Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Frugal Momma...yes I am!

I have been following a blog for a few months and I have been inspired.
Finances have never been something that I enjoy talking about. This could be because I have never had tons, our family is not where we want to be financially, and simply, money stresses me beyond measure.
But this is a new year, so I am putting all of the "fear" I have of money away and meeting it head on. Our family has a goal and we want to reach it, therefore, we have to be at a better place financially.
Since this blog is really my own personal journal I figure I would write down exactly what I am doing, this with hopes that since it is "written" that it will stick. This may be a little too personal and even a little uncomfortable, I am not promising entertainment, or even something you will care to read about at all, so I apologize ahead of time. But either way, we have to do this, so here it goes.To all 3 of my blog readers out there, welcome to:

"the Shepherd Family, cutting out of the crap we spend money on, Cash only,giving to the Lord FIRST and saving for our future home, Financial Journey"

We are a family of 4, 2 car payments, insurance, cell phones, credit cards, school loans, child care, groceries, gas, entertainment, storage, mortgage (land) payment, ymca membership, rent

*Our goal during this deployment (12 months) is the pay off debt while putting some money aside for living off of between Mark's discharge and new employment. We are 4 months into the deployment and have paid down our debt just a little and saved nothing.*

Since we live with my parents, we do not have some normal expenses such as, pricey rent (I pay $185 vs $1045 we paid in CO) and we do not pay internet ($40 in CO).
Some other expenses that have changed since the move:
Groceries ($200 vs $300+ in CO)
Storage + $90
Childcare + $300

I am changing around our bill pay system a bit this month. This will help for two reasons.
1.) relieve some of the pressure of 'little bills' that sneak up during the month
2.) helps to clear some of the fog over the "bigger financial picture"

Each month I will post a new "mission". These are things we are working on and praying about along the journey.

January financial mission:
Get rid of 'little bills':
Take advantage of free military YMCA membership (fee will go from $41 to $0)
Cancel Netflix (+$9)
Cancel Banfield dog insurance (+$24)
Cut out one day of MDO for girls (+$100)
Mission Accomplished = +$174


Heather said...

Congratulations, Paige! (and Mark, too!) I feel you, totally and completely. I 100% understand what it feels like to have the goals but feel as though you're making little progress towards them. I think writing them down makes you feel more accountable for sticking to them, so this is a great start for you.

If I can offer any advice, it's to take a look at Dave Ramsey's website: www.daveramsey.com. He has a "debt snowball" that discusses how to pay off all the "little debts" first, and work your way to the bigger ones. Even if you don't use any of the other principles he discusses, it's a great way to get fired up about meeting your financial goals.

Mark may also be able to take advantage of a "Financial Peace" program while he's deployed. A friend of mine (different unit, different duty station) is running one of those programs himself while a part of OIF, and I believe it's free for servicemembers. Something to think about.

Anyway, thanks for commenting on my posts, too. I showed them to Tony and it made him feel better knowing that I'm not just spilling my guts to the internet for no good reason; that other people are reading it and benefiting... sorta. :-)

Kim Harms said...

Wow! Im really proud of you... and Mark! It takes a lot to make changes like this and you are on the right track! There are a lot of people out there who could benefit from doing this so you are one step ahead of them. :) I also wanted to mention Dave Ramsey, I know a few people who are on his path and have only spoken great things about him and his plans. :) I know it will be hard at first... but know in the long run, this will only benefit you and your family. And by the way, I MISS YOU!!!!

Kim said...

We too are cutting out the crap and focusing on paying down debt. I really feel different since we stopped giving to the church and not in a good way. We always wrote a check the 1st of the month to our church and they got our $$ first. Now we don't give any. I really want to get back to that place.

We are using our income tax to almost pay off the truck, get it paid off totally by July then put that payment on CC bills and such. Once we pay down a few small debts, those payments will go to other bills/savings.

It is my goal to be debt free as we can by time the baby turns 2 so we are in a better place for me to maybe stay home with him or her. As of now, there is no way I could and almost need to now but childcare for 2 will still be a bill we have to worry about.

I am putting it all in God's hands b/c with him on my side I know we can do it. It is a promise to him to get us out of the debt we created ourselves and give back to him.

Sandi Davis said...

This is definitely a great goal for you and a good time to do it. I actually let Michael and the kids know that it is time to cut back and try to get out of debt. I hope I can be as strong about it as you are. Good Luck!