Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Month We Gave Up

Since hiding our mistakes and ignoring our problems is how we got into this mess in the first place, I feel obligated to talk about "the month we gave up." It is not easy to admit our shame. But it must be said.

Last month, May, was a miserable failure for us. So much so that by the end of the month we had just given up. In starting June, my husband just wanted to wipe the slate clean and start all over. It was tempting. But I felt we really needed to figure out where we stood. How much trouble we had gotten into.

Sure we could look at all that happened and justify it....
{our son needed surgery, our daughter needed to go to the ER and get staples, we had family obligations that required us to travel when our budget was already stretched thin, bills that showed up out of no where 5 months after I had surgery.} These are all reasons why we went over and way into our Emergency savings. But it is worse than that. We gave up. We realized what a mess we were in and we made the mess worse. We let it get really bad. I just wanted the month to end. There are a few other reasons that my husband says were "planned" for but since I don't know how those books were kept, I *guess* that isn't a contributor. And the only thing that kept us from bouncing checks and overdrafting or using credit cards again, is that we use the previous months funds to pay this month's expenses. It was a choice we made and set up after our tax return gave us a cushion so that we always have a cushion, and never have to worry if all the expenses come due before that month's pay check. The problem with that now is we no longer have the cushion. We are now back on the pay check to pay check budget and because we still have all those bills from last month, we aren't paying any debt this month. We are back on baby step one.

I feel like we are failures. Like we have lost a battle. But you know why we are not? Because we figured it out and we are getting back on track. It is what repentance and starting over is all about. We all make mistakes, we all feel like giving up. Satan wants us to believe that when when make a mistake that is the end. We can't listen to his lies. We must get back up and keep going.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Necessity or Luxury

What qualifies as a NECESSITY? Verses what makes something a LUXURY?

Necessity is defined as being indispensable or required.
Luxury is defined as extravagant living.

In trying to "cut the fat" and live as simply as we can to get out of debt it has really made us consider what can do living without. It has surprised me what I once thought of as a necessity but I can look at as more of a luxury.

What has brought this to the forefront of my thoughts was my shampoo.
I have a salon shampoo that I love to use. Years ago I decided a way to use salon shampoos and rotate it with a bargain shampoo. The salon shampoos last me about two years.  I considered this a necessity. That is until after I purchased it the other day, and realized that was $20 in our household budget that could have went to something else. I haven't opened them yet, I keep debating taking it back. Knowing me I probably won't return it. I feel really guilty about it.

Back when we first started I saw lots of foods that I bought for snack or whatnot as luxuries. One of these was bananas. I love bananas. However, as a snack food they are an expensive item to sit around the kitchen and sometimes go bad because they were forgotten (although super rare at my house since my children devour them). have you ever looked at the cost of a single bunch? Most ran between $3 and $4. That is a lot of my food budget for a snack item my children devoured the moment they saw them.

My husband loves single use drink mixes for his water bottles at work. Granted I love to get them for him because 1- he drinks more water, 2- doesn't and isn't tempted to buy soda pop from the vending machine, 3- they are sugar free and therefore aren't adding the weight on. But at the cost of the packets it was eating into our food budget. Our compromise is that I make a pitcher of a flavor up and fill his water bottles to take it with him. It isn't perfect. It is barely working.

What are some things that you use to see as necessities in your life, but working on getting out of debt has changed your perspective?

My next question is at what point can we add these things back in our lives? Living without some of these things for over a year now, it is really hard mentally denying yourself of any luxuries.