Not Just Woe Is Me

My first post was really just an introduction to why I started the blog. There is more. So much more.

When we lived in a Tennessee, I would listen to a portion of Dave Ramsey’s radio show as I drove home from work, and I eventually bought some of his books and planned to get started on getting out of debt. Having financial peace. But honestly, when you have one income and you’d need every penny of that income for six years to pay off your debt, it’s pretty hard to say “I’ll sell some stuff and eat rice and beans and cut back and voila! I’ll have that debt snowball rolling so fast..”

I quickly realized I wouldn’t have a vacation for 10 years. I wouldn’t have a new vehicle for at least that long, and my husband’s vehicle was already several years old. No house. No furniture. No kids. It was too depressing, so we just never really got started. I made some half hearted attempts here and there but I just never got momentum, which is hard to come by when your debt outweighs your salary by so much.

I love Dave’s approach, but I think his tough love attitude is best served to people who are totally irresponsible with money or who can realistically cut out their debt in a few years. To make matters worse, neither my husband or I could get a second job for reasons I won’t whine about here. We were fresh out of college with nothing to sell, no way to get a second job, and following the 10 step approach blindly was going to make us miserable.

Fast forward to the here and now, where we still can’t get second jobs and where our income has only increased enough to cover the funds required for our expanding family, but not pay down debt. As I prayed about the situation, I found No Debt No Sweat by Steve Diggs. Steve admittedly borrows from other financial gurus, among them Dave Ramsey, but his approach is, in my opinion, more welcoming. Steve acknowledges that we all have different circumstances so the goal is to educate yourself and formulate a plan that works for you. Suddenly I felt so free. And excited.

Of course the first thing to do is a budget and Steve recommends doing a new budget each month. Yeah it’s going to be a bit of work, but after the first month, each month should just be tweaking. He said to give it a trial run of at least six months before giving up. Ok, I am all in and it’s the end of April…

So I set off to throw a budget together in one day, probably without any communication with my husband. And then I realized I didn’t have to push myself so hard. I’ve already argued this is a marathon, not a sprint, so it won’t hurt me to take the next month to get together a workable budget that I can discuss with my husband. Relief! And suddenly a positive attitude that I can definitely tackle this.

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