coming up with fun little contests that challenge our ability to improve on what we’re doing, focusing on a goal that I really Really REALLY want, and commiserating here when I feel temptation’s pull, hopefully before I get pulled too far. This sense of community (and benevolent peer pressure) has kept me on the straight and narrow for the last 18 months.
One of the fun, but unexpected things which has come up in the last few months or so, is that the word “when” is creeping into our vocabulary. Such as “when we are finally out of debt, we’ll be able to go do such-and-such”. And “when we finally pay off the house, we’ll be in a good position to go this-n-that”. It’s like our subconscious selves are finally on board with what our conscious minds are trying to accomplish. Just the other day I was cleaning house (a rarity for us) and it was a moment when I was done with one room and moving to the next. I looked up and “saw” the house – the whole of it, the structure of it, the soundness of it (she ain’t pretty, but she’s solid), and I thought “in less than five years, we’ll own this place outright. Wow.” I just stood there a moment, soaking in that idea. Then I got back to my vacuuming. That’s what keeps my gazelle going.
my recent path of following the Markuz plan started with a bang and a lot of enthusiasm. January and February were low-expense months which made sticking to the budget fairly easy and fun. With a end of year bonus from work, tax returns, etc. I was able to make a lot of traction towards Baby Step 2 which was exciting.
March is starting out as the true test to what life on the BB plan will really look like. New clothes and shoes for the growing 10-year old, medical bills (smallish but unpredictable), car maintenance expenses, summer camp registration expenses for summer childcare, all of these expenses are coming in at the same time. I’ve been setting aside money each month for these things but was expecting some of it to come later in the year giving me time to save up a bit more. The budget is still good (via withnocollateral.com), but saying “no” has started to become a bit repetative. Last time I did the BB plan I got through Step 2 and then lost steam, over time I fell off track and ended up going back to my old ways. I’m selling my ‘fun’ summer car soon which will wipe out my debt snowball completely.
Once I get to Baby Step 3 I’m thinking of asking my employer if they would be able to do a payroll deduction and deposit money into a Money Market Account so that it’s not even in my working budget each month.
How do you all stay focused over the long haul especially getting through Step 3?
I called Capitol One and they said on 3/1, someone used it to buy $350 from a Heavy Metal website!!! They shut the card down without letting that charge go thru. I would have liked an email or notification but am so glad they shut it down!!
My comment was about the importance of an emergency fund. Well the van got fixed….free fix even. So here is part 2.
Last night my son and his friends were playing tag in the back yard…in the DARK! My hubby was out there with them. There’s a knock at the back door and my oldest tells me that my youngest is bleeding. Long story short, he collided with another kid and blood was gushing out his nose. No lacerations thankfully. When the bleeding stops I see clear fluid coming out. Call the advice nurse (really for just do’s and don’ts) and she has he needs to be seen. Clear fluid coming out can be a bad sign. So it was off to ER we went (it was 9:20pm). Thankfully he is fine, no reason for alarm. MD just thinks the impact was so hard that it made his nose run. But she said it was a good thing to bring him in and get his looked at.
We have pretty good health insurance (thank God) but the emergency fund will come in handy to pay the co-insurance. We have to pay 10% of the visit. I don’t think we even have a ER copay. Guess we will find out.
I often wonder is William himself could come to my house and live on my budget and STILL give the same advice as he does. I like William and his principals, but I wonder how they can really apply to me. I don’t have some huge snowball debt that when I’ve paid it all off, have all this leftover money to stick into 401K’s and college funds. I am with you. Every time I’ve listened his callers make at least $15,000 more a year than my husband does. And those callers who make that much more than him, are single or married with NO kids.
It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I listen to his shows, but I remember my goals and plug away at them day by day!
a 12 step program for each of you. As Sharon said, even if he doesn’t go, YOU need it for support. There is a wonderful 12 step program called Celebrate Recovery. Here is their website and you can find out if there are any meetings in your area …. There is even a movie coming out next month that features CR. It is a cool deal.
About bank accounts. My sil (dh’s sister) had a bank account she let her dh have access to. After cleaned her out for a night of drinking, she went to the bank. They said she could either close that account or they could put a flag on that account stating the she was the only one who could get money out of it. That is what she did so she wouldn’t have to start over with a new account. This is something to keep in mind. You could have it so that your dh could deposit money but not get any out, if you decided to let him have some kind of access.
While I agree with marriage counseling, I recommend a 12 step program on addiction more. If you can’t encourage him to go, you go to learn how best to operate with a person in his condition.
Also, be very careful about combining accounts if he is up to no good. I added my ex-husband to my accounts back in my younger (stupid) days and he cleaned them out and most of it was put there before I was even with him! Once his name is on it he can walk into the bank and help himself and there is nothing you can do about it!
the temper tantrum and acting like a baby is the hardest part of this. He’s a 48 year old big baby. His computer died over the weekend and he wanted to borrow mine, I let him sign in one time..after that I changed the password. He wanted to check his powerball numbers yesterday and I wouldn’t let him on. He had to wait until he read it in the newspaper. As long as I give into this attitude the longer it will go on. He would never go along with me handling all the money in the house. I opened up a savings account for our youngest son in our sons name and mine. He asked him how much money he had in it, he said “I don’t know ask mom.. he told him “you let your mother have too much control over your money”… ah… he’s 8!!!! So it is very frustrating!!!
I recommend combining funds even though she might have a really big, growing tantrum baby on her hands when she revokes his debit card, and relegates him to a weekly or monthly cash blow fund. She will at least know the bills are paid, food for the family, gas for automobiles etc is being covered. Gambling and their associated debts will have to be paid out of his blow money. You don’t have to say a word to dissuade his habits, especially a gambling one, it is a very cash conscious enterprise where debt is strongly discouraged.
Again, the hardest part will be the the temper tantrum and ill spirit he will display in an effort to wear you down, shake you down, extort more money… You have to be able to stand firm in this.