Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Checking in with the TMMO

We've been on the Total Money Makeover diet since May 1st and we've really started to see some significant changes in our finances after only two months of effort.

Our most exciting accomplishment has probably been paying off our first credit card and getting rid of it for good!  We're also only one payment away from paying off a second credit card so we will soon be able to take another photo of chopping up a card.  Love it!

Living on a budget has proved to be very hard.  Every Sunday night, Evan and I go through our receipts from the week and enter them into our budget spreadsheet.  We also disperse cash into our envelopes for things like groceries, baby stuff, car maintenance, etc.  The first couple months of working on the "envelope system" is tough because you need time to be able to build up a balance in them, but we are gradually starting to get the hang of it.  Now what I really need to work on is getting used to actually shopping and spending from those envelopes, rather than using the cash in my wallet and taking from the envelope later. 

We ended June about $90 over budget, but we're still pretty pleased with that outcome considering we had a bunch of gifts we had to buy in June that stretched us a bit.  For only being in our second month of the TMMO, I thought that was pretty good!

On a different note, I have struggled a bit with starting to "live like no one else so later you can life like no one else."  I would love to be able to be going on the family trip to Michigan coming up, but we're not.  I would really enjoy going on a mini-vacation for some desperately needed adult time with my husband, but we just can't right now.  I'm still having a difficult time saying "No" to the smaller luxury purchases like little gifts for Isaiah (like the $7 lightsaber at the fireworks on July 3rd), ice cream from the Schwan's guy, or a battery powered bubble gun.  I have no problem denying myself shoes, clothes that fit, or a second bra, but I find it very hard to quit buying things for my family.  This has become even more problematic since my RA diagnosis because I suddenly feel like more of a financial burden than an asset. 

How do you stay motivated to stay on a budget when it really gets hard?  What are your spending weaknesses?

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