2020 was supposed to be our year
I’ve bet we’ve all said that right? We had everything planned out.
It was our last hoorahhh before we decided to settle on a house. We were going to spend the year traveling abroad, late nights at basketball games, going all out for our birthdays.
Some time to spend our money frivolously.
We were responsible for the last 4 years. Getting ourselves out of debt, playing it safe with our spending. 2020 was our year to get loose!
And then one day my my husband walked into our bedroom like he had seen a ghost
He received the news that he had been laid off. You hear about covid and the toll its taking on the economy, but when it strikes you own home it puts a’lot into perspective. One day in march we were planning our anniversary trip to Italy and the next my husband was unemployed.
As I write this I think about how actually fortunate we were that it all it did was ruin our trip. Because in hindsight for so many people it was worse, and it would have been for us if we hadn’t have implemented these two things
Something like this happens and you immediately need to lighten the load. For us we were already “living skinny” as we call it. Our goal was one thing. Keep our bills to no more than 50% of one person’s paycheck. If one person makes more than the other then use the lower paycheck amount to calc the number. If your spouse makes $200 a month and you make $100 a month then your max monthly bills should be $50 or less. This in turn leaves 3 paychecks a month that can be used for other things- savings etc. When we were trying to clear through our debt this is EXACTLY what we did. So when my husband lost his job and we went from 4 paychecks a month to 2 it hit us but not as hard as it could have.
Now you can accomplish this in two ways. Increase your income or lower your monthly spending. And before you jump to there’s no way we could do this -ask yourself If you really and I mean dire situation really…need two cars? Can someone realistically take the bus to work? Do you need your gym membership? Or can you save to buy a treadmill at home and purchase your own dumbbells? If you have student loans what are you doing with that money while the government has given us a no interest break? Are you saving it or spending it?
I’ll dive into our monthly budget spending later but for now…GET SKINNY.
ROLL IT INTO EACHOTHER:
This is taken straight out to the Dave Ramseys playbook. A snowball is
“a debt payoff method where you pay your debts from smallest to largest, regardless of interest rate. Knock out the smallest debt first. Then, take what you were paying on that debt and add it to the payment of your next smallest debt. Why a snowball? Because just like a snowball rolling downhill, paying off debt is all about momentum. With every debt you pay off, you gain speed until you’re an unstoppable, debt-crushing force.”
It seems trivial at first, and it feels never ending. TRUST me on this! After so many small payments of $50 here and $65 dollars there it can add up to thousands. Here’s the catch. Most people either don’t make it that far or they don’t realize how much debt they have. The latter is what caught David and I up in a snag. Simple things like financing your iPhone through Verizon is technically a debt. I mean half of our monthly phone bill wasn’t for the service it was for the cost of our brand new phones. We get accustomed to paying a phone bill for $150 a month and you don’t even realize that the service is actually $30 and the rest is phone debt. We committed to paying down our phones and NOT upgrading them just so we could have a lower monthly bill. That in turn free’d up $100 extra dollars for us to pay towards our car. And when we paid off the car we took that monthly money and started paying down the credit card with the highest interest rate. On and on and on it went. Until eventually we became credit card debt free.
Trust me I get it…No one ever wants to hear make more or spend less as financial advice. BUT the truth is that’s really what it boils down too. Everyone’s finances are different so it’s not a direct copy and paste method but I hope this gave you the boost you needed!