For the past month, I’ve been preparing a budget and getting our finances all down on paper. What we spend, what we make, what we owe. I have been preparing for this day, the start of the “say no” era. I have to say, I’m actually pretty excited to see what comes out of this. I’m also pretty nervous.
What is the “say no” era? Well, in the simplest of terms, it’s just the start of saying no to non-necessities. I think I’m more excited about it than my husband, but that’s okay.
Why am I doing this? Right now, my husband and I are in a great place. We’re spending less than what he makes. We’re making enough to pay our bills, provide for little Alice and our family, and still do some fun things if we want to. But, we’re definitely spending too much. Although we’re not spending more than we make, we’re still spending a lot of money on really unnecessary things. We could be saving more than we are or (even better) putting money towards our debt to pay it off sooner. Like I said in my first post, I want to make the sacrifices now to pay off our debt so we can find financial freedom before Alice is old enough to be effected by it. Basically, we’re preparing for our future.
What does this consist of? Obviously it consists of having to say no. But, it also consists of a strict budget. Keeping track of the things we spend in different areas (groceries, gas, bills, extra). It means taking out cash each month for the both of us for the extra stuff and when it’s gone, it’s gone. We don’t take out anymore until the next month. It means more eating at home and finding cheaper, easy meals that we can stretch for supper and lunch the next day. It means finding the tricks to saving money on some of our bills and cutting out the bills that are unnecessary (Netflix, cable, get it?). It means we’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable and probably re-learn how to live within our means and actually say no. And that’s okay, the end goal is so worth it to me.
What does my budget look like? That’s a hard one to explain. We get paid twice a month. I’ve divided up our bills and when they’re due to go with one of those deposits. Whatever we don’t spend from those checks goes into our savings. At the beginning of the month, I’ll take out cash to give to Andrew and have some with me. Every time we spend gas money or grocery money, I subtract it from what I’ve estimated the total we should spend a month on those things is.
As I get better at this and more comfortable with this, I’ll try to keep updating our progress. I’ll post about ways we save money or make extra money (another goal I have), and I’ll give details on some easy and cheap meals we try.
Wish me luck! If you or anyone you know is on the journey to financial freedom, let me know! Get in contact with me. It would be nice to be able to talk to people who are going through a similar journey.