October was a big month for us, not because it was a massive debt payment month, not because we did anything spectacular, but because it marked our one year anniversary. One full year of being serious about debt repayment. A full year of me being a casual employee as a nurse, and it saw the first anniversary of Motherhood and Money! Perhaps, the most hilarious of all, one year of my parents buying my Starbucks when we get coffee together (Love you!).
I am simultaneously SO proud of what we have accomplished together this year year, and tired. So tired. Truthfully debt repayment sucks, and we are not even 50% there yet. pfft.
We have been incredibly scrappy when it comes to our finances, and every single penny gained is a penny we have fought so hard for. (have you checked out how I cut out 30, 000 dollars out of our expenses this year?!) Its exhausting to be “on” all the time when it comes to our money. To question every single purchase, compare every single item we buy to make sure we are getting the best quality at the lowest price. Making dinner at home every single night, even when its the very last thing in the world I want to do. To set budgets and then actually stick to them.
Prior to debt repayment the second time around, I never understood the power of five dollars. THAT’s where the gains are made. Its not in holding back from the purchases that are a few hundred dollars each, its daily deciding not to spend that five bucks. Price matching to save a dollar here and a dollar there. Double checking, using apps and claiming money back when I can.
This year we dropped down to a single income (almost), and nearly matched last year’s amount on dual incomes. @debtkickinmom talks a lot about what it means to be a home economist, and that is exactly what I am. We are stewarding our money well, and with intentionality, and even though we are sick of it, we need to look back and see how far we have come this year and be proud.
We will be making a few changes this year, one of which includes adding in a very *small* amount of spending money. Like, we are talking $15 a pay period kind of small.
We will be setting aside a small amount into our sinking funds for my husband and I to take some courses in the evenings together. I want to learn more about how all of this blogging deal works – don’t worry, I won’t be spending our money on those fanatical bloggers who promise a million overnight.
Once again, we will hold back some of tax returns when they come so that we are able to take our kids out in the tent trailer this summer. Budget travel is something that we will continue, and I am proud that we carved out some money to make that a priority this year. Making it a priority to build memories with our kids is important to us.
I will be writing more about this topic come January, when I am able to see how close we came to our goals this year, and some new ones we are talking about setting for 2019. Stay tuned.
**I wrote this back in October, and I never hit publish. I realize that it might be short, but I wanted to add it to the blog because I wanted to be able to remember all of the thoughts I have had along the way to becoming debt free. In October I was feeling particularly discouraged and fed up, and I don’t want to look back on this process when we are done and think it was all sunshine and roses. This has been hard work, with constant effort, and we are making ground little by little – and if you are in that place too, know you aren’t alone.**