Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!  I totally fell off the radar there for awhile as we wrapped up 2014.  Sorry about that! :)  I'm back with an update to our debt journey!  Aaron and I recently sat down and figured out the progress we made this past year and we were amazed!  The Lord has really blessed us and helped us to be diligent towards our debt snowball.  We are happy to report that we are over 60% out of consumer debt!  Woohoo!  I can't tell you how good it feels to be headed in the right direction after living off of our credit cards for so many years.  I always blamed having five kids as my reason to charge basic things like food or gas, thinking one day we would have a windfall, a big promotion, an inheritance, or something  to get us out of the mess.  Now, I'm so grateful that I finally understand how to create a budget and, more importantly, stick to it!  We hope that by this time next year we will be working on baby step three: a fully funded emergency fund.  For now, we will keep plugging along with baby step two - less than 40% to go!!

We decided that we would have what we call a "no spend January" in order to jump start our debt snowball for 2015.  The rules are NO spending for anything other than essentials unless it's money on a gift card.  Well, for Christmas, my extended family just happened to give me gift cards to Hallmark, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Michaels, and Dunkin' Donuts!  I finally put them to good use today when I purchased a Lilly Pulitzer planner and supplies to decorate it.  I am already in LOVE with this planner!  I went with the jumbo size and it has so much room to write in!  I will show photos of the inside and how I'm decorating it, and more importantly, using it to organize my life once I get it put together.  I bought birthday stickers to mark friend's and family member's birthdays, as well as snowflakes to mark debt snowball payments, and extra fun stickers!  Here's a peek at what my gift cards bought: