Hello, folks! After yesterday’s topic of our finances, I decided to continue on and give you a couple of other resources that have really done wonders for our budget!
- I know that I have mentioned several times that Tyler and I participated in a Financial Peace University course last year. If at all possible, I suggest you participate in one–this stuff is always easier when we’re doing it with other people, instead of trying to do it on your own! However, another option is buying the corresponding book and reading through that on your own. There are also a lot of other resources that I’ve heard are really great, but this is the only one that I’ve personally used and feel comfortable recommending.
- In addition, I would recommend either purchasing or making your own cash envelope system. There are many, many ways to make your own and they are so easy, and they don’t even have to be pretty! But having the cash all there and compact into one holder is so helpful. For the longest time I had a bunch of little individual yellow envelopes and long story short, it was just a mess. Do this, it’s worth it. Just go to the bank at the beginning of the month and get enough cash for all of your cash-only categories. For us these categories are groceries, clothing, blow money, entertainment, Christmas gifts… and similar things. We do use our debit card for things like gas that are just simpler to use plastic for.
- Last but certainly not least, if you have a debt mountain that you’re climbing, there is a great resource out there waiting for you to use it for free. It’s called the Debt Reduction Calculator and it is SO GREAT. Seriously, so great. You can enter up to 10 debts into the calculator, plus your payment amounts, and it will tell you when you’re going to be debt free! Each month that you make an extra payment, you type it in and it updates accordingly. I wish we would have found this sooner! As of this writing it is completely free with no strings attached. All you need is excel (or even a google sheets account, as there’s a version for that as well) and you are good to go. It doesn’t connect to your actual accounts so there is no worry about someone getting ahold of your data. Just a great tool for you to use. I highly, highly recommend this. Each time I look at this sheet, I am motivated to put more and more towards our debt and see that pay off date get closer and closer.
As one more note, I would definitely suggest that you set yourself a reward. Tyler and I have decided that our first month of living debt-free, we will take the money that would have gone toward debt payments that month and just do something FUN. We are planning a “Treat Yo Self” day, and even though that’s years in the future, it is motivating and exciting to know that we’ll treat ourselves to a couple hundred dollars worth of fun. I know that some people would call this irresponsible, but I say that if we pay off $70,000+ in debt, then we deserve one month of craziness!
Okay, so what are your tips and tricks? Do you have any resources that have really helped you make progress with your finances? Don’t keep them to yourself, inquiring minds want to know!
This post is part of the series 31 Days of Getting My Crap Together!