lovely little house
  • Everyone is healthy (worth repeating)
Things we are working on
  • We are paying the equivalent of two mortgages a month.
 Ouch. Really. We are. If you take our mortgage that we refinanced to pay off quicker and the loans from our renovation we are really paying the equivalent of two mortgages. It sounds bad, but it is what it is. Well, we can only go forward. The payments are being made. We can eat. We are trying hard to save and pay things off as quickly as possible. We I am helping us to transition into a more frugal lifestyle. My transitions are subtle so as not to scare anyone. Sure I talk about it. I talk about everything. I am into my third week of not spending extra money. It feels great. I have been perusing tons of different blogs that focus on more extreme frugality to get different ideas on what people do and what works for them. Every blog is different, but they all have something to offer.  My current plan includes no more clothes for me for the rest of the school year. Baby steps. When it get hot we will see what happens.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Financially Grown Up

Drifting of to sleep last night thinking about why now, at this point in my life am I getting really serious about a real budget, real saving. I think I know. I am an adult. We are adults. In the past few years we have experienced some very adult things that make us even older than our years. It is time to get control of our situation, to know what is going on, and to make decisions that make sense.

Our priority is to pay the mortgage and renovation loans. We can, thankfully, do that. We don't have that cushion that we should, but we are able to pay those monthly bills. We have a few years before any of them are paid off if we do it traditionally, but I think we may know we can do it quicker with some hard work. A second priority is to eat. Unfortunately it is what we have to do, and we enjoy it. Activities for the kids are also important. Participating in sports keeps them active and allows them to try things that they may be able to continue with as they get older. Busy kids with good activities = less trouble and hanging out.

Those are really the main things we have to do. I did not include utilities, but they should be understood. Things that we never have to do are eat out, buy coffee (that is me, not not anymore), waste energy, gas, get nails done, go to salons, get hair colored, buy trendy clothes and shoes.  The list goes on and on. These are things that we have not been doing and do not need to do. Since the new year we have had almost all homemade meals, and we eat them together at the table. (Another important part of connecting with your kids).

With all this extra money hanging around we will get rid of the few small credit cards and start working on the loan with the biggest monthly payment. When loan is paid off it will free up so much money to pay other loans off.  It will be AMAZING to pay those bills off.

In the past week, since I started my no spending zone, I am happy to say that I have not spent any extra money. My purchases were groceries only. No coffee, no lunch out Friday, no shopping, no nothing. It feels great. I also found a free site that will help me keep track of a budget, and it is free. I can't wait to get paid and plug everything in. That way I can send the extra money to a bill.  One final thing I did last night was to up my weekly savings transfer to $50.00. It was not much more than I was putting in, and it felt good to increase it. The money is there. We can do this.