While on my "monetary diet" I have made a lot of changes and there have been a million "ah-ha" moments. They haven't been easy, and some have been quite painful, but I will live and much better than a lot of other people in this world.
- We now have a budget. This was a foreign word to me 2 weeks ago. I grew up in a family that never hurt for money. We as children always had lavish Christmas mornings, birthday parties, and if we wanted something it was ours. Now each week our paycheck is divided out to where it needs to go immediately. There is no more free money sitting around in my checking account in case I find a "must have" at the local store.
- After realizing that we spent $700.00 a month going out to eat, we now have a weekly allowance and each get $25.00 to spend every week to do with what we wish. Chipotle, Starbucks, and McDonald's are now treats instead of the norm. Please note: If you own stock in those companies sell now. There is about to be a significant drop in revenue without us shopping there on a daily basis!
- We have stopped being "Disneyland Parents". As I started this budget, my initial thought was "Who starts a budget this close to Katzya's birthday and Christmas?!" I now see this was a brilliant move. Last week was my daughter's birthday, and in the past I would have rolled out the red carpet. There would have been party favors, a matching cake, the house would have been decorated in the same theme, and I would have managed to squeeze $300.00 worth of presents into the day as well. This year, I was determined to stay on budget for her birthday. We took my daughter to the movies with a few of her friends, skipped the party favors, and I bought her a $25.00 gift card to her favorite book store. Guess what?! She was perfectly fine with her birthday party and had a great time. I have realized "Disneyland Parenting" is truthfully for the parents, not the kids. A child who has been raised to be grateful doesn't care if it she receives 20 present or 1 present. (At least I did something right in the parenting department!)
- The entire reason we homestead is to save money, eat healthy, and be self-sustaining. I am not sure how/why we have gone astray, but it feels good to be on track!
My goal is to continue this momentum into the Christmas holiday. It's not going to be easy, but I just have to remind myself that nothing I buy is going to be as great as being debt free will be.