When I first found out I was pregnant with my oldest son I heard a lot of comments like "sleep while you can" or "it's going to go by so fast" or "be prepared to have no money."
And while it is true that babyhood goes by in the blink of an eye and that sleep is a commodity more precious than coffee or chocolate, the last one I have to disagree with.
As you may already know my husband and I became debt free in February of 2014. And I get a LOT of questions on how we did it. A LOT of questions.
It's no secret that we are huge fans of Dave Ramsey. But I cannot totally say that we stuck to the baby steps 100 percent of the time. However, I just want to add the disclaimer, that I think he's right. I think his advice is spot on and he has helped millions of people. Listen to what he has to see and then apply it in a way that works in your real life.
In fact, we were in the middle of Financial Peace University when we paid off our debt. So I know his system works.
This has really helped motivate us as we work toward some future savings goals.
It's also been a reminder that saving money can be a habit and not a chore. It has become almost second nature to us and while we're not always perfect at it I am proud of the progress we have made.
Hang around, this year I am going to be motivating you on your own debt free journey. But first I wanted to share 16 money mistakes we ALL should stop making in 2016.
And some of these apply to me. Just because we are a frugal family who insists on paying cash for everything doesn't mean we don't make money mistakes. We do. LOTS of them. But here are 16 things I think we could all benefit from if we just stop doing them.
Hearing other people's debt free stories can be so inspiring. Listening to them share their journey can really give you a push in the right direction. However, sometimes those stories can be downright DISCOURAGING.
Let's be 100 percent truthful here. The word budget doesn't exactly conjure up warm and sunny thoughts. It sounds boring. There, I said it. It just sounds boring.
I think the idea of living on a restrictive budget that is going to limit fun just makes people NOT do it. But actually a budget is freeing.
First you have to get started. It doesn't have to be a complicated process.
Grab a piece of paper a calculator and a pencil.
Last week I got a heart-breaking email from a reader:
We are behind on everything. We are drowning in debt and our monthly expenses seem to be going up. I really don't know how much longer we can make it. Help!
If you followed yesterday's lesson and you sat down and wrote out every piece of debt you had, that number might be a little overwhelming.
Today we are going to talk about tracking where your everyday dollars are going.
Having a list of where your money is going, of where your spending your hard earned cash, is like a black and white picture of your priorities.
I remember the day (or night actually) I got fed up and decided it was time to get out of debt once and for all. I was heavily pregnant lying in bed reading a book and I felt Ryals kick.
Maybe it was exhaustion, maybe it was emotion, maybe it was hormones but I started weeping. I realized that if we continued in our current financial state we would always be in debt.
Marriage can be tough. Just ask any married person. If you're straddling to communicate with your spouse about money it can make things more difficult, more tense, more troubling.
I get this question a lot: How do I get my husband to budget? Or how do I get on the same page with my spouse?
Recently I sat down and talked to Jason about his thoughts on getting a couple to think in sync when it comes to finances.
It can be hard to build a budget and it can be even harder to stick to one. I know, I've been there.
But part of paying off debt or building toward savings goals is learning to live on a budget.
You just have to suck it up and do it.
My husband is a pen and paper person when it comes to making our budget. He likes to see all the numbers all at once.
I need immediate results, meaning I need to track my expenses as they happen. If I carry receipts around chances are they will get thrown away. And while I think cash envelopes are fantastic, I would just rather use my debit card.
Let's face it. It can be really hard to stay motivated while paying off debt. You're working hard, you're trucking away and there are times when it feels like the balance will never reach zero.
But hold fast. You can do this and I am going to share with you a few ways to stay motivated.