Friday, May 15, 2009

State of Affairs

We are still trying to get back on track with our money plan, and I am trying to remind myself what motivated me in the first place. Last June, we found out we were having our second child and that made me stop and evaluate where we were financially. Honestly, I did not like it. This is what I saw: no savings, renting a small house that would not be big enough for all four of us, knowing that Felicia would not get paid on maternity leave, and $20,000 worth of debt.

Stressing out about our current financial status lead me to a billboard I kept seeing on my way home. This billboard had a picture of a bald guy on it and the words “Act your Wage”. I started to realize that we were not acting our wage and digging ourselves deeper into trouble. I changed the radio station to hear what this bald guy had to say and immediately realized this guy made a lot of sense, especially for people in our situation. I began to research the bald guy online, and found out that his name was Dave Ramsey, and then I decided to buy his book. I bought the book, read it, and talked to Felicia about it. She saw the same things I saw with our current situation.

Felicia and I talked about this and began to prioritize which issue to tackle first. Knowing the baby was on the way, we decided to save as much as we could. I also recognized that I needed to increase my salary, and in November, I was given an opportunity to do so. I applied and accepted a position at work that increased my pay by 10%. From August through January, we saved $3200.00 and that worked out to be an average of $533.33 a month. Looking back, it felt good to see the savings account grow every payday. The first thing we did on payday was pay ourselves and it grew and grew and our stress level decreased. Maya was born and Felicia was out of work for 12 weeks and we did not even spend all of the money we saved up.

At first when Felicia went back to work, we felt that we deserved a little break from our tight spending control and relaxed a little too much. When she went back to work, we had $845.00 in savings and with not keeping up with what we spent we had to tap into it needlessly. For this reason, I am trying to get motivated again and taking stock of our current state of affairs. Now, we have $600.00 in savings, renting a house that is too small for all of us, and $20,000 in debt. What do we tackle first? Thanks to Dave Ramsey, we know where we are supposed to start. We need to add another $400.00 to our savings to complete Step 1 again. After that, we need to tackle our debt with the same gazelle intensity we had before.

***Side Note*** After talking to our financial partners, Louie and Kim, we have decided to go to Financial Peace University. There is a class that starts on May 31st in Cedar Hill, and we are going to attend the preview class on May 17th. Hopefully, this can help us with our battle with spending.

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