Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For Richer For Poorer

Emphasis on the for poorer part. When the Man and I made a commitment to put up with each other for the rest of our lives, we knew that our finances would present a rather looming obstacle. Coming from a single-parent home, the Man had to depend on Sallie Mae to fund his entire college career (eight semesters at a private college - you do the math). Add my lack of self-control to all things Starbucks and Target, I racked up quite a bit of credit card debt fresh out of college. Together, we were platinum members to every bank, credit union, and loan company in existence. Two weeks before we tied the knot, the Man introduced me to a new friend of his:

(For those of you who only know his voice and not his face, that's Dave Ramsey. Kinda handsome, no?) The Man purchased "The Total Money Makeover," which I read cover to cover in one afternoon, and since we've hit the ground running. For the first time in both of our lives, we feel as though we've taken control of our money. We saved our small emergency fund, have been attacking our debt snowball, and are living off of a strict "rice and beans" budget. And I mean strict. People are shocked to hear that the Man and I have been living on a $80/month grocery budget. We've had to make a lot of sacrifices, but we've never gone hungry (thanks in part to my handy dandy crock pot). I haven't bought new clothes since Easter, and even then I used gift cards. We haven't been to movie together since before we were married. Our (free) TV is from circa 1995 and weighs as much as our truck. We don't even try to date our (free)mattresses. I've sold my brand new racing bike, the Man is selling his motorcycle, and we're seriously considering selling one or two of our guitars.
Even though we're slowly making progress, we're nowhere near where we'd like to be. We've managed to pay off several credit cards, but we've got a LONG way to go in terms of school loans. It's proven difficult to live frugally when our combined income is less than what most people make individually. BUT, we're trusting the Lord will provide and He has already blessed our stewardship tenfold. Plus, our budget is an excuse for me to eat chocolate chip pancakes for dinner four nights in a row. Always the optimist, I am.


NysaK said...

my man and I need to get better with finances, we face no school loans and we DO have a bit of savings for emergency's but the one credit card we have is higher than I'd like to see it, thankfully he's deploying this winter and I am much better with finances when he's gone(nobody to spend with)

Christine said...

Well done, you!!

And keep on keeping on! You can do it.