On January 4, 2013 I highlighted Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps from his book The Total Money Makeover. At that time, my New Year’s resolution was to start a total money makeover by setting a budget, paying down my debt, and saving for my future.
It’s been 14 weeks since I wrote the article A New Year, A New Financial You. While it hasn’t been an extensive amount of time to accomplish my goals, I’ve been able to save cash for my emergency fund, pay off two credit cards and am close to paying off my third credit card (within days). With a total of $2,000.00 paid toward debt and saved in my emergency fund, you may be wondering how I managed to do so much in just 14 short weeks. It’s simple: I decided what was most important to me, set my goals, and am powering through!
I’ve had to make sacrifices to get where I am today. I am now shopping at Goodwill more frequently than at the mall and borrowing books from the library instead of buying them. I no longer shop on a whim, I shop with a list. I also shop the grocery store ads and plan my meals around what’s on sale. I spend cash when shopping: when the cash is gone, my shopping is done. I still go out to eat with my friends once a week but choose smaller meal portions or a la carte items to keep the cost down. I also used my tax refund toward my goals instead of spending it. Everything that I can do to save money means paying off my debts faster and getting my emergency fund fully funded.
While all of those sacrifices have aided me in establishing my emergency fund and paying down my debt, the biggest change I’ve made has been working extra hours at my part time job. By working a few extra hours each week, I’ve been rewarded with paying off some of my debts faster than I ever thought possible.
With a few months come and gone in 2013, it feels good to have accomplished some of my New Year’s resolutions. Have you kept your New Year’s resolutions? Or have they fallen by the wayside now that we are 14 weeks into the New Year? I plan to continue working on my total money makeover until I have financial stability and I encourage you to do the same. As Dave Ramsey says, “It is going to rain; you need an umbrella.” Now I’ve got an umbrella. Do you?
If you have a success story about your total money makeover, please share it in the comments section below! We’d love to hear them!