Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Living Paycheck to Paycheck

We live paycheck to paycheck, and we always have... no matter how much we made, and no matter how much we owed.

For the past 5 years, Mike has gotten paid twice a month. And twice a month, the paycheck is completely spent on paper even before we get it. By design, one paycheck is somewhat tight. We pay the mortgage with that check, and like most people our mortgage is far and away our highest expense. The other check is much more comfortable, or at least it would be if we didn't devote SO much of it to extra debt payments. That's the check we use to pay for any "extras" for the month... birthdays, entertainment, new clothes... anything above and beyond. We try to plan for as much as we think we'll need, and the rest goes to debt. It's a good system, except.. sometimes it's not. Sometimes we find ourselves misjudging and scraping through, and it is a horrible feeling that I'd hoped to never have to repeat.

I get frustrated sometimes, knowing that we're keeping things so tight by choice now, and that if we weren't aggressively paying off debt that we'd be fine; that we'd be comfortable; that I wouldn't have that constant "Can we afford this?" hanging over my head every month. But then I think: We created this mess, so it's our responsibility to get out of it. And just because we can go back to minimums and live it up, doesn't mean we should. We have no business living all free and loose with our money as long as we have any kind of debt. We should feel tight. We should send all our extra money to our credit cards.

And for better or worse, whenever I falter, I hear Dave Ramsey's words in my head:

"If you will live like no one else, later you get to live like no one else"

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March Update and GOOD News

The last time I updated, I was worried, daunted, and stressed out. Today I am hopeful, humbled, and grateful. Somewhere along the way in our A/C replacement process was the suggestion to have an official inspection done for hail damage. (We had a very severe hailstorm a few months back) Last weekend we had someone from our insurance company perform said inspection, and this Thursday they sent out another guy, specific to A/C repair. And the verdict is: DAMAGED. And because the unit is such an old model, repair is not an option. Which means.... replacement is covered by our insurance. Covered by our insurance! AND, because they offer a trade-in value of $300 for the old unit (which they use for scrap metal), we will barely have to come up with any money out of pocket, even for the deductible.

I'm sort of still speechless about it. It all really does work out.

Total Debt For March:
Down by $3303.01