Friday, December 7, 2012

One Step Closer to Financial Freedom

I have finally made it to the realization that I hate being in debt. I almost had myself and everyone else fooled that I enjoyed it, considering how many times I've paid off my credit cards, only to turn around and rack them up again.

In the grand scheme of things I'm not that bad off and could very easily pay off my credit cards well before the end of 2013. However, there is also the debt I have with Isabel. You see, I have been saving up for Isabel to go to college. She's four, so I have fourteen more years to add to this fund. But at this time last year I went a little crazy and felt the need to be the best mom, daughter, aunt, step mom, fiance, future daughter-in-law ever and bought way too many gifts. At this point in time I was still in the mind set that quantity was better than quality.

One adventurous year later and my way of thinking has changed drastically and our Christmas this year will be much MUCH smaller. I don't think Christmas is about how much you spend, but who you spend it with. Last year I borrowed money from Isabel thinking I have fifteen years to pay it back interest free. Well that way of thinking has caused me to not pay any of it back. Until now.

I'm sick of owing people money. I'm sick of dreading getting the mail. All of our bills come at once and although convenient during the pay period that they are not due, I have not budgeted correctly and am always scrambling during the pay period that they are due (which also happens to be rent week).

So I have made it my new goal in life to budget better and pay off all of my debt before the stroke of midnight December 31, 2013. It's going to be difficult, but it is definitely do-able.

To kick things off I have started reading a new blog all about finances. What's better is that she is close to my age. Normally I'm the type of person who needs to be talked to like a kindergartner when it comes to confusing things like finances, but when I read her blog it's simple to understand and makes perfect sense. I love it and I am so glad I found it.

Here are my following steps for the month of December:
1. Get passionate about saving money and paying off debt (check!).
2. Have a garage sale and get rid of any unnecessary/unwanted possessions (check! We are having a garage sale tomorrow- couldn't have planned the timing any better).
3. Get Patrick interested in saving money and paying off his debt.
4. Work on a household budget for groceries.

It's a long road and it's not going to be easy, I already know that. But I feel like I'm in a good place and I have a good start. I've already gone over  a month without using any credit cards, and this being during Christmas shopping season! It will be amazing come January when the bills come in and I don't have any new debt.

I am hoping that our garage sale tomorrow will be successful and that Patrick and I are able to bring in a little extra money on the things that we no longer need. Our tiny apartment is over flowing with stuff that we haven't even looked at, let alone used, since we moved. He and I already decided what we're going to do with the money as well. We will be splitting the profits three ways. A third will go directly into our house fund savings and then he and I will split the difference, using it to pay down our credit cards.

It feels good to be responsible and it will feel really good this time next year when our savings accounts are drastically higher and our debts are drastically lower, if not gone completely!

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