Monday, October 15, 2012

The W's of Debt Dumping and end of Week 2

Well we finished up our second week of the NSM.
The second week was a bit more difficult than the first. The first run tot he grocery store for the week put us at $89. This is only $11 under the weekly grocery budget and didn't leave much play room for fruit, bread and milk but luckily we didn't run out of any of those things and only had to make one more short run for a few small things so we stayed right at our budget for this week.

I started to get the shopping itch this week, like I needed to buy something, not sure why I get these but man it's stinks when it hits and I can't shop. I managed to spend enough money though on dr visits and meds this week though to calm that itch a bit. With L-bug being sick and all the pedialite, culturelle and Gatorade would have broke me but we have a designated "DR" budget that rolls over each month so whatever is not used goes into the next month and just sits there waiting to be used. This has been excellant for us. I never have to worry about getting a dr bill and where the money is coming from because at all time we have roughly $300-400 sitting there only to be used for Dr's and meds.

I went out to eat for a baby shower last week so the last bit of my blow money went there and trust me it was hard not to save that blow money for something else and just swipe my card but I didn't...small steps make HUGE STRIDES!!

We are doing well to be half way through the month today. Out budget is staying where I want it to and we are being very disciplined when it comes to spending. WE ARE ROCKING THIS NSM!!

So I want to share with you a few of the reasons we have made October our No Spend Month (or NSM for short if you are just now tuning in). I like to call it the W's of debt dumping.


WHAT?
Ok so I think I have established what a no spend month is but just wanted to share with you where my inspiration for this NSM came from. I got the idea from the girl over at Small Notebook. After reading her post of their families NSM I was discouraged...complete opposite of what I should have felt. But after some time thinking about it I realized that no two people's finances are the same and what works for some families doesn't for others. I went back and re read her post and instead of focusing on the fact that her family can get by on 1 fill up of gas in a month and mine spend $350 a month on gas, I focused on her drive and her person cut backs. I encourage you to read this and to not get discouraged but encouraged by the fact that there are so many people out there striving toward one goal. The goal of becoming debt free!



WHY?

There are so many reasons why getting rid of your debt is a good thing.
Eliminate Stress from yourself and your household
Teach our children how to live within their means and not above
Have money to buy things we want without the guilt of it every month when the credit card statement rolls in
You can negotiate more with cash in hand opposed to a credit card so you will get better deals once your debt is gone and you can save up for those expenses
Be able to build a nest of wealth and then pay it forward
Save your marriage...did you know that most marital argument are over finances? Why would we let money, something we have complete control of, ruin or marriage...are we really that selfish that what we buy is more important than the person we vowed to love for the rest of our life?? BAM What do you have to say about that?!

These are just a few of the millions of reasons why you should take control over your debt now and not wait until later. You will not believe the weight that will be lifted when that last payment in full is mailed in. It is amazing!

WHERE?

I know this doesn't sound like a  logical question but it is. Where is the first place to start taking control of your debt? Did you know it was "YOUR HEART"?  In order to really tackle your debt you have to have a change of heart. You have to evaluate yourself, your WANTS VS. NEEDS, how you think about money and what your true loves are. If you LOVE to be the person who has all the newest things out (Iphone, IPad, brand new car, New computer, etc.) then that is where your money will go. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of these but if you have thousands in debt and you own all these things then your HEART needs to be changed before you can take control over your debt.

Self evaluation is a hard thing to do but when you want something bad enough, you fight for it and you start with your HEART.

The next place that is almost as important as your heart is  "YOUR HEAD". You have to change how you THINK about money. You have to really make yourself VALUE your money and all the hard work you do for your money. Once you start on the road to financial freedom though your way of thinking changes pretty rapidly and you evaluate every little spending habit you have...you'd be surprised how many bad ones you have too.

WHO?

The WHO is YOU...liked that rhyme didn't ya? Well it's actually you and your spouse and your kids if they are old enough.

My children were young when we started this process but some of you have teenagers, teenagers who are used to getting anything and everything they ask for...some of them without even working for it?! Oh but that's a whole other topic of conversation.

My point is this is a family ordeal that first you and your spouse need to get on the same page and then if your children are old enough they also need to be brought into the discussion. The family budget meetings need to be a "family" affair. You can't expect them to be cut off without showing them why and what you are doing. Plus by involving them in your budget meetings you are teaching them how to be responsible and how to have alittle more respect for you and the money that YOU earn to put a roof over THEIR head and clothes (that most of which shouldn't be name brand unless you are debt free) on THEIR back. I have very strong opinions on raising children and spoiling children and who knows you might get that very controversial post one of these days but not today.

WHEN?

NOW! Anytime is a good time to start debt dumping but I recommend easing yourself into it so you don't get so overwhelmed that you quit before you even start. I spoke in my first few days about the steps in starting to debt dump so check them out here.

I want to talk alittle about why we chose this month to be our NSM. My husband just went back to work full time a few months ago. This month is our first actually month where we have FULL paychecks from both of us. I was afraid that after so long o counting pennies and selling stuff we might decide to fall back into the spend every cent we make bandwagon. I mean we have extra money! WOO HOO!! It would be so easy to run to the store every other day and shop just because I have money to shop with. I mean we are "debt free besides our home" is what I would tell myself, "I'm putting 12% into my retirement so Dave Ramsey says I'm on the right track". I can justify 3 new bras from VS because I haven't bought ANY since before I got preggo with our first son (who is 4).  However I know that if I start now it will only be a downward spiral.

Our vehicles run great right now but I know it's only a matter of a few years before we will need a new van. I want so badly to walk into a dealership with enough money to pay cash for my new van. If I start spending what I make then I will never do that. I have to keep my heart and mind focused on the future and my ultimate goal of having COMPLETE financial freedom by the age of 38 (that's 10yrs fyi).

I needed this month to be strict so that I could see what we actually had each month and could go from there for planning our future monthly budgets.

I had a few other reasons for picking October as my NSM also.
  • I had a pretty good food stock up month in Sept so I knew I could realistically cut our grocery bill even more.
  • I knew we would close our pool and turn the air off so I figured our electric bill would be drastically lower this month
  • It's only a couple months til Christmas so that extra saved cash will be nice!
You see there is a lot that goes into planning a NSM and I hope that you will start planning one for you and your family. It's amazing what you will end up with at the end!

Hope you all have a blessed week!!

DEPT DUMPING WEEK 3
~Mel

1 comment:

  1. Loving this series, Mel!! You're doing a great job :)

    ReplyDelete