Monday, February 6, 2012

Total Money Makeover February Update

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 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


DesLily said...

I am proud as a MaMa can be!! :o)

Care said...

You got your tax refund already?! I'm still waiting for official papers to come to me before I can even file. NOT FAIR!

But still, GOOD FOR YOU all this discipline and saving and doing AWESOME. :D

Vasilly said...

Oh My God, Chris! You're doing a great job! I know it was scary and a little sad to sell your books on ebay but it's also a great feeling to have your emergency fund fully funded. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Good for you!!

Susan said...

I am so proud of you for staying with this, and can I say I am just a little sad that you had to sell your beloved books? You must be really determined to get out of debt, and that is worth your sacrifice. Thanks for sharing this!

Carl V. said...

You Rock!!!

So cool to get that emergency fund up and rolling so quickly. That is such a comfort to have that there. Adds a lot of peace and relieves a lot of stress in this process.

Like you I found living on a budget to be much easier than I thought it would be and eventually it became so easy that it became very freeing and I couldn't imagine not having one now even though we are done paying off all of our credit card debt.

Very cool to be so faithful with the envelopes and stuff. It is tempting to dip here and there but the more faithful you can be to the goals you set for yourself and to your budget the more freeing this ultimately becomes.

I feel your pain about sacrificing some cherished books. I sold some Gaiman too, including my Absolute Sandman collection. I made $3K through ebay and sales during the first year of doing this and that paid off a good chunk of debt. Once the books were gone I honestly didn't miss them. Now my collection is more pruned to things I really want for the long haul and things I have yet to read but know that I want to. Still every so often I cull the herd a bit.

I am so very proud of you and so thrilled that you are doing this. If you ever hit a wall or need some encouragement in any way make sure to drop me a line as I'd love to be there for you in any way that I can. I am living proof of the life changing nature of this program and want to see you debt free, fully funded long term emergency fund, and all the other good stuff.

Heather said...

I am so so so so so SO proud of you!!!! I think I may have to get this book.

Chris said...

Deslily, thank you mama :)

Care, I did!! I did my taxes as SOON as I got all of my paperwork, lol. And did direct deposit for my refunds. Just filed electronically. Hope you can get yours done soon too!!

Vasilly, Thanks :D Yeah, it was rough, but really not too bad! And I feel much better now :D

Jill, Well hey miss softdrink :D Thanks :)

Susan, Aw, I'm ok :) It was rough parting with them, but it really wasn't THAT bad!

Carl, I parted ways with my Absolute Sandman's too! I'm with you...I don't miss them as much as I thought I would. I lost a lot of books after Katrina, so I've not let myself get AS attached as I did before. I DO plan on culling down even more though. That's AWESOME that you got $3000 over the year from selling stuff!! I'd like to do that as well!! You were actually the motivation for me to sell some books :) I remember you selling books a few years ago when you started trying to get out of debt...and look at you now!! Such an inspiration :) Thanks for that!!

Heather, Thanks my dear :D You really really should get the book!! It's so fantastic!!

animewookie said...

Great job Chris!!! And beings my daughter benefited from your book selling, it's a win win for the lot of

Becky said...

How cool Chris! Are we on some sort of wave-length or something? I'm doing similar with my own debt, savings, and 401k, which is why I'm signing up to teach summer school. It has me a bit freaked out, but taking control of your money like this is so great! Good luck!