As of 2/13/10, we are entirely consumer debt free. No credit cards, no car payments. No monkey on our back. We are FREE! This is astounding. A little over 2 years ago we were putting $200 a month on the credit cards for essentials and totally baffled at why we couldn't live on Jason's income. My friend April told us about Dave Ramsey and his book, Total Money Makeover. I read it first, with a huge dose of skepticism. Budgeting was scary and we'd never stuck to anything we'd tried in the past. I didn't think this would work either. After I read a few pages, I knew Jason had to read it too. He started and got SO excited by it. We saw a far better future for ourselves and best of all, a very easy plan to get there. So we started and we stuck with it, like we'd never ever stuck to any other budget plan before. And suddenly, that very first month, we not only had enough money to pay for everything, we had extra left over. Why had we needed that $200 on the credit card every month? We were not shorted on anything. We could still get an espresso and eat out. We still went on vacations and celebrated birthdays. Our lives were not negatively impacted at all. And best of all, even then, we felt free. We didn't worry about having enough to pay the mortgage or groceries. We knew we had it because the cash was right there in the envelope staring at us.
So I would recommend this plan to anyone who wants to get their finances under control. How we wish we'd done this 5 years earlier. We'd be in a totally different place. Its truly changed our lives.
So... in other news, my commitment to only spend 30 minutes online did not work today. But, it wasn't pointless time killing internet stuff, but research, planning and investigation. I looked for some home organization for the kid's laundry (and found it!). I planned out my gardens and ordered some seeds and starts for delivery later this year (so excited!). I ordered a new cell phone. I am pleased at how aware I've been of my time. When I started just aimlessly browsing, killing time, I left the computer and did something else. Like plant my tulip bulbs... better late than never. Right? Right?