Thursday, March 21, 2013

State of Unrest

A few days ago, a very sweet person left me a comment asking about how we were doing on our Total Money Makeover.  She had noticed that I hadn't posted about it in a while and was wondering if I had any tips or advice to share with staying on track.


See, what this darling gal didn't know is that our finances had been a pretty hot topic in our house for the last couple weeks.  "Hot" as in tense discussions were abounding, lips were being drawn into straight lines, fingernails were being chewed on until they bled, and words were being said that probably shouldn't have been.

The short answer on how we're doing?  NOT WELL.

Not well, at all.

We had this down, you guys.  We sat down every Sunday night and entered our spending for the previous week in a spreadsheet and then dispersed our cash into envelopes for the upcoming week.  I paid bills online and entered those in the spreadsheet and then we would close the computer and breathe a sigh of relief because we know we were in control of every dollar that went in and out of our home.  We saved up money to put a roof on our cash.  We paid off every single credit card.

We purchased a cash.  Flying high and having a big and "not really rich but we feel like it" time.

Then we found out Evan's job was being transferred and we shifted our priority from paying off debt to saving for a down payment on a new house.  We scrounged and saved and were blessed enough to even be gifted enough money to make it happen and (praise God!) we moved into our new home in August of last year.

Then everything just kind of....stopped.  We still did our budget every Sunday night, but slowly it became more of a guideline or a suggestion rather than the law.  My Target debit card was getting a lot more use since there was now one right down the street rather than a 35 minute drive.  Evan stopped taking the time to pack a lunch.  Landing smack dab in this new city had us wanting to do, to have, and to BUY.  And we did.  Without much thought, I'm ashamed to say.

As I write this post, we are awaiting a call from the woman who is preparing our taxes.  I will likely have a big ole' baby fit when I hear what she has to say because we know we will be owing several thousand dollars.  This is coming right on the heels of our finally getting honest with one another about how we have both been self-sabotaging our budget. 

It's no mystery why my headaches are back.

We've got to get our act together.  We need to make some painful cuts and I need to work more to increase our income.  Looking ahead, we can see so many things that we need to start saving for in the midst of getting back on track with paying off our debt.  One of our cars is at 211,000 miles and is going to need to be replaced soon.  The basement needs to be finished off so we can have a bedroom for guests to stay in, which becomes especially important when Evan is in China several times a year and I have someone come to help me with the kids while I'm at work. 

It's overwhelming.  And really, I'm embarrassed that we let it get to this point.  It's so easy to let old habits slip slowly back in and to lose control completely.

But we are going to beat this.  We have the basic knowledge and we also know that God is with us in this endeavor.  And if he is for us, there is no way this is going to stop us.

And if all else fails, I'll just rent the kids out to neighbors who need yard work done.  It's high time the 18 month old starts pulling his weight anyway.

Kidding.  (kind of)


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