We have no money. Zero. Why would two people that make as much money as we do not have enough money to fill their gas tanks when ever they want? 90% my fault.
I grew up wealthy. My mother was/is a doll of a woman that never denied me anything. I was a person that was very good at manipulating her. There for I had her credit card at all times and used it like it was my job. I was living a very high life. I tried very hard to fill the lonely little hole in my heart with crap. Being used to that life style I didn't really understand when I married Josh that the pay out had stopped. He got laid off three weeks before we got married. I was working retail. (Pottery Barn!!!!! So fun!) BUT, I was still spending like my mother was going to bale me out. Except now it was my own credit card. I ran up so much money that I lack the bravery to tell you. It would be a healthy years salary for a new school teacher.
One of the other big problems was the biggest purchase. This house. We got an amazing price on it and even put it on a 20 year loan. Then he got laid off and I went back to nursing school. We maxed out the houses equity. MAXED it out. When the smoke cleared the farm was buried so deep we couldn't sell if we wanted to. And with current mortgage situations we could never afford to buy anything even close. Plus we LOVE this place. It is part of our identity. Leaving would be nearly impossible.
How did the problems get fixed? About two years ago we ran out of credit. Gone. All burnt up. So now what the hell were we to do? Bottom out. Just like an alcoholic. I couldn't fix my stupid addiction with out hitting the bottom.
We had a few months bickering with each other about this. But instead of letting money rip us apart we became a team. We closed every single credit card account. You don't have to pay them off to close them. We can not have the temptation. We began to hold each other liable for our choices. If he bought something I called him out. If I spent money he called me out. We got paid and then we talked about what to do with the money. I haven't bought myself brand new shoes in years.
We survive by working together and figuring it out. We just saved up and scrounged up $1100 cash to replace Josh's tires. It took us a month but we did it. And it was so satisfy to pay cash for it.
We called our credit cards and told them we were tapped out. They didn't want to believe us. But finally we worked out. We got a five year (or maybe less) plan with how to deal with them. We are 1.5 years in and so far so good. We have three paid off. The HUGE ones are still in progress but they are going along. They should be done early actually.
We did have one major expense occur during this time period. The vasectomy reversal. Yikes. This kid better make the 10K up to me. (I have no doubt he/she will).
So what is the progress:
We have one car payment. Mine. If that car can make it a little longer I would really appreciate it. But at 125K miles we are on borrowed time. My plan is that it is dies we will just have to make do with what ever we can afford to replace it. Which will not be anything to write home about. Josh's truck better just last forever.
The credit cards will be paid off for sure with in the next 3.5 years. Which will clear up $550 dollars a month.
The vasectomy loan will be over in 2.5 years. Clearing up $350 a month.
We cut our winter energy bill by $600 dollars MONTHLY!!! You may not believe that, but I have a post coming up to prove it.
The biggest improvement has been us. Josh eats ramen noodles every day for lunch. That man is the master of thrifty. He is so good at not spending money. I buy the kids clothes at goodwill and used kids clothing stores. We don't buy things just because we are sad or annoyed or bored. We only buy what we need. If we want a little splurge we talk to each other about it. We save up for it and we only pay cash. I don't even buy gas on my debit card. If my wallet is empty than I am done. Christmas was a cash only event. I avoid places were easy shopping occurs. I don't go to the mall. I don't even got to Target (so tempting). I grocery shop at walmart because its cheap and had few temptation for clothes or shoes.
Getting my hair cut at the Aveda Beauty School for $15 instead of $40 at the salon
Grocery shopping at walmart
Only using cash to cut out temptation buying
Deal shopping online to cut out the extra temptations (like at Christmas)
Not eating out. Well, hardly even. My kids have not been to a resturaunt were a waiter brings you your drink (Except on vacation, cheap Mexican, or with Grandma) in two years. But Lily did just get really good grades so I think a sushi treat is in order.
And what else?????