The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Friday, February 28, 2014

Daddy had a stroke

Daddy had a stroke this week. I'm going to price plane tickets today and decide if I want to go visit right now or wait.

He is talking and moving, but needs therapy and will start that over the weekend.

I'm so thankful it wasn't worse. I hope he starts taking better care of his health. I love my daddy (and mommy, too).

My sister has had two financial blessings this month, and because of those, she will have fewer debts and greater income in the next few months. Therefore, she texted me to see if I needed financial help making a trip down South to see my dad. I am so blessed to have the family I have. We really look out for one another.

I told her about Dave Ramsey's and Michelle Singletary's advice and how God has been blessing me due to my better stewardship (and because God just loves blessing people like that). So, fortunately, the emergency fund is enough to make at least 3 round trips down South and rent a car when I get there.

February Celebrations

Here is what I have to celebrate this month:

1. shared with other people how God blessed me when I started managing his money better
2. paid off 2 credit cards
3. Kept 2K in emergency fund
4. Kept up new habits – envelope system, naming my dollars, not touching emergency savings
5. started a new job and gotten 80% settled in

Goals for March:

1. make plans with Mama on house renovations
2. learn how to do my own hair to save money
3. keep God’s car clean and smelling fresh
4. be on time for work each day
5. eat healthy meals (not bits and pieces throughout the day)
6. reward myself with a Ledo’s day every $5K that is paid off or $1K that is saved in long-term savings fund

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rolling the Debt Snowball Again

I’m still living with Jasmine. I have to park my car in the backyard because I don’t have city tags (my tags are for a neighboring state). Jasmine and her husband have been completely welcoming to me.

I started a new teaching job 3 weeks ago. It's 10 minutes from my house and I enjoy working there.

God continues to bless my decision to make smarter financial choices and to work for want I want. I was able to pay off one credit card today (that was hard because it felt so good to have money again, that I didn't want to let it go).

That payoff puts me back on track with my debt snowball (which was on hold since December when I got laid off).

I have been listening to a lot of sermons lately about stewardship and wise money management. I’m glad I got the idea to do that. I want to improve my Sabbath worship, but sometimes I don’t have interesting things to listen to, watch, or meditate on during Sabbath hours and I get bored. Since the topic of stewardship is really interesting to me right now, listening to and watching sermons about it fill up my Sabbath time when I’m not chilling with others.

Speaking of making wiser money choices, since I’m near a kitchen again (not my classroom kitchen), I need to start cooking more and eating less fast food and processed food. I’m going back to making a menu. This menu won’t be a daily menu. Instead it’ll have one lot for weekday breakfasts, one for weekday lunches, and one for weekday dinners. That’s easier than trying to take each day one day at a time. Then I’ll plan for Sunday and Sabbath separately.

I just finished “naming my dollars” for the next paycheck, which I’ll get in another 6 days. “Naming your dollars” is a Dave Ramsey concept which means telling your money where it’s going to go before or on payday. So, all money has a designated place to go and I don’t have any extra money. If I want extra money, I have to name it “blow money” – I can’t just spend money without thinking it through first. I have to decide where it’s going to go ahead of time. Dave says, “Tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”

Here are some other financial concepts I've learned over time that have changed my way of thinking.

1. Get good advice. In multitude of counselors there is safety – be careful who you hang with. You’ll make the same income as them.

2. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he didn’t have money.

3. Learn the language of debt elimination - debt snowball, pay yourself first, naming your dollars, spending plan, blow money, life happens fund, gazelle intensity, real emergency, crisis mode, envelope system, "no," weird is normal, rich, baby steps, sinking fund, 4 Walls, stress test)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February Check-Up

I usually give a monthly reflection on how the past 30 days went. Well...

I’ve been living with Jasmine for a month and I started my new job one week ago. I am thankful to be working again. I was unemployed for 5 weeks. I drew unemployment during that time. House renovations were put on hold. I didn’t pay any extra towards debt – just the minimum payments. I haven't gotten my first paycheck, yet.

I did not have to use my emergency savings. In fact, I never had to worry about finances. It only took 4 months of gazelle intensity to get to this point. 

I have been listening to Dave Ramsey and Michelle Singletary to stay encouraged and continue to sharpen my new mindset about money so that when I start getting paid again, I will continue to manage God’s money correctly. 

I still really miss my dog, Jefferson. I look forward to getting my own place again someday and taking him to the dog park a couple of times a week and rubbing his belly as I fall asleep at night (he sleeps on the floor next to my bed). 

Here are some financial thoughts I've learned:
1. If broke people make fun of you (or find faults with your financial improvement methods), you're on the right track.
2. You don't ease out of debt - you break out.
3. All money belongs to God - not just the tithe.
4. If you're not managing the other 90% of God's money properly, why should He bless you with more?
5. The grass may be greener on the other side but the water bill is higher.