Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's a Snowball Fight! #DebtFree #FebtSnowball

     We're still working on getting our debt down!  I wrote awhile back about attending Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  I completed the class, had a lot of grand ideas about being debt free, and had wonderful intentions of getting out of debt.  Then life plowed me over.  Nothing major happened, but I slid back into the routine that I'd been doing my entire adult life.  I would pay the bills at the end of each pay period, only to realize that I'd already spent most of Ryan's paycheck on other things.  Yeah, that kind of sucks!

     I'd finally decided that I'd had enough.  I got our stuff together and now I'm really (seriously) working on bringing down our debt.  This is how we're doing it....

1.  I made a schedule of when each bill is due (according to which of Ryan's paychecks I need to use).  Then I mark it off when I pay the bill online.  I also immediately pay the bills on the 15th or 28th, when Ryan's paid.  This has helped A LOT.  I'm getting the bills paid first (and on time) then I know how much is left over for gas, food, etc. 

2.  I used an online debt snowball calculator (Trees Full of Money) to help me figure out when each debt will be eliminated.  I just put in the total still owed, the APR and the calculator does the rest of the work.  Once a debt is gone, that payment is snowballed into the next debt.  I then printed the grid out and cross off each month that I make a payment.  This helps me to physically see that the debt is going away and I can see and celebrate in the progress that I'm making.

3.  I keep a running total of our checkbook register on the fridge.  This way Ryan and I are always aware of what's being spent, on what stuff, and how much we have in our account.

4.  I make a menu for 2 weeks, then go grocery shopping.  I go shopping 2 times a month, when Ryan gets paid.  With the menu and list, I'm able to ensure that I've got everything for meals and I don't have to make quick (end up buying extra things) trips to the grocery store.  I've also started shopping at Aldi's and am amazed at how much cheaper the groceries are!
via That Project Girl

5.  I'm working really hard on not planning extra trips.  I'm trying to make the most of a trip to town, so save gas money.

6.  The hardest part is getting the rest of the family on board.  The older kids just don't get it.  I don't want them to get the wrong impression- that our family is in serious trouble....but I do want them to learn from our mistakes and to know that you need to be responsible with money and debt.  Ryan also had a hard time at first.  This was my fault- I've always done the finances and hid when we were struggling.  He had NO IDEA that we were barely getting by.  So I'm learning to be honest, responsible, and transparent with our money and Ryan's learning wants from needs! (Yeah, I'm working on that part too) 

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