Friday, April 8, 2011

Theory vs. Ability

In theory I should be able to get us totally out of debt by the end of the year, credit card (mine)and student loan included, car and house excluded, but car by the end of 2012. All that and pay for vacations and Christmas in cash of the cold and hard variety.

Plus a nest egg of three month's expenses. That sounds awesome, right? I mean, the little chart on the side of my Microsoft Money program says it's so... so why won't it work?

I know the car repair/kids outgrowing clothes/surprise sickness of it all is always looming in the not so distant future. But still, why can't I seem to hold onto an extra dollar? I save a great deal on my groceries now, and why isn't that making more of a dent? All that's happening is a slower hole digging process than we had before.

It's scaring me.

Then I read something that made total and complete sense: If you don't have a budget in place and a plan for every available dollar you save, anything you save is really pointless.

It's like looking at one of those double rainbows. I felt the heavens open and the sun hit my face. Doh!

So, a mere three hours later I have set up what we actually spend on a sheet of paper. I found an awesome worksheet that helps you see your expenditures and track your actual spending for a month. I was assured you'd be surprised to see what you actually spend vs. what you think you spend.

For instance: I thought I spent about $200 a week on groceries I actually spent about $320. What!?! I was a little shocked. That is considering the eating out (minimal) and the incidentals bought at the grocery store. Once I made that determination, I set about to end the overspending. Now I am closer to $250, but I haven't tracked. Not really closely. That is not helping one little bit.

I feel like I can actually make this happen for us. I would love... LOVE... to totally live off K's salary. That would rock hard. Then we could go all Dave Ramsay and snowball this debt to nothing.

For now... well, baby steps.

No comments:

Post a Comment