I signed up for Dave Ramsey's Every Dollar Budgeting Program. I love the layout and it's quite user friendly. You should try it.
It shows me visually and numerically what percentage of my budget falls into different categories (housing is 6% for me - unreal!).
It allows for sinking funds and shows me which baby step I'm on (not that I didn't know). I want to start reading the blog (but I have to find it first) and get motivation from others.
I'm starting over again with step 2. God and I have done incredible things these past 20 months. We've saved up the money to pay for renovating the parents' house. It's livable and comfortable (nothing fancy, but nice)
We've completed a car sinking fund (which I totally wasn't expecting to do when I started this journey). We've paid off all credit cards and small debts. Now I'm down to 4 very large debts - two of which I didn't know about till I got the courage to face ALL of my creditors, so I couldnt' include these amounts in the initial goals that I set.
No fear. It will all get paid. I'm taking the car payments I was making into the car sinking fund and setting them aside for when I have to start paying on these last two debts.
Those 4 debts are
1. a line of credit
2. student loans
3. past due HOA fees (new debt)
4. taxes after this short sale is done and I will be taxed on whatever amount the bank forgives. (new debt)
These debts will total an estimated - 89K.
Again, no fear.