I have to be honest and say I didn’t make a single new year’s resolution. The thing is, I already exercise regularly (and love it! So weird!) and have some pretty big goals in life (which I track at 43things), and on top of that, we have our financial plan which is a constant project. I literally look at our spreadsheets every day; it helps remind me what we’re working towards.
Every time I get an e-mail from the likes of J.Crew or Zappos, I think, “I could get those shoes/that dress/those jeans, but then what would our budget look like? How many months would that set us back?” That sounds kind of depressing, but it’s actually energizing. Resisting buying something supposedly small, like under $50, really adds up when you think that I probably have that urge almost every day. Even if I only spent $20 extra a few times a week, I’d be spending about $250 on… nothing much. I have plenty of clothes, I don’t need much other than the basics, and my idea of fun is reading.
We started the debt snowball in September 2009 after my husband’s aunt recommended his books to us at a family reunion. It’s only been 16 months, but we’ve accomplished so much. Honestly, when we stop to think about it, we’re really proud of what we’ve done. We’ll both turn 30 in 2011, and I’m pretty pleased with where we are. The plan is to pay off about $20K in debt this year, which sounds just insane on our modest incomes, but I know we can do it, one month at a time. As Bob would say, “Baby steps, baby steps…”