Debt Free…here we come!

Last night, Dave and I had our first Financial Committee Meeting in several years.  aka, The Sit Down and Calmly Discuss All Things Money talk.  Unlike most American couples, money is not typically something we argue about.  We both have strong, but similar views on spending and saving, so when we found Dave Ramsey several years ago, we finally found a system that worked for us.

For those of you who don’t know of Dave Ramsey….  Go look him up.  We particularly like listening to his radio program (which ironically, we really only get to listen to in the car when we are on our way to going out to dinner!).  It’s a call-in show, so there are lots of different scenarios and questions that Dave fields-lots of good information.  And it helps that he is also quite entertaining with his bluntness.  My only beef with him is that he often calls people “stupid” “idiots” or “morons,” which curbs my listening when Jayna is in the car.  I understand the point he is trying to make with those words, but it makes his show not-so-kid-friendly, I think.

I digress.  So, we have been on Baby Step 6 for a while.  This means we have no debt other than our house, and we have an emergency fund, and we are working on building up our kids’ college funds and paying off our house early.  However. For some reason we CANNOT get rid of our credit cards.  It’s our security blanket that goes with us everywhere.  We usually only use them for major purchases (furniture, vacations, etc.), but somehow lately that balance has been creeping up from $0 to $Ridiculous.  So, we decided to have our Financial Committee Meeting last night and reconfigure our budget.

We’ve already invested in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, but haven’t attended any classes yet.  So…

GOAL #1: Attend Financial Peace University in order to get answers to our questions, learn more about financial “stuff” and be held accountable by others.

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Goal #2: Freeze our credit cards.  We still can’t bring ourselves to get rid of them officially, so we figure this is the next best thing.  We put them in a bowl of water and have them in our freezer now.  Hopefully after keeping them in there for awhile, and not missing them, we’ll be able to cancel them for good in the near future.  Meanwhile, we are going to throw as much money as possible to get rid of that credit card bill.

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Goal #3: Revisit our cash budget.  We use the envelope system….cash only, and our debit card for gas.  But, again, lately we’ve been really bad about buying little things and putting them on debit (a soda at the gas station, a meal here and there if we forget our envelopes, etc.), and I personally am really bad about “borrowing” money from other envelopes once I run out of one! So, our short-term goal is to not use the debit for ANYTHING but gas until the 22nd (our next meeting).  And we also shuffled some of our budget around to allow Dave and I to get $20 a pay period to spend on whatever we want.  So, I’ll be saving for crafty stuff and for my mom cave….Dave will be using his for fishing and boat stuff.

Our envelope categories are: Groceries, Dining Out, Entertainment, Gifts, Pets, Baby/Kids, Clothing, Personal, Car Maintenance, Shara, and Dave

We found that the recording of every purchase didn’t work for us….or for me, anyway.  I mean, just trying to leave a store toting two kids and our purchases is enough, let alone trying to write down my total spent and where.  Sooooo….my compromise is that I will save all receipts until the next pay period (when we restock our envelopes), so we can make sure our purchases are coming from the appropriate envelopes.

So, those are our financial goals for the near future….to get us back on track.  My own little personal goal is to make a version of the envelopes that is A) prettier and B) more durable.  Something like this:

Click here for the source and the template! 

 Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to stay away from my vices (aka Target, Michael’s and Hancock Fabrics), and finish some projects here at the house……stay tuned for what I’ve been up to!

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