Friday, March 4, 2016



Thank you so much for reading this! Writing a blog is a great way for me to keep my focus and maybe I can help someone else along the way.  I am a previous blogger, and just like my budgeting I fell off the wagon.  BUT, I am back, starting anew and feeling stronger than before.  Let me give you guys some history so you know what you are dealing with if you are a new reader.

My timeline is a little fuzzy....I'm thinking it was about 9 years ago (possibly even 10) that my husband and I decided to do the Dave Ramsey plan.  We found a Financial Peace course in a nearby town and attended.  This wasn't simple on many levels. We had 2 very small children at the time and we had to drive about 25 minutes to get to the Saturday classes.  The church that sponsored the class had child care so that helped a lot.  We were also living in a home that was more than we could afford. We had 2 car payments, credit debt, school loan and the list goes on.  We loved the classes, we felt like we learned so much.  There were people of all ages there with different stories, wants and needs.  We completed our course and began to implement what we had learned.  We sold a car, and that was good.  We built our emergency fund, way to go! And I am fairly certain we began to pay off some small debts but just like everything else the excitement dwindled and before long we were off the budget.  We tried again a few years later with pretty much the same result.  My husband continued to make decent money (I am a stay at home mom that usually generates some sort of income to help out with "extras") and our debt shovel would grow.  A debt shovel is money that is to be used to apply to the debt snowball.  It should get bigger with time.  The thing about the debt shovel is that we spent it on things other than debt! Over time we had played the yo-yo game where we would pay things off and ad more debt.  Vicious cycle.  Our house payment was still too high and so were our lists of "needs" (I learned early on if you called something a "need" and not a "want" then it meant you could have it).  This is how life went for quite sometime.  Years to be exact. We would fall off the budget wagon only to get back on.  We meant well, really we did.  We were simply undisciplined.  All of that history my friends has led us to this point.....

The rule of thumb is that your house payment should be 25% or less of your take home pay.  Ours was over that.  We had a beautiful home that was always a source of financial contention for us.  We had all this accumulated debt as well.  While we loved our home we wanted to make improvements that we could simply not afford.  In November of 2014 we put the house on the market and decided we were going to get out of debt. We started that debt snowball one more time.  By the time July 2015 rolled around we had sold (not closed) the house and been consistently paying debt.  With our closing date in limbo we needed to find a place to live.  We set out on the hunt for a new home.  I had my mind set that I wanted to buy a home and my husband wanted to build.  I quickly came to realize that if we bought a house we would be in the same shape financially as we were.  We did not want to make a lateral move.  At that time it just so happened a piece of land we had had our eyes on went up for sale and we bought it (yes taking out yet another loan but that's another story for another time).  Although we bought property we were in no way ready to build.  We settled on a rental property and moved in.  We have 3 kids and went from a 3400 square foot house (including the basement) to a roughly 1400 square foot home.  It sounds heinous and at times it is but this is where the fun begins.......

ALL OF OUR UTILITIES WENT DOWN!!!!! Every. Single. One. Of. Them.  We pay a grand less in rent than we did in house payment. Holla!  Needless to say the debt shovel is huge and our debt snowball is even has been building since 2014 after all.  There are many pros and cons to renting and I will talk about them later.  I have to say, while my life is completely different than what it was, it is so much better!

Even though we have tried and failed this process more than once I do not look at that as a negative.  We have learned so much and as with everything else in life we have grown. With age comes maturity.  We are on the right path and we are stoked! If you continue to read my blog (and I sincerely hope you do) you will be riding along this journey with me.  I will share all my tips and experiences and hopefully we can learn a thing or two along the way.......