A Financial Wellness Update, One Year Later

January 22, 2019 - Posted by Melissa

Nearly a year ago, I posted about financial wellness and my families plan for becoming more financially secure.  Today, I wanted to share a quick update on our progress and talk more about the importance of budgeting!

My post last year was all about the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.  I am happy to report that not only are we sticking to our goals and working on the Baby Steps, but we are killing it.  A lot of life has happened in the last ten months that could have completely derailed our plans financially, but we stuck to our goals and trusted the process, and wouldn’t you know it, by sticking to our plan, we are actually ahead of schedule on reaching our goals!   

Let me tell you a bit about what has gone on since 2018 was a particularly interesting year for us.  In late 2017, we found out we were pregnant with our first child and that he was due on July 27th, 2018.  Fast forward to June 2nd, 2018, I noticed I was feeling a bit off.  I went in to see my doctor and they told me that my water was broken and I would have to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN until my baby was born!  At this point, I was 32 weeks along, having to go to a hospital hours away from home and my family not knowing when our son would be born.  He made it to 34 weeks and was then sent to the NICU.  He is a happy and healthy 7-month-old now, but at the time it was quite scary! 

Back before we started budgeting, a crisis like this would have been so stressful financially.  We had a lot of unexpected costs as far as hotels, food, and travel that were not in our plan.  Luckily, because of our budgeting, not only did we not have to use any savings, but we also were able to finish paying off a car and continue the process to getting out of debt!

Here are my tips after working on the Baby Steps for about a year.

  1. Make your budget every month. Yes this is the same tip I had on my last post about this, but we would not be where we are today had it not been for creating and sticking to a budget every month.  There are some great apps for budgeting such as Mint, EveryDollar, or You Need a Budget, or if you are like me, you can use pen and paper.  I keep a notebook with our budget and take that with me to the bank when I am pulling out all my cash for my envelopes, which leads me to my next point…
  2.  Use cash and envelopes. I can count on one hand the number of times I have swiped my debit card in the last year for things other than gas.  Two times. I have swiped my debit card twice because we pull cash out of our bank account and assign it to different envelopes.  Some of our categories include, Baby, Dog, Fun Money, House/Car Maintenance and Upkeep, Groceries, Holidays and Birthdays, Truck. Side note: we do keep some of our money in our bank account for online purchases, but those purchases are still planned and budgeted. 
  3. Save for big expenses instead of taking out a loan.  You will notice that the last category of envelopes I mentioned is a Truck Envelope.  We are planning to purchase a new to us truck to replace my husband’s current truck.  To do so, we are saving up for a modest truck that will do what we need it to do such as seat our family of 4 (yes, my dog is a part of that 4), and tow things like boats and trailers. 

     

As I mentioned a year ago, I am still not an expert, but I feel like my experience has taught me a lot and I would love to answer any questions you may have!  In the meantime, give the Dave Ramsey Show a listen and see if it sounds like a good plan for you. 

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