The first month of 2012 has flown by! It has been a month of changes. They have been exciting for us as a family trying to live frugally and make our money serve us well. Something we never really committed to in the past.
What changed for us? I suppose it was like most couples. Being sick and tired of the fear of the unknown financially. What if hubby's job disappeared? What if the engine blew in the car? What is one of us God forbid became ill? What would we do?
The reality finally set into our heads. We control the "what if?" We have one and only one choice. BE PREPARED! Have a fully funded Emergency Fund, pay off debt, live within our means. Sounds easy hunh? We have tried several times over the last 5 years. Even succeeding for a while. We just would get bored, feel to deprived, have a mini emergency and have to wipe out our fund and get discouraged.
We would tell ourselves, "Why save, every time we get ahead something breaks, or someone gets ill (usually I'm the culprit here) and we are back to ZERO! Well, DUH! It finally sunk in, that's why they call in the Emergency Fund! They were Emergencies! What would have happened if the funds weren't there? We just had to suck it up and quit making excuses. There it was, stop making excuses!
Just like many couples nowadays, sick and tired of being sick and tired! Plain and not so simple! It takes hard work, just as hard as you worked to earn it. Wise spending, frugal living and financial security have to be your second job!
So when everyone else was ringing in the new year, we were sitting down with all of our bills and making our realistic budget and setting goals for 2012. We discussed our strengths and weaknesses, made sure we understood the others wants and needs and made sure we were going to attack this as a team.
OUR PLAN OF ACTION
Opened a Ing Direct account (right then and there, savers since December, 31 2011!)
Move closer to hubby's work (he drives 180 miles day round trip multiply that by 12 years!)
Set and stick to a grocery and household budget. Menu plan and clip coupons!
Snowflake, Snowflake, Snowflake!!! Make all that extra money and my little baking side gig work for us, while finding other ways to earn money.
Dust off this blog! I love to blog but got lazy about it. Now I will be accountable by posting our efforts here. Who knows maybe make some money at it someday (stranger things have happened)
We are very excited and motivated. I personally am treating it like a game. It works for me to have fun and stay interested or I get distracted. Posting here and joining some really wonderful blog challenges are working for me.
Debt Snowflake Challenge hosted by Melissa at Mom's Plans.
The Year of Zero with Frugal In Florida.
This is how we did so far.
Snowflakes for January- $494.98
Grocery budget -$ 10.35 under for the month (miracles never cease)
No spend days: 14 (still a few days left in the month but we are stocked up and should be safe)
Coupon savings- $33.44
Hopefully I can add more categories to snowflake. We are giving ourselves leeway in the budget for groceries and being realistic that our budget is a ever changing process. We are not going to make excuses and feel like we deserve rewards we haven't earned.
So, that's how it happened for us. I would love to hear about your moment. What got you on your path to freedom? Thank you all so much for stopping by. I am so encouraged by all you other bloggers out there and its so wonderful that you share your journey with the rest of us! Happy Weekend! Bring on February!