My job presented me with the opportunity to take Dave Ramsey’s Smart Dollar series for $50 through payroll deduct. To sweeten the pot, if we finish it by October 3rd they will refund that money! It’s a win-win and I figured at the very least we would learn something.
In the past, I’ve tried to get out of debt, but when you are married and both people are not invested in an idea, it doesn’t work. This time I have my husband on board and taking the course with me.
Our first step was to sit down and figure out our debts. That was pretty easy and pretty black and white. I have all our bills and balances saved in a spreadsheet and have done that for years. However, any discretionary spending (clothes, gas, groceries, etc) is not budgeted for and we just spend what is left. According to Dave this is all wrong and I think we kind of knew that all along, but it’s not fun to budget every penny. BUT…that is what we are going to do. We have to.
This week was a pretty normal week for us in terms of spending (minus a concert that we attended 2 1/2 away) so we decided to track our spending this week to get a ballpark idea of what we spend. I want you to know that I am not entirely sure of the number right now. Mostly because I stopped tracking mid-week because the number was too depressing. I immediately went to my husband with the number on Thursday and we had our a-ha moment. Our no wonder we are in debt and broke moment.
And let me clarify that we are not broke in the sense that I can’t afford to go to gas station and fill my car up right now without digging in the couch cushions, or go out and blow a couple hundred dollars on a night out (cash), or that our electric is seconds from being shut off. I mean broke in the sense that we carry a hefty amount of credit card debt EVERY month, we have two car payments, two mortgages, and three jobs and a side business to pay for it all. Broke in the sense that my kids have more in their savings accounts than I do. Broke in the sense that if we keep it up heading in the direction we are heading (paying minimums) it would take us about two decades to get out of debt.
The plan for tonight is to add up that number (the extra we spent this week above and beyond bills) and come up with a more appropriate number that we BUDGET. We plan on going at this monster full strength tomorrow and starting our journey.
See you tomorrow!