It is truly amazing to me that I never had a budget until 2 months ago when we started FPU. The number 1 thing that I have learned is that every dollar needs to be directed by me otherwise they will just fly out the window with the greatest of ease.... leaving me to rely on credit cards, panic, and unease.
So here's where we are at:
At the beginning of FPU, I had $31,707 in debt. This includes 5 FIVE 5 FIVE FIVE credit cards, our one car loan for the Rover, and a small Perkins loan. It does NOT include my massive chunk of school debt that will be handled by public service loan forgiveness and income-based repayment. I also had NO EMERGENCY FUND or readly available cash.
Here is where we are at the end of 9 weeks:
- $1,000 ER fund
- $200 car repair fund
- AMEX PAID OFF! ($2,000 credit card).
- Best buy card up next on debt snowball got a $470 payment this month.
- All of this debt will be paid off in September 2015
- We will be paying cash for the entire wedding and honeymoon (we are going to take a delayed honeymoon in February or March after the wedding so that we pay cash for it!). I opened a second checking account and our wedding budget goes straight into that account each paycheck.
- I am using cash for most things and get uncomfortable swiping my card (to me, now, it says that I didn't budget/prepare for this expense and so is there a way I can NOT pay for it right now?).
- LB and I are communicating about money in a way that I never thought we could. It's open, honest and purely lovely.
Let me be clear... this is hard work. I thought that getting my job was going to mean that I could just spend like crazy and have no money worries...as you can see... I had plenty to worry about.
I really owe this experience to Vanessa... she has shared her family's experiences in budgeting and directed me to the William's blog. I read the following a year ago and now I say it to the great wide interwebs: "The number one piece of marriage advice I have? Go to Financial Peace University. Follow the plan. Don't look back."