With all the things we've accumulated in our lifetimes, also comes debt. I hate debt. I hate debt so much it makes my palms sweat and my heart rate go up just thinking of paying bills. I'm not sure there has ever, in my life, been a time that money, or lack thereof, hasn't been a source of stress for me. That's not to say Frugal Mister isn't doing his "duty", if you will, and keeping bills paid and food coming. Every single month, we do it. Some months are scarier than others, but we've never not made a house payment/utilities payment/car payment/etc. There have been some months that we both just shake our heads in disbelief that, on top of Frugal Mister's providing and my household budgeting, God has always provided for us. Always.
Though we credit God for helping us through some rough times and for generally keeping an eye on us in good, I have always felt like we should be able to give back more! However, it's just not possible with the accumulation of debt that we have (for all the aforementioned "things"). I would love to be able to go to church and put more than $1 in the offering plate. In my life, I've gotten more out of church than I have out of school! It's only right to help when we can!
So, through some major talks and consideration, The Frugal Family is embarking on a new journey. Though we could keep living paycheck to paycheck, paying those bills on time, everything status quo, we want more. We want more for our children. We want to be that change we want to see in the world, and that starts in our home, with our kids.
We've enrolled in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We, as a family, are sticking by a very strict written budget, to be able to conquer the 7 Baby Steps (we're on Step 2!). That means, if we are invited out for something, we might have to decline based on REAL funds, not on our desire to hang out with you! That means, if we "do dinner" at our house, it'll have to fit in our regular weekly budget. If we "do coffee", it'll have to come out of our "dining out" money (which also includes Frugal Mister's lunches while at work). If we have to decline, it's not because we don't love you! Honest!!
Most of Dave's suggestions are ones I have thought of independently but having them written down, in those 7 Steps, makes it seem ok to try to do. By sticking through with our Debt Snowball, we are on track to pay off ALL of our debt (except for the house) in around 4 years. Cars, trailer, credit cards, student loans... ALL of it. Freedom. Bliss.
I know it's not going to be an easy journey some days. Some days, I simply don't want to cook. I want to have my feet pampered. I want to go laze around on white sandy beaches with some fruit concoction. But for now, I'll have to make peace with a meal BBQed by my amazing husband, digging in to my Body Shop products for my tootsies, and The Princess' sandbox.
Come to think of it, that doesn't sound too shabby!