Hello there! Been a while. I hate not having the time to blog like I want. Such is life, I guess. I am hoping things at work will calm down soon and I can get back to my regular posting. #nopromises

Here’s the deal… we are 3 months on this lifestyle change to get control of our finances. (INSTEAD OF OUR FINANCES CONTROLLING US!) It’s been fun, exciting, boring (there I said it), depressing, and motivating… All at ONCE!

  1. 99.9999% of our spending occurs out of boredom. Bored? Let’s go out and eat. Bored? Let’s do some window shopping! Bored? Let’s go meet friends for coffee and a movie. So much of our spending is out of boredom. We have the spending aspect under control but boredom is real. I don’t have much time during the week to be bored…but oh those weekends! We have a budget for “fun” and that can get wiped out on a rainy weekend. {and since we have 4 of those in a row…} Filling our time without depleting our funds has been interesting. I have spent more time at the library, read several good books, cleaned out virtually every corner of my house, and have spent a LOT of time in the Word. Learning WHY you spend is helpful information to have, I might add. I can do other things to fill that time slot rather than spending… it just takes a LOT more creativity.
  2. I have watched our balances go down SIGNIFICANTLY! We’ve had some wins that helped keep us motivated. Trading my car allowed for a nice size check back from my warranty that was unused so immediately that ALL went towards our debt. It is so CRAZY to watch how an extra $100 here or $200 there seems insignificant when staring at large balances. But it ADDS UP! So if you are right here with me–don’t give up! Every single time you choose NOT to spend $6.00 on something, you have made a tiny dent in your debt. Keep on going!frugallife
  3. Banking on a wind-fall is NEVER a good thing. I had high hopes of a large tax return. It has happened the past few years so in my head I had already “spent” that money on debt. Imagine the pain in my gut when I had to write a check to the IRS. Some people will pre-spend a windfall they are expecting. NEVER DO THAT! I learned the hard way. Not being a full time student and working full time changed our taxes for sure. I am thankful [oh SO THANKFUL} that we are in a position to pay the IRS and keep it moving without needing to break out a credit card or dip into savings. *But that is why you start with the emergency fund, FYI* I was disappointing… not gonna lie. I saw us paying a huge chunk on debt and chipping away at 3-4 months of our debt payments at once. It didn’t happen, said a few choice words in my head, asked for forgiveness for it, and kept it moving. 🙂 That’s all you can do!
  4. We are living on the basics. Our tv choices are basic. Our phone plans are basic. Our day to day choices have become basic… and I can’t tell you I miss a thing! I don’t miss my car. I don’t miss the amount of gas it took to fuel it. I don’t miss flipping channels for HOURS on end. I just don’t miss it! We made some HUGE sacrifices to save hundreds each month… and I don’t miss A THING! #honesttruth It’s crazy! It really is all in what you are used to. And once you get used to it- it’s what you are used to! If you are contemplating making some REAL changes just know that you can do it!
  5. I’ve learned that in 5 years we will have conquered a mountain of debt. A mountain of debt that we could maintain easily with our income… but we won’t be maintaining it for long! When I feel discouraged I pull out “5 year plan” from my financial notebook… and I smile. We ARE making progress! Every choice, every change, every time we say NO, we are impacting our future. We have BIG dreams! {Some of which I want to share oh so badly… but it’s too soon!} We have a goal for where we will be in the next decade of our lives and that picture is oh so pretty! No house payment, car payment or debt. My daughter asked last week “are y’all doing this so one day you can be like Grandmother and Papa?” YES, baby girl! One day very soon we will only have to pay electricity, water, and buy food. {okay so maybe there’s a few more than that} Paint a picture of what you want and go for it! It will NOT be easy and it won’t be an over night “Get rich quick” scheme that gets you there. Unfortunately it’s the hardest marathon I have ever run… and that’s not only because it’s the ONLY one i’ve ever run! It’s because it’s personal, it’s day to day choices, it’s drinking coffee at home instead of going to the coffee shop, and it’s trying to find something fun in your closet our of clothes you have had for years. It’s hard, painful, and sometimes lonely… but it’s WORTH IT!

That’s what I have learned along with many other nuggets of wisdom I will shed light on later

Thanks for reading.

For Now,

Cara Roxanne