Total Money Makeover Update: December

If I were to choose a month for Dave Ramsey himself to swing over to my blog to check up on how we’re doing, I would not choose this month.

I didn’t use envelopes. We used money from our emergency account for a definite non-emergency. Gasp! (We bought a camera and fixed the car. I’m going to pretend the car stuff was a surprise so it will count as an emergency.) We bought lots of Christmas gifts and didn’t pay any extra on our loans.

I really loved not using envelopes. I’m so tempted to stop. 

I promise I would update the budget on the computer every single day.

Any thoughts? Do you think cash is worth the hassle? When I first started using it, my grocery spending dropped by 1/3. I’m hoping I’ve just developed wiser shopping habits and that I’ve been trained to spend sparsely.

As I predicted last month, we didn’t make monumental progress on our loans this month. Without making any extra payments, we paid of 0.8% of our debt this month and have 80.4% remaining.

Next month, we’ll refill our emergency fund and resume making extra loan payments. Funding for my after school job was almost cut entirely, but thankfully, I’m still able to be paid for 5 days of tutoring a month. I’m looking forward to having a little more planning time after school while still getting to work with my students once or twice a week.

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5 thoughts on “Total Money Makeover Update: December

  1. On the envelope system – I’ve never done it, but I don’t know that I would do a good job of it either for a lot of the same reasons that you are finding.

    I think that you have to know your spending habits and whether the cash changes that or not. I generally don’t want to spend any money at all which is really a bad thing sometimes because I hold onto money for too long. In the end, we may spend more than we should have. For example, trying to put off grocery shopping as long as possible. There may not be much food in the house and therefore it’s more tempting to go out and eat or to just stop and pick up something easy (and usually more expensive) from the store.

    It may be worth trying for a few months and look at your spending without envelopes as long as you have a way of tracking with Quicken or something like that. I have to look at chunks of time in Quicken and not just a month at a time because we don’t have even spending in many categories from month to month – home repair, even groceries when I buy bulk items.

  2. I use and LOVE the envelope system. I think December is a bad month for everyone, there’s lots of spending going on around us all. My advice, when dieting, if you cheat on one meal you don’t write off the whole day. Don’t use this month to write off the rest of 2011. Get back on track as quickly as possible and continue to pay off those debts. (My credentials, I’ve paid off $113,736 using Dave Ramsey’s plan)

    • Thanks for the pep talk! I gave myself permission to use cash only for groceries this month but think I’ll be switching back for our next budget month. Thanks for stopping back, and congrats on paying off so much debt!

  3. Pingback: Total Money Makeover Update: January 2011 « Mrs. Dexter

  4. Pingback: Total Money Makeover Update: February 2011 and One Year Review! « Mrs. Dexter

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