That's my goal.
I want us to be financially free. It already feels like it would be an amazing thing.
Over the holidays we found out that we'd basically been living a lie. Neither of us had any real idea. I mean I know we lived paycheck to paycheck (still trying to figure out how that one happened) and never had more then just a little in savings. Then it all came crashing down.
It got a little harder to pay the bills.
Then the dog got sick.
Then I was hell bent on giving my kids a good Christmas...and went over what I had budgeted to spend.
We ended the year so far under that it physically made me sick. Then I decided I was sick of it. I'm sick of the weekly battle between which bills can be paid and which can be floated just so we can eat or get gas. There is absolutely zero reason for it.
I started selling all my stuff to get started. I sold my beloved camera. I tried telling myself that it was logical since I hardly ever used it...but I'm going to be honest. It still hurts. I want it back. I will get it back. Just as soon as we get out of this canyon we're in.
One night I sat down with every single piece of paper having to do with a bill that was in my possession. I relied on the Dave Ramsey plan in the past...twice, it's NEVER let me down. It was never as hard as it is this time. This time we're in for the long haul. I figured out an eighteen month plan, the first twelve of which are what I'm referring to as budget lockdown.
It's these first twelve months that we're going to have to re teach ourselves what is important and how to spend smartly. It's only twelve days in and I'm frustrated. Not because we don't have a ton of money to spend, we're all actually having fun finding places to save. I'm frustrated because I'm learning that it's damn near impossible to eat healthy on a strict budget. Did I mention that I'm fat? I'm fat. I don't like being fat anymore than I like being broke.
At least I'll be able to afford a gym membership when this is all over, right?
So far I'm hopeful. The first two weeks of this year were pure torture. This week will hopefully be our first week of seeing some results. I want to be able to show the kids that all of our "sacrifice" is working. I say it like that because my kids think of giving up Pop Tarts because of budget is the worst offense in the world..it ranks right up there with child abuse.
I do have to say that I'm excited that my kids are on this journey with us, I want them to learn to live within their means and what it will do for them in the long run.
We decided as a family that we will reward ourselves with a nice trip when this is all over. I can't wait. It's going to be such a blast to be successful in this and be able to let the kids in on reaping the benefits. Going on a family vacation that's massive in scale, being able to buy Pop Tarts again, being able to sleep because I'm not so worried about a turn off notice for the lights and what if I miss the deadline.
It's the first time in my life that I actually get excited to get a phone call to go into work for some overtime because every time I'm driving there..it's with a smile on my face. It's the means to the end, I'm working for something and that's not just paying the bills. I've also applied to about a dozen other jobs. I have my days free, the kids are in school and my regular hours only require three nights a week. I can handle a second job for a few hours a day. If I knew anyone around me with little kids I'd start babysitting...I'd do anything...I CAN do anything for a year.
That's why I'm an Atomic Mom.