So here’s my plan for blogging. To give myself more structure and maybe some predictability to my posts (yeah, good luck with that one!), I’m going to try my hand at writing about particular topics on certain days. Here’s the master plan:
Mondays-focus will be on Motherhood or Money. So I will mix it up depending on my mood.
Travel Tuesdays-yes, you will see Disney here, but that’s not all! Lots of destinations, wish lists for travel, favorites, not so favorites, and everything in between! I absolutely LOVE any chance to travel, so this may also become part of my Thursday posts!
Hump Day-All About Health. This may be loosely interpreted to include mind, body and spirit posts. Hey, maybe I could parlay that into a need for weekly massages?
Thursdays will either be reminiscing about the past (#TBT) or sharing more travel tips.
Fridays will be all about Food and Fashion.
This isn’t a promise I will post every day, but at least there is a plan. Speaking of plans, this segues right into my blog topic for today since I’m calling it Money Monday:
“We’re debt free!!!!!!!!!”
Those of you not familiar with Dave Ramsey will be left scratching your heads, but those that do know about him will understand. That phrase has to be one of the best things you could ever shout. Well, we haven’t called into his show to say it, but it’s true. We are debt free.
I don’t want this to be misinterpreted as bragging or my way of propping myself up as some money expert. I’m not. But the fact that we have achieved this landmark is something I have learned I need to talk about more, if only to get other people’s brains around the idea that THEY CAN DO IT, TOO.
So if you are totally on board with getting debt free, then here are some ground rules I would say have to be in place:
Rule number 1: you better get the spender on board or this won’t work.
In our family, that person is ME. Yep, gonna admit it right here and now, I am the one that buys most of the stuff. Thankfully, Clay is the saver and so he’s the yin to my yang. The spender has to agree to board the plane or you will need take off with it. End of story.
Rule number 2: you better do your homework (aka the monthly budget)
This cannot be understated. You WILL have to have a meeting of the minds and a roadmap for how much you will spend. Every single dollar has to be accounted for and once the money is gone, there will be no more spending. Harsh? Perhaps. But you can’t cheat by labeling something an emergency and pulling money from your emergency fund of $ 1,000. (That is baby step number 1 before you even tackle any debt).
Rule number 3: you better get the saver on board that different months will have you spending different amounts.
Hello, husband, I’m looking at you on this one. Fact of life: certain months we spend more money than others. Whether it be because of birthdays or needing new clothes because kids have outgrown them, each month is different. So your budget should be different each month.
Rule number 4: you better wrap your head around the idea that you’re just going to have to tell yourself no.
Go ahead-practice it in the mirror a few times. No. N-O. Dang, that’s hard to do, isn’t it? I’ll admit that this wasn’t very easy for me as the spender. When you go to Target, you have to stick with your list. No extras! But when you start gaining some momentum on your debts, then it suddenly isn’t so hard. If you can get past the immediate no’s, pretty soon there will be infinite yes’s.
Rule number 5: you better learn that you won’t be able to do all the things you used to do and be ok with it. And be prepared for others to not be on board with that!
Sounds like a lot of sacrifice and putting things you want like vacations and lattes and telling your kids no…that doesn’t sound like much fun! But don’t expect your friends and family to be in the “Debt Free” camp–they may think you have gone crazy. Especially if your new lifestyle interferes with theirs. They may like going out to dinner or on vacation with you. Don’t let them spoil your enthusiasm or take your eyes off the prize.
And the benefits! Oh my goodness-what a blessing being out of debt can be. I am not sharing all this to be like look at me but to assure you that it is a liberating feeling to know we are not enslaved by a car payment or Sallie Mae or credit cards. The irony is that once you are debt free, you don’t suddenly go nuts buying all this stuff you denied yourself before. Quite the contrary—you are even more ZEALOUS to make sure that what you are spending on now was worth the sacrifice then. Kind of like when you get serious about exercise and no longer want to stuff your face with bad for you foods to undo all the good your workout just did for you? THAT feeling.
Maybe we WILL do that debt free scream after all-and if so, I definitely will share it with all of you. Care to join me?