My husband and I have been working on our Total Money Makeover for a little over a month now. It has been SO FUN for me and so exciting to finally have control over my finances. This feeling is so amazing that it also sadly puts into perspective how much time I truly wasted being ignorant, lazy and uneducated when it comes to money.
After only one month, I can log into our online banking and say, “holy sh*t… I can’t believe we can already see the results.”
One of the biggest changes I’ve made so far is that I literally just stopped buying shit I don’t really need. I mean, ya, I ordered a dress from Rent The Runway for a wedding we went to this past weekend but it was only $30 and it was GAWGEOUS.
I told my husband he can thank Marie Kondo for that because she basically made me donate all my clothes! (which was also really thrilling and I highly recommend a good clean out like that to anyone). So, not only have I stopped buying a bunch of crap, but I started bargain shopping like I’ve never done before. If it doesn’t feel like a good deal, I don’t buy it. I essentially just stopped spending so much money. I stopped being blind to my spending overall.
If you want to know more about why I have finally started down this path, you can check that post out here.
OR if you want to watch the corresponding YouTube video, check that out here:
If you have caught some of my previous posts, you know I have developed a budgeting system that we follow week by week.
Outside of our mortgage payment and all of our bills, we have allotted ourselves $350 to spend each week. This $350 is broken up into three categories:
- Groceries $150/wk
- Household/Misc. Items $100/wk
- Restaurant/Entertainment $100/wk
I keep track of our spending in a shared Excel Spreadsheet. Here’s a made-up example of what one really good week can look like:
As you can see, the person in this example had a GREAT week where they didn’t overspend in any of the categories. This is not how every week will look and it’s not how every week has looked for us so far. We have had one week where we ended up .17 cents negative overall, meaning we spent $350.17 for the week. In this case, I then begin our budget for the NEXT week .17 cents cheaper at $349.83.
I know that might sound crazy but this is literally how crazy you NEED TO BE in order to achieve a debt-free life. In Dave’s book, Total Money Makeover, he talks about the attitude one must have in order to begin this journey and experience all of the small and large wins along the way. This person is someone who does NOT f*ck around. They (and their spouse if they’re doing this as a couple) are people who are so incredibly serious about living the life they imagine that they begin to obsess over this process.
Here’s an example of obsession…
That wedding I mentioned earlier cost us around $130. Since we knew about the wedding far in advance, I was able to look at that week’s budget and say, “Ok, our entire restaurant/entertainment budget ($100) PLUS $30 from our Household/Misc. Items budget ($100) is going to the wedding. That means we didn’t get to use our entertainment budget for dinner or date night that week and that was perfectly fine. As long as we never go over budget too much, EVERYTHING is perfectly fine.
If you want to live the life you imagine, this means that you need to experience financial freedom at some point when you’re young enough to actually enjoy it. If you live a life full of debt, this isn’t going to happen for you unless you stop spending money and work your ass off at paying off your debts one by one from smallest to largest. If you are an individual or a couple who goes out all the time and spends most of your money on food, booze, and materialistic things, guess what? You’re going to have to stop doing that.
If freedom is something you desire, you are going to have to change the way you’ve been living your life. It might be painful at first and it sure as hell is going to be very obvious to your family and friends but this is the moment you need to take control of your life and not care what anyone else thinks. Living a debt free life is an option. You have the option to start saving your money just as fast as you’ve been spending it.
I’ll say that although we have been budgeting like CRAZY and bargain shopping, we have still been able to find a really good balance when it comes to living our lives and spending time with family and friends. It’s 100% possible.
On top of budgeting, we have been throwing more money down on one of our debts and it has been amaaaaaazing.
Every month, we will have a family meeting where we print out our bank statements and go over EVERYTHING. I will be filming that process during our next meeting in a couple of weeks so you can see what that looks like.
Overall, I am still PUMPED UP about this whole process. I can’t explain how exhilarating it is. Like I’ve said in my videos, I am in constant competition with myself and it fuels my fire when I am able to financially kick ass every single week. It hasn’t been easy and it’s not always going to feel fun but that isn’t going to stop me from going after the life I envision for myself and my family.
Stay tuned for more. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more fun videos and updates!