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the quotable dave {week 4}

hello! i am doing a series of posts during our journey to financial freedom via the dave ramsey financial peace road. this is our fourth week - if you would like to read about the previous weeks click here! :)

we are now officially through our first month of pinching pennies and living like noone else, so later we can live like noone else! i wanted to talk about some of the good and bad things we have encountered and how we have dealt with them.

a budget recap

i think, that all things considered, we did quite well for our first month. this budget is honestly a bit off because the first payments on the hubs student loans were due in january and we had a hard time getting them all straight so we had to double up on payments in february
because we missed some in january. oops.

did anyone else have problems sorting through federal student loans, private loans, and sallie mae loans? it was super confusing!!

we went over our gas budget because we decided to make a quick trip home to see my dad last weekend. in a normal month i don't put more than 4 tanks of gas in the car (a 2004 honda accord) but this added a little to that expense. i am going to discuss more about the gas budget a little later...

our fun budget was also affected by this quick trip. i had to get a gift bag and tissue paper for a baby gift i made and we also bought dessert after one family meal we had. however i am proud to say we came in under the grocery budget! :) yay!

what worked for us

we really enjoyed spending more time together by eating at home. i thought i was going to start dreading cooking every night but really i have had fun making new recipes up and just using what we had on hand to make it work! this month i have a meal plan working for the next thirty days so we really use up all the groceries in the house. it is amazing what you have when you don't really know it! :)

we (or i, really) also really liked the "envelope" system we used (seen in week 3). having a visual and keeping a running tab of what our funds were really helped when it came to deciding how to use them!

what is changing

we were very fortunate for a long time to have my dad help us out with our gas expenses. but he asked us this month to start paying for our own gas so that he, too, can start paying off some of his major debt like his house and truck. (yay!) so we are increasing our gas budget to $300/month which will be fun to stay under since gas prices have sky-rocketed!

i have also updated some of the expenses to match what we actually pay. the one thing i have trouble with more than anything is the electric bill. we have $100 budgeted for it.. but we went over. and this month it is $170!! i have a hard time conceding to living in a hot house or a freezing igloo... so i am willing to be flexible with the electric bill. maybe we need to invest in a thermostat on a timer. hmm.. anyone have one? does it help?


we have made our first debt snowball payment towards a loan! yippeee! i can't wait to see the balance start to lower each month! :) and, even though we didn't anywhere near what we wanted to (which was closer to $300 towards it) it still felt good making a little extra payment!

note: when i was on the sallie may site and after i made the payment it asked me if i wanted to keep making payments as scheduled or to postpone my next payment since i paid extra this month. gah! i want to pay it off - not give you another reason to add interest!! watch out for that!

overall i am pleased with the month but i know we can do better. so our goal this month is to stay in our budgets and really have extra money next month to make that payment with!

disclaimer: i am not in any way affiliated with dave ramsey and there are just my honest opinions. i am not endorsed (ha - wouldnt that be nice!) and he has no clue who i am, no matter how many times a day i tweet him. i just think he has the right idea and think you should join in. all phrases in italics are from financial peace, revisited.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see that Ramsey is working for you and Chris. Jeanne and I took the course previous to marriage but at the time it didn't work for us because we were in school. Now we need to get back to his principles, seeing that we are out of school and will be having an addition to the family in October.

    We can empathize with you regarding the student loan situation. We have finally consolidated mine and Jeanne's through the federal government direct loans program. It took a while but it is worth it and should look better on your credit reports.

    Another thing to consider is the fact that with Chris being clergy he should qualify for the public service loan forgiveness program. Make consecutive payments for 10 years and the remainder will be forgiven. If you need more details, we would be glad to help.

    Hope you and Chris are doing well. Miss you two!


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