This is the post I’ve been meaning to start for awhile now. I think I knew once I did I’d have an obligation on my hands, which is why I’ve been putting it off. But now is the time folks! We need to discuss how to confront the debt giant.
I’ve previously talked about my credit card debt here on the blog. Basically, I have a large, obnoxious chunk of debt from my past, and want nothing to do with it in my future.
But for my husband and I, not only do we have my credit card debt – We also have loan debt. Like, loads of it. And it feels like a load on us most days. I like to think of us as David and our mound of debt as Goliath – not impossible, but it’s gonna take some faith and planning to conquer him.
So how did we end up here?
Basically two people met and fell in love that both attended extremely expensive private universities – solely on federal and private loans. Then those two people got married and blended their finances. Walaa! The perfect recipe for disaster.
(Except not complete disaster. We DO have a great marriage, good jobs, and a fairly comfortable lifestyle.)
Anyway 6 months ago we bought a house, and now we’ve decided we HAVE to come up with a better system of paying our bills, and paying down our debt. And we’ve got to do it fast.
When you ARE deep in the pit, there is something very real and scary about laying it all out on paper. It’s easy to get in the habit of just paying $60/month each towards a bunch of random things, so you never have to freak out from seeing the full picture.
But as I’m finally learning 6 years out of college – You will never make progress by ignoring your problem.
My goal is to make these posts into a short series, maybe once a month or so. I’ll show you what we’re doing, what’s working and what’s not. And regardless of your financial status, I’ll hopefully introduce some new FREE tools to you that can be helpful for us all.
These posts can also just be encouragement to you all to NEVER EVER, EVER GET INTO DEBT.
Let’s get crackin’.
STEP ONE: KNOW THY BUDGET
I’ll be honest. Pretty much every budget sheet I’ve ever found SUCKS. Most are helpful in theory but not practical for real, nitty gritty life. Cole and I finally found this budget sheet that has really helped us get a better idea of what we’re spending each month. We sit down together at the start of each month, write in everything we have coming up, and are now paying all our bills immediately on payday. That way we quickly know each month what we have left for play. Now it’s your turn!
- Make a list of all your bills & payments in order of due date
- DOWNLOAD THE BUDGET WORKSHEET HERE
- Save the worksheet as your own Google Doc, and get started!
- Let me know what you think.
Are you guys in? It’s time for me to confront the giant, and maybe some of you as well!
What tools do you use to keep track of your monthly budget? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!