We had an emergency today. Not a medical emergency. A financial emergency. Minion #1 needed new shoes…..NOW!
Let me backup and give an update on my last post. In less than a week, we were able to save $100 of our $1000 emergency fund! Less than a week!!!!!!
The Hubs and I, on the advice of the Dave Ramsey book I read, sat down and discussed what would constitute as an emergency and would require us to dip into ur emergency fund. Other than a job loss, it was agreed that car issues would be the #1 reason.
However, when you are starting a program like we are, it is probably a safe bet that there is no other savings. No “just in case” fund. And since our credit cards have been cut up, there is no fall back plan.
So when my 12 year old comes up to me after school today and shows me his shoes and shows me that part of the heel is poking him because its detaching from the shoe, I cant very well tell him “No”. I cant send him to school to walk from class to class and participate in PE with shoes that are physically causing him pain. To me this was a minor emergency, but an emergency none the less. Then I think, “Wait, I can cover this. I have $100. This is what emergency funds are for”.
Now before you correct me, I have not started the cash envelope system yet. I know that I need to have a clothing budget. Remember, We have only been doing this program for 5 days. But because I have been able to sell stuff to make money towards our emergency fund, I was able to take some money to buy him some shoes.
So I learned a very important lesson today…..what we are doing is already working!!!! I didn’t stress about paying for shoes because I had the money. And I as able to give him a but and told him that the shoes he picked out have to fit within the budget I had given him. I was teaching him a lesson about budgeting while I was learning a lesson myself. That what we are doing is life changing. And whether we intended to or not…..its a lesson we are showing our kids.
**Just a little side note. If I do not post every day it more than likely is because of my work schedule. Working 12 hour shifts means I get up early and get home close to the minions bedtime and then go to bed myself.
Do you remember that line from Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise is screaming “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!!!” Now I am not a Tom Cruise fan but how can you not love that movie, or that little kid? But that phrase show me the money is etched in our brains for eternity. That’s what I am doing today. I am telling the universe to show me the money.
I have stuff. Lots more stuff than I need. Than WE need. What do most people do with extra stuff? Hold yard sales, donate, give away. Before this weekend, I would have tried to sell a few things but probably donate what didn’t sell to a second hand store. But not anymore. My stuff has some value. I need to make my stuff work for me. Every dollar counts. Every penny counts. Especially going on this money journey we have committed to . So I posted our stuff. Posted on facebook pages. And I sold stuff. Not all of it, yet. But I sold some stuff and now we are $40 closer to our first baby step. $1000 saved is baby step #1 on the Dave Ramsey plan. I am being open and honest with people about this journey. I believe that we can dig our self out and be debt free without filing bankruptcy…..again.
Yes, we have filed bankruptcy before. In 2009. It was humiliating. I was in school full time and working part time. The Hubs was the breadwinner. Working a great job with good pay for an architecture firm, using his degree. Then in 2008 everything changed. In amatter of weeks he lost his job and we were forced to move from our rental because we couldn’t afford the rent. We didn’t have a savings. We lived paycheck to paycheck, like many many other people. This one setback had changed our lives. We had to move in with my parents. We eventually gave our cars back to the bank, my dad helped us buy a used minivan and we paid him back in a less than a year. But the other bills, well those were still there. And kept coming. And between my part time job (I worked as many extra hours as I was allowed) and his pitiful unemployment checks, it just wasn’t enough. Medical bills is what ended up forcing us into bankruptcy. At the time Minion #2 was going through some medical issues and Medicaid would only take care of bills so far back. So we filed. We went to our hearing. We thought it wasn’t going to be bad. We knew that our creditors could show up and ask us questions. Only one did. And he was ruthless. He made the whole embarrassing process even worse. You see when you filed bankruptcy back in 2009 in the state of Arizona, it was held in a banquet room. You pick seat among everyone else and wait for your name to be called. It isn’t private. So when it was our turn, we went up to the table, talked to the man who wasn’t a judge but some type of court official, then he allowed any creditors to come up. The creditor that showed up, like I said, was ruthless. So bad in fact that the court official had to interfere more than once and eventually told the creditor that this was not a trial and that if he had nothing to contribute, he needed to leave. I was near tears. I was so shaken up. I never, never want to g through that again.
That is why today I am making my stuff work for me. We are dedicated to this process. It’s just stuff. We can replace stuff if we want to later on. But freedom from debt and growing our money for retirement is not something that can wait anymore.
If you haven’t read Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money, read it. I finished it in less than 24 hours It has so much good information in it. If you are in the same position we are in, it will really help. The Hubs and I cut up credit cards last night. I sold some of our stuff today. We are going to make this work for us. Because if not, what will we end up with?
Welcome! A new blog has to start somewhere right? And I probably have 1 reader (thanks Heather you are always supportive). But in the off chance I have more than 1 reader who doesn’t know me let me introduce myself, I’m Jenn. Nice to meet you. I am a mom to 3 minions, a wife (just had our 14th wedding anniversary….WOW I feel to young to say that), and I work full time outside the home (but let’s be honest…full time is 12 hour days 3 days a week).
I started this blog to document our families journey to living on less, digging out of debt using the Dave Ramsey method and general family/parenting stuff.
Our goals for living on less is simple. We want less debt. I do not want to be a stay at home mom (mad props to those who are though, seriously I have tried it and went stir crazy) so living on less to some might be living on one income. To me, living on less means more freedom to do things. Freedom to take vacations, freedom to stop renting and own our own home (we owned a home about 12 years ago but honestly I think we were too young to be home owners), freedom to have chickens and a garden. Just freedom from debt.
I am in the process of reading Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money, on loan from the library. But so far it might be a book that I might actually want to purchase to have on hand. The Total Money Makeover is another book I am waiting to get my hands on. But there is a few people ahead of me who have it on hold. I may just go to a used bookstore to find one. The hubs and I talked about it and we are committing to do this method to reduce our debt and build our savings.
I can’t tell you this is the best method since we have only been committed to this for 2 days. But I have high hopes. What I have learned so far is this; behavior is 80%. Meaning we can have the best made plans but our behavior with money needs to change to see results. Right now we are in baby step #1 which is saving $1000. Not going to lie, this seems hard. We live paycheck to paycheck. $100 is a lot of money to us. So $1000 seems like a huge amount. We have to figure out where we can cut things, what we can sell, or extra hours at work or side jobs we can do to make it to that goal as quick as possible. I’m hope to reach that goal by June 1st. That’s what my deadline is. But as the saying goes, if it were easy everyone would do it.
Have you or anyone you know climbed out of debt? Share your stories, tips, suggestions.