I've Developed an Addiction...
For years, J had always managed our finances and has done a good job. With the usual exceptions of a mortgage payment, car payment and line of credit payment, we’ve managed to live relatively debt free, with money left over to go on holidays, buy toys, clothes, put money into savings, etc.
At the beginning of April, it was decided that I would start to look after our finances. The main reason for the changing of the guard – J didn’t have the time to commit to it since he was busy with his night course. I honestly think he grew tired of it and he grew tired of me questioning his banking methods.
So with that being said, I’ve been in charge and for better or worse - I’ve developed an addiction to analyzing, budgeting, planning, cutting back on spending and finding savings where I can.
We had a loosey-goosey budget before, but after we made it, we never really paid much attention to it. Now, I’m analyzing everything and am SHOCKED, no HORRIFIED at how much we spend monthly on everything – groceries and gas in particular. I can only do so much about the gas factor because I do commute to my job and I already drive an economical vehicle, but I can do something about our grocery bills – hence part of the reason for a bread maker purchase. We are a big bread eating family and by simply making our own bread every week, we will save close to $500 annually. Now, I just need to do a better job at meal planning and flyer shopping and I should be able to reduce the cost of groceries even more.
J is not so enthused about my new found excitement of finances because our whimsical spending has been drastically reduced. Before, if we wanted something, we simply went out and bought it with not so much as a second thought. Now, we save for it – what a concept! This has caused a bit of angst on both of our parts, but all and all…things are working out.
As part of our new financial strategy, I’m doubling up our weekly mortgage payments and the plan is to be mortgage free in 3.9 years, completely debt free in 6 years, with a vacation/rental home purchase in the Caribbean by year 7 or 8. I will then need to start over because I plan on using my house here as collateral for the one in the sunny south, so I guess when all is said and done, I won’t technically be debt free until…who knows…(I haven’t gotten that far yet).
Rest assured, I’m not compromising on my vacations. I’m still diligently saving for those. After the Philippines in March, we may cut back to one a year…at least that’s the plan. What the hell did I just say? Who am I kidding?
I’ll be honest, that’s unlikely to happen, but it’s nice to think that I could do it...if I wanted to...but if I did, J and I might have to divorce and that’s likely to cost a whole lot more than another vacation…