Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 1: The Money Pit Challenge

Well as they say, When it Rains it Pours... And three weeks ago, when I decided to use the next challenge to turn around my finances, the Almighty must have decided to have a laugh while squatting down and taking a hot steaming shit on my bank account. First it was through my brakes, which apparently were all but existent. Then it was the air conditioner in our house that the handy man described as "a doozy" (this is never a good thing). And finally, to put the corn kernel on top, the hospital sent me a nice little note explaining that my insurance company doesn't want to pay for my labor and delivery.


So what's a girl to do? She polishes off a bottle of wine and then makes a plan. Welcome to my plan.
Here is the reason for this challenge (besides the obvious stated above), I feel that although a swollen bank account can by no means make you happy, it can certainly make you free. And by that I mean freedom to pursue dreams, freedom from stress that comes from knowing you don't truly own anything you have, and freedom from spinning your wheels with working a job to pay the bills, while spending more because you need retail therapy from your job. Ultimately, I am not looking to get rich (but if the Spirit leads you to send me money, follow it!) but more importantly to live free from debt and financial stress. So first things first, I must use the B-word. That's right, Budget. This word is likened to the F-word in my house and we have avoided saying it for years because truthfully neither me nor my husband are math wizards (Understatement: There are 5th graders that could smoke us in a Math Challenge) and looking at a spreadsheet gives me hives. But now is the time to change this, and a budget must be made. So we are taking the Dave Ramsey route and doing the "envelope system" where we pay all of the fixed bills through our bank account and take out a set amount of cash for all non-fixed items (i.e. Grocery, entertainment, and misc.). We will start our $1,000 emergency fund and then start snowballing all of our payments to debt smallest to largest. Sure, this sounds easy enough on paper, but when Ashley told me tonight that my hair appointment will have to come out of the miscellaneous cash account which will all but deplete it for the month, I had a small panic attack. In the words of my wise handy man, this should be a doozy.

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