Monday, October 4, 2010

The Dave Journey

I thought I'd give you an update on our Dave Ramsey success in these last couple weeks. We joyfully set out to stop using our credit card, save $1000, and then begin aggressively paying off our debt. We decided to have a yard sale to finish up our savings and then use the rest to go towards debt. The excitement, however, dwindled there.

Here is what we realized...when we stopped using our credit card and began spending only what we had, we realized that we BARELY have enough to get us through month to month. It's been a huge wake up call to us to learn that we have been living so far beyond our means for so long. (Although I will praise the Lord that we DO make enough to cover our monthly expenses! Even if its just squeaking by.)

Well, let me step back and say that when B was deployed, we made more, so I guess we got used to spending more. But now that he has been home for 3 months, we are settling into "real life" with real E-4 pay - in one of the most expensive areas in the country. Truly I have thought very seriously about going back to work full-time. Its the thought of putting both my kids in full-time daycare that makes me stop every time. I just feel that there has GOT to be a way to make this work!

For us, Dave Ramsey is going to have to be put on hold. Paying off our debt and building our savings is going to have to take a backseat to paying our bills and putting food on the table for the next 4 months. We have a huge blessing come to us each February in the form of our tax rebate. We have already planned that this year, our rebate will go to paying of B's car and paying the next 6 months of our car insurance. Thankfully, that will free up about $300 a month that we can finally begin to put towards some debt.

In the meantime, I am cutting coupons and using them at every store. I no longer buy what I want as I walk up and down the grocery store isle. I buy what is on sale and what is cheaper. My beloved Chocolate Frosted Mini-wheats will have to stay on the shelf. At over $3 a box (and a SMALL box it is), the $1.99 Honey Nut Cheerios seem to be winning out every time. It just makes more sense.

I've come to learn that using coupons is actually pretty fun and that seeing how much I saved at the bottom of my receipt makes it all worth while. I am not one of the "super couponers" that saves more than she spends, but I am very happy with every dollar I can save in the meantime.

I was able to go to a large consignment sale last week and get the kids a few long sleeved shirts for the Fall/Winter. I can't wait to consign some of my own things in the Spring and make some money too!

Oh, and I even got my haircut at Cartoon Cuts with C because they offered a "mommy and me" haircut for $29 - and then gave us a military discount! Is it one of my best haircuts? No. But, she did cut my hair and now it's not driving me nuts :-) I hope to be able to find a grown-up salon that doesn't have outrageous prices for the next one though, haha.

I am finding it difficult to not just run to the store and buy what I want to like I used to be able to do when B was gone. But, as promised, the Lord is providing what I need. My mom graciously mailed me Halloween costumes for each child and just today put another package in the mail full of long sleeved items for them. (She is a super good shopper and saves things as she find them throughout the year....she always has a "stash" of things for Christmas and Birthdays - and I guess now, for clothing emergencies! I have learned that Jesus can use anyone to provide.)

On another note, I have begun feverishly praying for B's promotion in the Army. He has been "promotable" for over a year, but for whatever reason, the Army has chosen to promote no one of his job title in at least 12 months. I keep thinking, "maybe this will be the month!!!" but each month comes and goes and we see that they are promoting nobody. HOWEVER, I know that at some point, they will!! I am praying that day is sooner rather than later :-) They can't keep them all at E-4s forever!

I wanted to write this post to be honest. I feel that I have always been honest with the folks that read my blog, and our finances are no different. If I hide behind a false pretense, I do myself no good. I would still greatly appreciate any money savings tricks and any words of wisdom. I am fully aware that we are not the only American family struggling month to month. I am sure lots of you have advice and success stories to share. :-)

We are already eating as cheaply as possible and trying to sell anything that we can sell for a profit. My biggest concerns are how to deal with times of abnormal gas for going home at Christmas, the Thanksgiving dinner I am hosting here at my house, getting the dog her shots, and of course, Christmas in general. I try not to be stressed about these things since I am doing the best that I can. I have also done my best to turn these "worries" over to the Lord.

He is great and my finances are no surprise to Him. I know that He will show us the way - this month and each month from here on forward. Praise Him for His love and wisdom!

I will keep you updated as we make progress with our debt pay-off and minimal spending plan! Thanks for reading :-) Hope you don't mind the honesty.


  1. This post is very nice, Because your post is giving very nice information. So we are very thankful to you.

  2. Just found your blog and love this post - honesty like this is rather uncommon! Especially honesty that is God honoring :)

    Hope you find a way to make the money stretch over the next little while! We are Army too and they aren't overly generous with their promotions! Hope your husband gets one soon!

  3. thought I'd share since you've begun couponing... A lot of the stores are more for the western part of the states, but I have friends who've had a lot of success couponing (I, myself, am too lazy :) ) with the info they find there!!!