Please note that this post contains affiliate links. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! Learn more here.
How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along? We made it to March, over two months into new goals and aspirations for our futures, in our finances, health, and family, among other things, and it’s time for a little resolution reevaluation. Perhaps you’ve been going along just great, with no issues, and are beginning to see the benefits of a change of lifestyle. If that’s you – congratulations and keep up the good work!
On the other hand, maybe you’ve struggled to keep that budget each month. Or perhaps, making it to the gym or taking part in a daily workout isn’t going as well as you’d like it to. We’ve all been there, and let me tell you something: there’s no time like the present to start fresh. Wipe the budget clean and start over if you need to. Put the past behind you with that workout schedule and start again today! Make March the month you will begin again with those resolutions. It will be worth it, I promise!
Justin and I started creating our financial goals back in December, so this marks the fourth month of “extreme” budgeting and debt pay down. The month of December was spent putting together our emergency fund, and that (thankfully!!) remains intact as of now. In addition to that, we are putting away a small amount monthly into a household maintenance fund, which will allow us to paint the interior of our home this summer and do a little yard maintenance.
As far as debt payoff goes, in total, we have paid off two credit cards (as scheduled) and are working our way on paying down a third debt by the end of this month. We have been sticking with our budget, and are finding new ways each month to save money on groceries, clothing, household goods, and much more.
This process has not been easy for us, though.
At the beginning of February, we had a tire blow out on the car Justin uses to get back and forth to work. To stick with the budget at that time, we used our monthly allotment for eating out to pay for the new tire. Did we miss eating out? Absolutely, but that new tire was more important.
Towards the end of the month of February we realized that in order for our oldest to participate in the girls Spring running program, we had to pay the fee. In making our budget, I’d forgotten to include that cost. Once again, we forfeited some spending money and our game night budget to make sure it got paid.
Just last week, the hard drive on Justin’s computer died, and, due to the fact that he is currently working on his master’s degree, the cost of a new hard drive had to be absorbed as well. It seems like a lot, but all I can say is that this time last year, we wouldn’t have had the money to make any of it happen, but the planning, saving, and careful budgeting each month kept us from needing to place any of those unexpected expenses on credit cards.
I can’t stress it enough: planning is critical.
Don’t give up
I hope you feel encouraged that budgeting, saving money, and paying off debt are not easy tasks. The act of cutting back, teaching yourself new ways to live, eat, and spend money, and then sticking with it to achieve long-term goals is something most people struggle with.
Including me. You are not alone.
Just keep thinking about that long-term goal, whatever it is, and celebrate the small successes along the way. Share them with a friend, family, or even in the comments below. I would love the opportunity to rejoice with you as well!
Have a wonderful day!