Still Knocking Out the Baby Steps

Here is my Dave Ramsey update for 2018.  I think it was a good year and I believe 2019 will be even better.

I started in January 2018 with 8 debts totaling $37,875.22 and no Baby Emergency fund.  I remember being excited that I actually got to pay my January mortgage in the month of January.  This didn’t happen all the time, in fact hardly at all.  I was consistently late with my mortgage payments up until then.  Paying bills was a chore I didn’t want and tended to avoid as long as I could.  I never answered my phone.  It was not a pretty picture.

Funny thing is, I’ve started budgeting and stopped budgeting several times.  It seems like about a hundred but probably wasn’t that many.  Anyway, I could never make them work and I was beginning to doubt my intelligence.  I mean surely it’s as easy as addition and subtraction, right?  It’s not.  Don’t believe the lie.

I happened upon a few YouTube channels that helped me set up a budget. (HIs and Her money and Formally Gazelle in Tents  )They don’t do finance videos anymore but they’re still available.  I was excited to get started – again – on trying to get our finances together.  I turned 50 in 2018 and figured that I’d need some money to retire on so I needed to get started.

This is where I met Chris Hogan and decided to Retire Inspired and become an Everyday Millionaire.

Baby Step one is done!  I have my Baby Emergency Fund complete and in an account earning interest.  We thought we’d have to use it to fix our air conditioner this summer when we got home one evening and the house was HOT, but it was an easy fix.  But the peace I had about being able to actually get it fixed if needed was amazing.

Baby step two is coming along.  We now have 6 debts totaling $22,068.94.  In the year 2018 we paid $15,806.28!  Go back and read that again.  Just think if I didn’t have debt and could put that much towards my retirement or my principle on my mortgage.  This is why I hate debt.

We also cash flowed (A Dave Ramsey term) a much needed Christmas vacation to Arkansas.  Yes I got an awesome deal on a beautiful condo but we were able to pay cash for that, the rental car, the food and all the fun.  We did this and didn’t use one credit card.  We won’t be paying for this vacation for a while, it is paid and we had an amazing time.

2019

I’m going to say that we won’t be quite through with Baby Step 2 in the year 2019 but I’m not totally ruling it out.  My husband is more on board than ever in knocking the debt out since he saw the totals of how much we paid in 2018.  He doesn’t participate in the budgeting at all but does what I tell him to do.  No, I know, he needs to help but I see him getting more involved now.

We are beginning Baby Step 3.  You may remember that we have always had a small amount taken out of my husband’s check and put into another account.  This happens automatically and we don’t see the money.  This is how Baby Step 1 was completed and until Baby Step 2 is done it will be how we fund Baby Step 3.  As soon as the debt is gone our entire debt snowball amount will probably go to Baby Step 3 which I believe is set for $24,000 but I’m not sure. I’ll have to look that up.

Three Sinking Funds I have are:

  • Summer Sinking Fund – I don’t work during the summer and need some money to pay bills when I’m not bringing home a paycheck.
  • Car – If Murphy comes to visit we’ll need some money to fix or replace our car.
  • Road Trip* – We are planning a summer vacation this year and will cash flow the whole thing.

*Dave Ramsey says that when you are in debt you shouldn’t take vacations.

That’s my update.  Not bad at all.

Do you budget?  How did 2018 go for you?

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