Or, “Hey, this is actually working.”
February is in the books and our second month of sticking to a super strict budget is complete! While I wouldn’t say that we’re still doing a “Spending Fast,” we are living by a planned, written, TIGHT budget and following Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. We’ve kept a $1000 emergency fund since we went through Financial Peace University five (!!!) years ago, and up until this year we’ve been sloooooowly working on Baby Step 2 (paying off all of our debt, except for our house, using the debt snowball).
While we’ve always lived “within” our means (with the exception of a few months when we were first married and trying to figure out how to function with real salaries, credit cards and student loan payments), we’re now living belooooow our means. Dave Ramsey always says that once you live by a written budget, you’ll feel like you’ve gotten a raise. Well, in our case, it feels more like we’ve gotten another salary!
Considering the amount of money that we’ve been able to pay towards debt in the past two months, I have no idea why we waited as long as we have. It’s probably because of that little thing called discipline, I suppose.
It really is true that once you gain a little traction and have a few small victories, it keeps you motivated to keep pressing on towards your goal. And our goal? Our big, hairy audacious goal that seems almost attainable but will require all the discipline and all the perseverance? To have all of our student loans paid off in 2016.
Eeeeek! This is going to take so much faith and hard work! But when you find purpose, you can do most anything.
So how did we fare in the month of February? We paid off over $4500 additional in student loans this month!!! We were able to pay off our two smallest student loans, plus a little extra, which was the best feeling ever. Now, over $2000 of that was cashed in savings bonds from Greg’s grandparents. So we definitely won’t be able to make major payments like that every month. But a big part of this journey is using any additional money we receive (from gifts, bonuses, tax refunds, etc.) towards debt instead of buying things that we want. It feels like a sacrifice at the moment, but we know it’s worth it.
So do you have any money-saving, debt-paying tips that we may not know about? We’ll try anything once!