If I could say that my husband and I have an area of our marriage where we've been through the ringer and back, it would be in the area of finances. We've done it all - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I'm so open about this area now to anyone who wishes to 'talk shop' because, well, I feel like wherever you are - we've been. I wish I could tell the whole story...it's a good one. But the gist is.....
We've had plenty. We've been lean. We've had just enough. We've had not enough. And we've survived with our marriage intact (and even a few battle scars). In the past five years, my hubs and I have "Dave Ramsey'd" ourselves debt free (except mortgage) and it felt good. Unbelievably good. Since then, we've loosened a little with extreme "budgets", but the motivation for simplicity stuck.
Then came Africa. I came back to my remodeled home and Lexus SUV.....and I just felt stupid. Then came budget cuts from our schools. We both are teachers, so take every healthcare hike and teacher salary freeze and multiply it times two - not fun. Then comes ballet lessons, food cost increasing, rising gas prices.....whew! We both realized we needed to get in "Dave" mode again before we were right back to where we used to be.
My point is......whatever you gotta do to get your budget in order - you just gotta do it. I know so many people who are struggling financially, and as someone who's 'been there' I say - swallow your pride and just do it. Whatever needs to be done, sold, taken on, etc. - just do it.
Five years ago, to get Dave Ramsey debt free, my hubs and I sold our nice (expensive) house and two nice Tahoes and bought a tiny 1200 sq.ft home and two cars that cost less than $8,ooo combined. We drove those stinkers until they nearly fell apart, but we got debt free in the process and never felt smarter. It did hurt and we were embarrassed at first.....but only for a little while. We just felt smarter the less 'out of debt' we got.
Fast forward five years..... a medium sized affordable home and two used (but paid for) larger cars. Better, but still not 'green' on the gas budget. Africa helped me let go of any attachment to my "Lex" so, a few days ago, we went to one dealership and traded in both our guzzlers for greener cars. No financing, just a sign on the line deal. Once again - we feel smart. A little snug, but smart. ; )
$35 fill ups rock.
Marriage is hard enough. Money stress only magnifies it. If you are out there and any of this sounds familiar, email me. We have an excel file that we've crafted over the years and it really helps when it comes to planning your month.
Again - just a helpful post today. None of this is eternal anyway....