I have to admit, it’s not very exciting to post about this “plodding along” stage of our Total Money Makeover. Months like April and July are WAY more fun to write about. I feel like we’re not making a lot of progress and that this stage will last forever. You know the verse that says “the borrower is a slave to the lender”? I can attest to that this month. Part of me feels like since Dexter and I are young and have no kids that we should be embarking on all sorts of
expensive fun adventures…but we’re working and having at-home date nights with frozen pizza and Netflix (not that I don’t enjoy those!) all in the name of becoming debt free. Dave Ramsey also talks about being gazelle intense (watch this video)–working as hard as you can to get out of debt as fast as you can. I feel like we’re being fairly “gazelle intense” with our budget. And really, we have plenty of income and can make payments that I think are pretty impressive toward our debt each month. However, we have a pretty big amount of debt. So, I feel like I’m trying to drink a swimming pool a bucket at a time.
This month was really busy (hence the blog neglect). It started with Dexter’s birthday. Then, all of a sudden, we got a social life! We went got into a concert for free (on a school night!), had friends over for dinner and Thursday night TV, had respective girl/guy outings, I had a conference for work followed by an unexpected girls’ night with an old coworker, had an evening meeting or two, had a Guy Fawkes Day party, and took a day trip to Illinois for a church conference. All in 10 days. And my house was clean for
most a lot of that. I’m even more amazed than you are.
Because of all that busyness, I did a crummy job of keeping track of my envelopes. In fact, I even hired a friend to clean my house (on the last day of that whirlwind while we were at the conference) and used cash pulled from random envelopes to pay her. Luckily, being busy with things that don’t cost a ton means there’s no time for dilly-dallying around in the clearance aisles at Target, nor for scoping out the deals at the health food store, so we came in under budget. (It’s ironic that finding deals is how I often break our budget.)
We also had the privilege to teach some of what we’ve learned from Dave Ramsey to our house church. It was a challenge to compile so much information into a short presentation, but it was a good mental exercise and helped us review what we know and reminded us why we’re doing what we’re doing.
The raw numbers: this month we paid off 1.5% of our debt and have 81.2% to go.
Next month, most of our extra cash will be going toward Christmas gifts, so I’m not expecting a huge drop in percent. However, in my January update, I fully expect to be reporting a “percentage remaining” that starts with a seven. And I think it would be even better if the seven was followed by a digit lower than nine.