Changing our financial habits

For those of you who know me, I have had a “slight” shopping problem in the past. You might be wondering how long ago am I talking? Well just five short weeks ago I was charging things on credit like my life depended on it. Also, to many people’s surprise I have not used a credit card in those 5 weeks. Daringly, I cut up my credit cards during a Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) class two weeks ago. Dave Ramsey talks about being a gazelle and out running the lion (debt) because your life depends on your speed. I feel so fast and liberated! I am not scared of the lion anymore. I don’t worry if we are going to have enough money at the end of the week or worry about what might be coming out of the bank. Wes and I actually sat down and did a budget! Now we know where every dollar we earn is going. For those of you who have been doing budgets, you are part of a secret world I didn’t know existed. In Proverbs 19:14 it states “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” My poor husband had a shopaholic wife (I am still in recovery), with whom he had to contend. Let me tell you I could wear him down by convincing him of things like getting a 0% interest credit card is a good idea (five of those cards later it is not such a good idea). I am praying that God continues to transform me into a financially prudent wife.

Dave Ramsey says…yes I am one of those people that does name dropping to reinforce what I say….that making a budget is crucial to getting your finances in order. We actually will take out cash for certain items in our budget and use that money until we spend it for that week. For those that think this is archaic, it is. Society has convinced us that credit and debt are just a fact of life. THEY ARE WRONG! We can choose for debt to be our life or we can choose to take control of our finances. In Proverbs 22:7 it says “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” I have totally fallen for the debt trap and unfortunately I pulled my husband down too (He just said he is not totally guilt free). I no longer want to be a slave to my debtors…I am ready to break free!

So far below are the changes we have made financially:
1. I am no longer getting my hair enhanced (colored;). Savings of over $600 a year
2. We are no longer buying plastic bottles of water. Savings of over $200 a year
3. Wes is allowing me to cut his hair (haven’t had too many mistakes). Savings of over $700 a year
4. We stopped buying coffee and started making it at home. Savings of over $780 a year
5. We have budgeted spending money, so we know where our money is going.
6. We started actually saving money.
7. We started doing a debt snowball, where we focus on the smallest debt and pay it off fast. Then we apply that payment to the next debt and work our way down the long list.
8. We decreased eating out and stay in our budget.