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…

Comments

Sarah said…
That is awesome that you are taking such an active role! I do most of our financail stuff now and am not doing that great of a job. I do save a lot of money on groceries since I use a ton of coupons but our spending is still somewhat out of control. We had a bit of a wake up call this last week when we spent like crazy when my parents came to visit and were left with not a lot in our account afterwards.

I like to think I am awesome at the financial stuff since I work in the finance industry, but I am just average, at least when it comes to our own stuff. You have inspired me to do a better job, so thanks!

We got a new house in February when we moved and with it, a new 30 year house loan. The good news is, we are paying every two weeks on our mortgage instead of once a month so we will end up paying it off like 6-7 years sooner. And in 5 years, we will have more than 20% equity in our house if the market stays at least flat. That may not seem like a lot, but to us it is since we only put less than 5% down!

Anyway, hope it works out for you and that you can still squeeze out those vacations! We need a real vacation bad but one is in the works finally!
Brian Miller said…
this is actually really cool...outside the house we have been debt free for a while...we really need to double up the mortgage though to move it faster...work that plan...sounds good to me...
R. Jacob said…
So you have been sleeping under the spreadsheets?
good for you, and a good plan too!
Joshua said…
I'm much more practical with the money, which is why I do the finances at home. I turned it over to The Wife for a short period last year, and suddenly all the savings was gone, having been used to pay things down in one shot instead of having it as rainy day money. This is why I keep a hold on it. She has access to it, can see what we have, what we're spending on, and we discuss large purchases before they're made. I'm hopeful to be completely debt-free by the end of 2013, including student loans and the new car. The only thing should be the mortgage. This is my goal.
That's great! I am trying to be debt free as well :) It's amazing how much can be spent on groceries! I love to cook but sometimes it can get pricey, especially if you like French food. The ingredients get expensive!
Rachel said…
I'm the bill payer and I love it!
K13 said…
Ohhh can Ethan and I come live w/you in 7-8 years...you know, in the house in the Caribbean? :)

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