I had hoped Snuggs would write this portion, but as we are nine days into February, and he hasn't had a spare minute due to over time, work details, ceremonies, and a promotion, I figured I'd better just go ahead and get it taken care of.
We paid almost $2500 extra on our cars in January.
Someone asked me if we have that kind of "fluff" in our budget. The answer is definitely not. We have usually been able to pay a bit extra on our cars, one or two hundred dollars, perhaps, but not like this.
This can be attributed to a four main factors, I believe.
1)The ding.dang.dong.Dave Ramsey budget. I don't like it. It drives me nuts. It works. Plain and simple.
2)Snuggs working several over time shifts. There's a lot of demand in our town for additional security. He has hung out in the camera room at the local grocery store, walked the floors of a nearby church when the sprinkler system was down and requiring 24/7 supervision, and other random "security" tasks. If you can dream it up, he's probably worked it as over time.
3)Business is booming. Our small "mom and pop" family business just keeps growing. Granted, it's not a "big money" business. We earn $30-$50 per client. However, in the first seven days of January we brought in $1200. That helps.
4)God. We've written down every single penny spent in January, and it just doesn't really make sense. The numbers don't "add up" exactly. It's amazing to hear my husband say, "I can see so clearly that when I bless others, God blesses me." And that is so, so true.
As much as I don't like the day to day of the budget situation, I love the end product. I am a saver, by nature. It's not that I am just yearning to blow a bunch of cash. The biggest struggle I have is using self restraint when there is something that we actually NEED, and can truly afford, except, it's not "in the budget."
Are you ready for my super lame, but totally real life example? I don't think Snuggs will ever let me live down the "can opener debacle" of the first month of our final debt payoff extravaganza. Here's the thing, I don't open that many cans. We eat three items that come out of cans. I probably open less than ten cans a month. But, for some reason we've been going through can openers like hot cakes in the last six months. I've tried every variety, every price point, and it doesn't seem to matter. Either I am unusually aggressive with my can opening techniques, or can openers are just junk.
Regardless, we were in the last week of January, and a lot of my grocery budget was gone. That's prime time to start using the "shelf stable" canned goods that I have stored in my pantry. Except then the stupid can opener broke. I knew that we would need the last few dollars from our "grocery budget" for produce that last week. Our "household" budget had been maxed out because I found an amazing deal on a really great car seat for the baby we are waiting for. So, I didn't really want to spend the last of my grocery money that I'd reserved for fresh produce on a stupid can opener, and I miiiiiiight be just a teeeeeny bit stubborn. No way, no how was I buying a stupid can opener instead of apples and oranges. Nope, NOT DOING IT. And this led to a slightly heated discussion with Snuggs.
I will admit, I still don't get it. I don't understand WHY IN THE WORLD it matters if the $3 can opener purchase takes place January 31st on a maxed out budget, or February 1st on a wide open budget, because the thing is, that the budget is only on paper. We had the extra $3 in the bank on the 31st. It's sort of a mind game living on a "budget" that is set up to use substantially less than what is available because you are paying off debt. I'm not saying it's bad, I really love paying off debt. What I don't love is not being able to open any cans the last week of January because the three dollars that's sitting in the bank is somehow "forbidden" until we flip the calendar page. Lame. Lame. Lame.
Whatever. I did it. I survived the last week of January without a can opener, though I did make one desperate trip to borrow the neighbor's. February 1st, you better believe I bought a can opener. And, I will admit, I am strongly considering discontinuing our use of canned goods altogether. I've thought about it before because of the issues with chemicals in the metal, but what's going to push me over the edge is likely the desire to be freed from dependence on a stupid, crappy, junk tool to open the vessel that contains my "end of budget" food.
Yes, I am THAT stubborn. Or "tenacious", as we like to call Buttercup. It somehow sounds better that way.