So it's been a month since I started my total money makeover and I have to say that it's been a successful month!! It's also been a month of sacrifices, but I have to say that it honestly has not been that bad. Not bad at all. Living on a budget is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be and to be honest, it's even been kind of fun :p As much as I suck at math, I've always kind of enjoyed it too, so it's been fun being limited to a certain amount of cash instead of just swiping the card and not worrying about what's on there.
That means restrictions too though. I can't have $15 take out meals every night because I only have $80 every two weeks for food. I'm seeing how much of my money is going to cigarettes too which is a good motivation to quit eventually. I'm limiting myself to $100 every two weeks for "blow money" or spending money. And all of my money goes into it's own envelopes. It's very tempting to dip into another envelope category when I want extra blow money, but I have not so far!!
This month looks pretty drastic, but that's mostly for two reasons. I wanted my emergency fund pretty quickly so I DID do something drastic. I sold a LOT of my books on eBay. And I'm talking some beloved books. Like signed Neil Gaiman books, limited edition books, rare books, etc. I figured that's what got me into debt...at least some of it..that's what can help get me out. So I made about $1000 on ebay which is what I needed for my emergency fund!! I also got my tax refund already which helped pay off some credit card debt!! So here are the first month's numbers...and they feel good :) I'll show the original numbers as well:
Checking account: Starting Number (1/2012): $531.71 February 2012: $33.74 (This is actually a GOOD thing as all of my money is in cash in my envelopes or paid towards my debt. The goal is actually for this to be ZERO)
Savings Account: Starting Number (1/2012): $25.80 February 2012: $1,001.95 (FULLY FUNDED EMERGENCY FUND!!!)
401K: Starting Number (1/2012): $13,289.76 February 2012: $14,737.67
Credit Card Debt: Starting Number (1/2012): $7,154.34 February 2012: $5691.49
Student Loans: Starting Number (1/2012): $13,318.94 February 2012: $13,193.34
SO! This is all in ONE MONTH guys!!! Like I said...this is an exceptional month. The rest of this process will be slowly chiseling away at the debt that I have, but I have to say I am proud of myself :) I can see a HUGE light at the end of this tunnel!! And for those wondering, the process I'm using is Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover...which is so simple I wish I was using it ages ago. Can't wait to see what things look like on March sixth!! And I promise book reviews soon guys :p