Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Life on a Budget

In the spirit of building a house and using up all of our money to do it (and going over budget every time I turn around!), I am reading The Money Saving Mom's Budget, by Crystal Paine.  Now, let me start by saying that I am no stranger to The Budget.  I grew up with a mom that was, and still is, a champion budget master.  A mom who tried her hardest to impress upon me the value of money and the work it took to get it.  And I am a HUGE fan of Dave Ramsey... in theory.  I've tried to budget.  I have.  And honestly, we don't do too badly, though I really think that has more to do with Mr. T's amazing money making ability that with my budgeting prowess. 

But I am realizing that I really hate, HATE, having debt.  More than that, I hate watching our savings dwindle and dwindle while we finish this house and wonder when and how we are going to build it back up.  And I am using that hate as motivation to get our financial fitness back in shape.  Starting with the budget.  And here we are, back to the book I am reading.

I have some big money goals.  We don't have a ton of debt, but we do have a small car loan, and a business credit card that we carry a balance on.  I want to see both of those gone, sooner rather than later.  Then I want to build our emergency fund and savings back up.  And then I want to pay off the house.  That's right the house that we are currently siphoning money into like gas into an empty tank.  I want it paid for.  Which, admittedly, is going to take a good chunk of time.

Side note - know what is really cool?  Actually, it's two things.  That house we are mainlining money into, the mortgage on that puppy is less than we are paying in rent right now.  Cool.  Also cool?  When we are finished dumping our hard earned cash into it, it will be worth a right good chunk more than we payed into it.  Hooray. 

But for now, we are going on budget lockdown.  Which means I am going to have to learn the art of getting more for less.  And probably a lot of DIY.  And absolutely more crockpot cooking and meal planning.  And all in all, I am actually pretty excited about it.  I'll keep you posted as to when, exactly, that excitement loses its impact.  I'll also keep you posted if and when I stumble across good ideas for keeping costs down and making a dollar go farther. 

Do you have a favorite cost cutting measure?  Feel free to share.  I need all the help I can get.

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