Total Money Makeover Update: March 2011

Photo Credit: Egahen

The past 28 days have been busy. Although in January I resolved to use cash for all of our spending, we never made it to the bank to get cash for this month. Fortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time for shopping, either, so I didn’t waste money on things we didn’t need. We bought food and toilet paper, and we paid our bills.

We had a friend move into our basement for a three-or-four-month stay and invited another friend to eat dinner with us on a regular basis, so we had to increase our grocery budget. I’m still figuring out what a grocery budget for three grown men and one woman should look like. Fortunately, I don’t think it will quite double what we currently spend. Hopefully, it will help us to use up everything we buy and will force me to plan meals better. (It’s a lot harder to “wing it” at dinner time when there are four stomachs to feed!) I may have gone a little crazy buying canned food for the nights I don’t feel up to cooking. There were some good sales on Indian food and Muir Glen organic soups the weekend our friend moved in, and I bought about 16 cans (which is really only about 8 meals). I’m hoping to get some freezer cooking done over spring break to further save money and take the stress out of making dinner. (Dish suggestions welcome!)

Last month, I shared a review of the progress we made after having done our Total Money Makeover for a whole year. It was rewarding to see how all our hard work has paid off! When I made this month’s budget, I was a little disappointed. We had lots of extra income due to our tax return, but we also had some larger-than-usual expenses, so the extra loan payment amount on my spreadsheet looked pretty boring and average. However, after totalling our remaining debt and calculating our percentage, I’m encouraged. This month, we paid off 1.1% of our debt and we have 76.6% to go.

I’m also encouraged as I look at the balances for each of our loans. I can see a difference even in the balance even for the loans we haven’t paid extra on. Debt #3, which we are working on now, is looking pretty conquerable. I’m hoping to have it gone by July 1. Debts #4 and #5 are still dauntingly huge, but Debt #5’s biggest digit will drop next month.

Currently, I’m taking Leah’s advice and praying for God to provide opportunities to earn extra money and speed up our debt repayment. For now, we’re pressing on and are hoping to be at the 75% point very soon!

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7 thoughts on “Total Money Makeover Update: March 2011

  1. ha! just realized i spelle advice wrong in your comments 🙂 now everyone will know what a wonderful speller i am 😉 excited to hear the God stories of how he provides!

  2. Regarding your prayer request…remind Dexter that when we asked him for his ideas about a new Hope’s Angels t-shirt design, we were not expecting him to do it for free!

    • I’ll remind him! We’re organizing our office, so hopefully that’ll inspire him to sit down at his clean desk and work on it.

  3. I believe God will honor your request for extra sources of income to pay off your debt. We went through a difficult time two years ago when my husband first was laid off. God supplied our needs, often through small, unexpected amounts of money, including an insurance refund because rates when down and a small dividend from an electric coop we had been members of years earlier. We recorded each of these blessings to remind us of God’s faithfulness. By blogging about your experience, you are keeping a record to remind yourself of how far you’ve come. When you face difficulties in the future, and of course you will, the record will remind you of God’s faithfulness and encourage you that He is always there for you. I’ll be praying for God to bless you financially in unexpected ways in the coming months.

    • Susane, thanks for your encouraging words. I love hearing stories about the ways God provides. Blogging out our journey has helped me to focus on the ways God has blessed rather than on how far we still need to go.

  4. Pingback: Cooking for Four « Mrs. Dexter

  5. Pingback: Total Money Makeover Update: May 2011 – Hitting a Milestone « Mrs. Dexter

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