3 years 7 months ago we took the next exit to Financial Freedom. Was it easy? Heck no! $48,000 of debt seemed an impossible mountain to climb. But we knew we had to do it. 3 years 7 months ago we were at the point that we were charging all of our groceries and gas and there was NO BIG BONUS that year coming to bail us out. Tough decisions had to be made. Cancel Cable, Sell Husbands Prized Truck, No Fancy Cell Phones, No Eating Out, Very Small Grocery Budget, Lots of Coupons, No Clothing Budget and on and on.
18 long, exciting, grueling, rewarding months we climbed the mountain. WE WERE DEBT FREE in April 2008. Relieved, excited but we knew we had more work to do. On to saving. In 10 short months because we were debt free, our tax refund and by the GRACE of GOD we had a fully funded EMERGENCY FUND....6 months of living....$20,000 cash. Wow! We had climbed that impossible mountain.
Feburary 2009 it happened. The economy was struggling and my husband was laid off. We started our journey to honor God with our finances and I know He blessed our journey and emergency fund. We were going to be okay... well at least for 6 months!
3 months later and 1/2 of our emergency fund gone my husband was employed again. Note to you readers: When calculating your 3-6 months of living expenses don't forget to include paying your own health insurane. COBRA insurance cost our family over $1000 a month while my husband was unemployed.
May 2009 my husband was employed again but for a lovely pay decrease of 39%
Our budget is tight and it is not as easy to save money with a 39% pay cut but we are slowly building everything back up.
Here is what our finances look like today:
6 Months Living Emergency Fund: $18055.55
Christmas Fund $200.52
Car Savings $86.92....I know we need to work on that one
Daughter Preschool $215
401K: 15% of gross income...just a side note/ that is the only thing we have always done right from the beginning :) We have always put away for retirement and never touched it.
Savings Goal $1944.45...that will fully fund our 6 months Emergency Fund
Goal: To have it saved by the end of summer!
That is where we sit today. Was it worth the sacrifice? Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!! We will continue to live frugally. We have changed our family tree and will leave an inheritance to our children. Thank you God for opening our eyes.
As for this lovely blog, it has been an amazing 365 days. Thank you for all the emails. Just yesterday someone emailed me and told me that they paid off their last debt and are now Debt Free. Yea! Amen!
Thanks for coming on the journey with me.