To begin at the beginning, one of the first things I did in this little plan was decide how I was going to pay off our debt. The old ways seemed the best and then I read Dave Ramsey’s book and it just confirmed what I’d thought and seemed the most common-sense way to do things. So, I paid the minimums on all my debts and put what extra money I had toward the smallest debt. I paid that off then took the money I’d been sending to that and rolled it over into paying off the next smallest. All that money is now going to the 3rd debt.
We needed some extra money to start sending to that smallest debt. I cancelled cable and bought an antenna. We were already subscribed to Netflix and I kept that. Between the two we get most of the programs we want to watch and, to be honest, I don’t miss the others. The kids have whole series on Netflix, so we’ve watched countless Power Rangers, Pokemon, Beyblades, the list goes on. Can you tell I have boys? I cancelled the YMCA membership that we weren’t really using. I stepped down the service and got rid of the data plan for my phone (I have a wi-fi enabled tablet that takes care of all my on the go needs, no data plan needed). All the money I saved from doing those things went toward the debt. Luckily, around this time we were able to refinance the house and save money on our mortgage payment as well. Guess where that money went. So, without lowering our standard of living appreciably, we were able to find money to send to our debts. We have a long way to go yet, but we’re on our way.
Because we’re still living like we have all those payments (all the saved money is going toward debt), I looked for ways to shave a little off my spending as well. I’m still working on that. One of the things I’m doing is meal planning. I’m using things that were in the freezer and the pantry and that’s saving me money. More on that later…
So, that’s the debt plan in a nutshell. This will eventually enable us to live on a cash basis and that can’t be bad. We have the Visa check card for things that require a credit card. It’s been challenging to stop using the credit card for things like gas – some of the money I saved doing the other stuff has had to go for that, but it’s a small step in the right direction.
Now on to more exciting things like hanging laundry, and meal planning! I know, but it’s not that bad!