I wrote the following post in hopes of winning a contest. I did not win, however I still wanted to share my Mom and Dad's budget success story because I think it rocks! ( I wrote it from my mom's perspective.)
In 2005, my daughter introduced me to Dave Ramsey and I’m so glad she did. As a result of our “gazelle intensity”, my husband and I paid off $107,000 in debt in 4 years and 3 months. We did this by:
- Having monthly budget meetings where we gave every penny a name and spent our money accordingly.
- Not using credit cards.
- Applying unexpected income to the debt.
- Using cash for groceries, gas, and my hair (after all, if you look good, you feel good).
- Going on planned vacations to celebrate milestones of debts paid
- Using the debt snowball (paying off the smallest debt first and once it was paid off, applying that money to the next largest debt).
- One weekend a month we watch our daughter’s 5 children (ages 6 and under- including a set of twins). This allows her and her husband time to reconnect and breathe.
- Our son has twins (born on the same day but 2 years after my daughter’s twins), as well, and my husband and I watch his children 2-3 days a week while he and his wife are work.
- We started Financial Peace University at our church and have led over 20 groups.
- We counsel individuals and couples in the area of finances.
- My mother lives out of state and her health is diminishing. I have been able to travel to her home and stay with her for extended periods of time.
- I volunteer at a gift shop in a hospital and have accumulated over 500 hours of community service.
Ifyou want to get out of debt and see changes in your life, the key is to get on a budget. To start a budget you will need to:
- Write down your income.
- Write down all of your expenses beginning with food, shelter, transportation, and clothing. A Google search will lead you to budget sheets and software.
- Add in a budget line for blow (fun) money. This is a pre-determined amount of money that is set aside for you to spend any way you like.
- Write out exactly where your money will go and spend it accordingly
In November, I will turn 60. As a gift to myself and our children, my husband and I added a line to our budget called Caine Family Cruise. As you can guess, we are going to take our 4 children, their spouses, and our 8 grandchildren on a Disney Cruise. We saved for this trip for a year and it is completely paid for in cash. I could not think of a better birthday gift than to spend time with our loved ones.