I wonder if men engage in as many self-help projects as women do. I also wonder if most women engage in as many self-help projects as I do. All my life I have felt like I needed to make some dramatic changes in my life. I have been rather cursed by self awareness. No joke. I think a lot of it comes from listening to talk radio as a child. Everyone had a problem and a question. But of course I can only speak for me.
My latest undertakingthough isn’t exactly a self-help project for just me. It is for our whole family. The nice thing is my husband and I are taking this step together which for me is pretty crazy. The “together” part is crazy to me. Long story short, as a single mom for many years (12) I became very accustomed to taking care of things myself. Not always the best way, but still everything was taken care of. The very idea of being a team financially was really hard to swallow. Not that we haven’t been a team, we just haven’t always played together with our finances. Basically each month I gave my husband a portion of my check to pay the bills and I would take care of groceries and health and beauty aids with the rest.
This was working for us…
Okay it could have been worse. We made the ends meet that needed to be met but we were in debt. We weren’t in over our heads or anything, but when my station closed, if God hadn’t come through in the amazing way he did, we would have been freaking out in a big way.
Praise God, for what he did. Though our radio station was closed on Friday the 16th of October, we were able to start again on a different channel on Monday, October 19th. That my friend was a God thing. Trust me on this. As grateful as I was and am, I realized that had things turned out differently, we would have been in a struggle. There were a few financial issues that needed to be addressed and changed. Most of those issues were probably my own.
I had a few problem areas like my credit card. I didn’t go crazy on it, but things would come up and my card would come out. Like birthdays and Christmas. Well frankly both. My son’s birthday is literally two days after Christmas. I would end up over spending on gifts and special dinners and then find myself sliding the card out to make it work. Next thing you know, I am paying hefty payments to try and knock it all down and praying my husband wont get mad at me. Not that he would, but I really really didn’t want to disappoint him because he is SOOOOO good with credit cards. He pays it off EVERY month. Me…I dare to dream.
Several months ago my co-worker took a Financial Peace University class at her church and I begged her to tell me if they ever did another class. It had been something I wanted to do for a long time. I even purchased a couple of Dave Ramsey’s books (on sale of course) but I hate to say, I didn’t finish a one. I hoped that taking a class would give me the accountability boost I needed.
February 7 our class began and dude! Now thanks to Dave Ramsey (and I say that in the best way possible), we are on a budget!
And the best part? I am excited!
I didn’t start out excited. In fact the first time my husband wanted to have a financial meeting, I felt like a little monster was sitting inside me and ready to bust out and scream “NO!”
It didn’t go well. It was like 10 or 20 minutes before bed time, and as the person who gets up earlier than anyone in the house on a weekday I simply was not having it. I know right? I was a bit of a stinker. So, yeah, about that little monster…it kind of did burst out. Not proud, but it was kind of expected.
Well now the adventure is in full force! We have made our first budget and every dime is accounted for, and as weird as that might sound (because frankly it sounded weird to me at first blush) I am pretty excited and feel like for the first time in a long time, I will not have to worry about robbing Peter to pay Paul and maybe someday, we will get that dream house in New England…or somewhere New Englandy. 🙂 We also really feel like some day we actually might be debt free. Now that is pretty cool! Can you imagine?
And last weekend was my first weekend paying cash for groceries in about 9 years! That is a very important part of this plan. We need to actually feel it when we spend and with our debit cards, and frankly we weren’t feeling anything. It was only severe paranoia that ever kept me from messing up my checking balance. And the credit card? Sure I felt the bill, but you can kind of get in a buying frenzy. And it isn’t like you have to be buying big items. I don’t even buy new clothes other than under garments and socks. I am a total thrift shop girl. What I do buy is books. Oh do I ever love books! If you don’t keep things in check even book buying can wreck your bottom line.
Okay, I am cutting out of here now, but I’ll be back soon. No really! And I’ll fill you in on what I’m learning and how changes are being made for the better!