April 2017 Goals

Budget goals

Travis and I sat down and hashed out a budget for April and let me tell you….we sure do have very different opinions of wants vs. needs lol. Since making a budget is so new to us we really wanted to stick with the theme of changing our bad habits, so we were pretty dramatic and slashed our spending by about $1100. One of our goals is to be able to get our spending down to the point where we could live off of one income and throw the other income directly at the debt to get it gone as fast as possible. It’s a pretty powerful feeling to have control over your money and to get to decide what goes and what stays.

I’m not going to lie; it took us a really long time to figure out that we really didn’t “need” certain things…..like cable TV (RIP SyFy channel).  Although I have to admit so far it has been really nice without cable! We still have Netflix, Hulu, and of course the internet…but I have found that I am so much more productive now and it saved us $75 per month! Instead of sitting around Saturday morning watching my dvr’d shows from the week, I got up, went for a walk, made breakfast, and cleaned the whole house.

In addition to cutting expenses, budgeting, and paying off debt, we are also really taking a look at the stuff we have and getting rid of all the things we don’t need and that’s just taking up room in our space. It is amazing how much crap we have! I used to think that we needed a bigger house but we really just had to much stuff lol. We are piling all of the things that we don’t need or want into the garage so that we can have a garage sale in June and hopefully make a little more money to throw at the debt. My kids are actually pretty excited and are doing a great job going through their toys and clothes.

Second Job

So far the second job is going really well! In April I really want to make as much extra cash as possible without severely disconnecting myself from my family. I also just learned that we are down a few staff at my main job so I might try to see if I can sneak some over time there as well 🙂

Additional goals due to unexpected side effects of budgeting

So I went to the doctor on Friday which was 3/31/17 for a follow up visit from the end of February and when I stepped on the scale I had lost 12lbs in a little over one month! The nurse and Doctor where both like “what did you do?” I told them that we changed our diet by cutting out restaurants, fast food, and snacks and eliminating sugar (we did this because it literally bans everything bad that we don’t need). I already knew that my husband had lost weight…an amazing 30lbs! Most of that weight I would suspect came off due to the no sugar or soda and being more active.

So what’s the goal you ask?? Well to keep it up of course lol! In order to spend more quality time with the kids, whilst not spending money needlessly, we are doing family walks at night and going to the park which has been so much fun. I also have been walking to pick my daughter up from school so that we can walk home together and really talk about the day. All this walking and being outside has really lifted my mood and made it a whole lot easier to process this huge mountain of debt we have to climb.

Well here’s to April 2017! I’m pretty excited to keep this ball rollin and paying off this debt! And as always, if you have any tips/tricks/or advice I would love to hear it!

Going on a financial diet.

I really hate diets….

I want us to be successful in working towards paying off our debt so I am making it a point to find out as much as I can on the subject of personal finance and debt reduction.  Oh man, there is a TON of information out there on the subject! I read blogs, watch you tube videos, listen to audio books (I pretty much work out of my car) and have recently discovered Podcasts! While there are so many great sources out there to fill my empty mind with knowledge I have come to the realization that that personal finance and weight loss have a lot in common!

I know what you thinking…….Magan…WTH?….. Personal finance and weight loss are not the same at all. Well thank you Mr/Mrs smarty pants 🙂 As someone who is overweight (lifelong foodie here) I have spent countless hours listening/reading/watching just about everything out there on how to lose weight, and you know what? Everyone out there has some special recipe, tip, trick, advice, or sure fire way to lose weight (especially if they have done it already).  Don’t eat meat! Eat only meat! Lemon water only! Grapefruit diet! Atkins! Low carb! Calorie restriction! They all have different methods but the basic fundamentals are the same…. Eat less junk, eat more whole foods and move more. The worst part is that I know all of that! Everyone has heard it at some point in their life, whether from a doctor or a TV commercial, so why am I not doing it?!

As I spend more time learning about personal finance and debt reduction I see the similarities in that everyone has a special plan…(especially if they have done it already). There is TONS of advice out there about what to do first, what expenses to cut, needs vs wants, baby steps, debt snowballs, invest vs not investing…etc. But it seems to me that, just like weight loss advice, the basic fundamentals are the same… spend less, earn more money, no impulse buying, and make a budget.  This is where I really see the similarities with how I handle both weight loss and personal finance….I know all of these basic fundamentals….SO WHY AM I NOT DOING IT!!??

The magic pill

As I really start to look deep inside myself I know that, just like with my weight loss, I have always been secretly looking for the magic pill that will just make it all go away  with my putting in as little effort as possible and without me having to change my life style. It has taken a very long time but I think that it has finally sunk in that no one is going to fix this financial (or weight loss) mess for me, it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be uncomfortable, and it’s going to suck…..but I don’t have a choice! It’s definitely time for my family and I to get a little uncomfortable and change our habits and stop this over consuming life style that has gotten us know where except broke, in debt, and fat.

Over Consumption

I wonder if there is any doubt at all that we are so badly in debt and also overweight. My husband and I are the overweight ones; thankfully our kids have not followed in our footsteps, and I if I have my way never will! We clearly have a problem with over consumption, whether it is food or stuff, and it’s something I know that we both learned from our parents. We are taking the rest of this month (March 2017) to look at what expenses we can cut and then working on a budget in April….. so I guess if we are keeping with the weight loss theme that’s when we start our calorie counting J I am painfully aware that my husband and I have never stuck to s diet and exercise routine but I am hopeful that the discipline that we learn from cleaning up our finances will trickle over into other aspects of our lives! At least we won’t be eating out or buying snacks any more so that should help the ole’ waistline a bit 🙂