My Total Money Makeover Journey: Climbing Back Up

The first step in My Total Money Makeover Journey is Baby Step One: $1,000 in the bank.

I did it….and then life threw me a curve – well, a few of them.

  • We moved my in-laws into a retirement apartment. I knew my MIL was a pack-rat, but even I didn't realize we would be able to fill a HUGE dumpster TWICE!  Although I'm glad to see them settled into a single-level apartment, with AC, and no yard maintenance, boy was moving them out expensive.  And it was OUR expense (not exactly sure how that happened either).
  • With DH off work for 2 weeks, some of my emergency fund went for normal expenses.  Although we've wanted to take a vacation for years, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind…
  • Plus, it was time to get the garden ready.  This year, I spent over $900 because I bought a tiller! If my yield is anything like previous years, I'll make all my money back this year and won't have to worry about renting a tiller ever again.  So, good investment – bad timing. 
At first, I reacted the same way I normally do with unexpected expenses – PANIC!!!  Then, it gradually hit me. Before this program, I would have had to take out a small loan or borrowed money from a family member to do all year & there is no way I would have gotten the tiller. When I was feeling really upset over the $10.84 in my savings, my mother pointed out that I had done it once before & I can do it again.  I just have to stick with my budget…something I had slacked on when I really should have gotten even stricter with myself.Last night, I sat down and did my budget for the month.  Just looking at everything, even though my savings isn't going to increase by much this month, made me feel calmer about the whole situation. A) I now know I will be able to pay for all my bills this month. B) I know that no matter how long it takes I WILL get my baby emergency fund back to where it was.I'd like to challenge you to sit down with your spouse (if single, find a friend/family member that's good with money) and figure out where your money is going. Once you know, its easier to make adjustments and start saving! To get started, use the Budget Lite tool from Dave Ramsey.If you are ready to purchase one of Dave Ramsey's books or sets, I recommend going straight for the Financial Peace University Home Study set.  No matter what you order, make sure you use all three of the following codes:
SHIP888 for free shipping
MORE for a free copy of More Than Enough
NOEL2011 for a free DVD
Even if you order a package that includes one of the freebies, make sure you use the code – you’ll want the extra to give away or loan out!

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  1. I am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey’s emergency fund plan, as well as many others of his. Your mom is right – we may fall, but we can get back there again. So glad you had the $ to cover your expenses rather than having to take out a loan!

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