Many of you are probably asking yourself why anyone would want to live on such a strict budget when they don’t have to. The answer is simple! Are you ready for it? Financial Peace! Dave Ramsey speaks about this often and I think he is a very wise person to follow. Over the last few years we have been paying off debt as quickly as possible. I will tell you what worked for my family and hopefully it will help you as well.
- Gather ALL your bills and write them down on a debt load sheet. http://www.momsbudget.com/printables/monthlydebt.html
- Write down what your average monthly income is
Chances are if you’re like most people your debt out ways your income so you are juggling bills.
- Now make a list of unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills etc. ), bills (electric, gas, water)and secured debts (house and car)
- If there is anything that you can cut out such as cable bill, internet, eating out, eating steak 3x a week, expensive shampoos and trips to the hair salon then I suggest you do so now. Make a list off the things you don’t have to have and then cut it out of your life.
- Then check on refinancing vehicles, mortgage, re-quote auto insurance, look into new cell phone plans etc. You will be surprised how much money you are spending that you don’t have to.
- Now for the fun part. Make sure you’re paying your secured debt and re-occurring bills. Then call all the places you have unsecured debt and figure out how much you can pay them monthly.
- Once you have all your bills in order then figure out how much money you have to plan meals for that pay period, shop cheap and smart and you can make it work. Trust me I’ve done it.
- Plan your gas expense wisely. Don’t make unnecessary trips.
- Once all your bills are paid, you have your meals and gas then if you’re lucky and you have extra then don’t blow it on junk. Look at those unsecured debts and try to start making extra payments to get out from underneath them. Credit cards can rack up large interest rates very quickly.
Paying off debt isn’t easy and it takes lots of dedication. We struggled with this for years and we are finally coming out on top of it. We recently paid off a very large chunk of our debt. We even sold an extra vehicle to help us tackle it. We now are able to function without having to struggle to meet our needs. Instead of blowing the “extra income” that we have now we just invest it into something else.
- We paid off medical bills and credit cards so now we are using the money that was going toward those bills and putting part into my 401K,paying off our vehicle and any other small bills we have. We want to stay ahead of our finances.
- We don’t have cable not because we can’t afford it but we don’t want to.
- I still cook almost all our meals at home and I keep a strict meal plan in place so that we don’t go over a normal budget.
- We also have a monthly amount that we put into savings (our nest egg for emergencies)
We worked too hard to get to the point that we are at and I refuse to go backwards.
We still have debt and normal bills but we are working on getting completely out of debt.
If you haven’t already I would suggest reading up on Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/specials/welcome
Pray over your finances and be honest about your situation. Debt won’t go away just because we choose to ignore it.