Marc and I did it. We sat down and looked at numbers, not in a hypothetical type realm but in reality. We sat down and looked at what I make verses what he makes and combined the numbers to come up with a max income (obviously for me the outlying factors would of course be how many weddings or funerals I do which would increase my income some as well as how many crocheted hats I sell - but we didn't include this and said this could go toward extra money towards his student debt, car, or the house).
Budgeting sucks. We had a bit of a utopic idea of what we could spend and what we needed to save as well as how much we needed to put towards the house, student loans, and his car. We had some rough numbers. We also wanted to make sure that we were saving some and first and foremost we were tithing. We had to make some hard decisions about what was important to us as a couple and about what we could cut/or live without. We had to have discussions about how important it was to us to be without debt and how quickly we wanted to have it all paid off.
If we can stick to our budget we figured out that we would only have the house debt left in five years, and we both breathed a bit of a sigh of relief knowing that we would be free from that and then at that point we decided we would massively start trying to pay down the house. It is crazy what limiting certain spending can do to a budget. It is amazing how much we really had to work with when we started planning out the numbers and crunching things. Now we didn't go totally crazy and cut all spending money on fun things, we know it is still important to us to be able to take vacations, and go to an occasional movie and eat out, however we also realize it is important to us to pay off our debt. We don't want to live under the cloud of debt and the trouble is if we wanted we could stretch out the debt for years, but that seems a bit ridiculous after looking at how much we would have to pay in interest, the numbers were astonishing. Budgeting sucks, it would be amazing to be able to spend as we want and get what we want as we want, but that is not the reality we live in.
We are on a mission. We will repay our debt. We are going to attempt to function (mostly) on a cash budget and not spend more than we can pay off. We are going to dive head first and not live by the world's standards of claiming we neeeeeed to have more stuff but rather live with what we need and not excessively. We can do this, we will not be controlled by our finances.
- Do you have a strict budget?
- How do you budget?
- Are you working toward debt free living?