Hello, beautiful readers! Today is Day 28 of the #RRBC 30-Day #Blogging Challenge! It's also BEACH DAY! For those of you who are just joining my blogging journey, Sundays are beach days for me! (And welcome to my blog!) :-)
So, after I woke up, I had breakfast and read/commented on a few author blogs. Then, I got ready for the beach. I spent the entire day there with my friends, as usual. Once I got home, I showered, washed and blow dried my hair, made dinner, and watched a show with my son - a typical Sunday for me.
Toward the beginning of this blogging journey, I shared that when I got divorced, I was drowning in debt. Luckily, I had been raised by a dad who insisted we have family financial nights once a month. My sister and I hated sitting at the dining room table and listening to him go on and on about what money came into the house and how that money was spent for the month.
Now, as an adult, I am beyond grateful for his lessons because it helped me save my house and pull me out of debt. It has also helped me become financially stable enough to enjoy trips.
So, how did I do it? Excel became my best friend. I created a spreadsheet where I listed every large expense I had, the money coming in, and the money I needed to send to savings (first to pay bills during the summer because I don't get paid in the summer as a teacher, later to save for trips). Then, I subtracted my bills and the money I sent to savings from my income to see how much money, if any, was left over. Here is a simplified example of the spreadsheet I created:
During my debt days, there was no money for the aquarium, nails, landscaping, or pest control, but slowly, I was able to incorporate them back into my life. I broke it down even further to see which bills I could pay with each pay check. I get paid bi-weekly, so by looking at how far each check would go, I was able to make sure the bills got paid on time. The orange boxes below indicate the costs that go onto my credit card. I do this to earn points for specific rewards.
I take it even a step further and keep track of every penny that enters and leaves my house with a spreadsheet similar to the one below:
The picture above is similar to the one I live by. For many years, there was nothing in the "Other Spending" column. I was living paycheck to paycheck, just trying to pull myself out of debt. Eventually, I did.
I learned the importance of saving money when I was young. During my "get out of debt" years, there was very little saving happening. Once I paid off my debt, I immediately started saving again, and I save a LOT. Every time I get a pay raise, I add that to my savings. I buy my car and keep it until it can't be repaired anymore, saving me thousands of dollars in lease money. I do everything I can to keep my costs down.
There are a few other things I do as well to make/save money, but you get the idea. I also have several savings accounts. Each one has its own purpose. When my check gets direct deposited, money automatically gets transferred into each savings account, and I pretend it doesn't exist. I live on the money in my checking account. By doing this, I have the money I need to travel every summer.
A little bit of organizing helps me to see when and how I spend my money, and that allows me to make changes that help me enjoy my life. And I truly live a full life! :-)
Do you keep track of your expenses? Have I inspired you to try? I'd love to hear from you.
I love this. See what happens when we listen to our parents? I'm so proud that "you" got yourself out of debt, and in a position where "you" could take care of "you" and your child alone; without the help of a man. Good job!ReplyDelete
With this information, I've no doubt you have just helped someone else get on the road to ending their own struggles with debt. Kudos to you, Yvette!
Thank you, Nonnie! One of my mom's favorite sayings was that she was raising us to be strong and independent so that we would never have to rely on a man to survive. I am grateful she did just that. :-)Delete
Hi Yvette, the way you budget and live are a tribute to your determination and dedication which shows in all areas of your life. I can't believe you don't get paid during the summer. That seems so weird.ReplyDelete
We are considered 10-month employees. Many teachers have the district divvy up their paychecks into twelve months. I prefer to separate it myself and put it in my own savings account, so I can earn the savings on it. With the price of living where I am, it is never enough, especially with inflation right now. Last year, we got a 2% raise; inflation was 10%. Teachers today are making less than teachers in 1996 were making, especially if you factor in the cost of living! That's why I have a part-time job. One way or the other, I will make it work. I always do. Thanks for the compliments, Robbie! I appreciate you stopping by. :-)Delete
Thanks, Mom! I'm grateful you and dad taught me this skill. If I can help someone else become better at managing their money, that would be great! :-)ReplyDelete
Yvette your spread sheets are great. I used to do similar tracking, on graph paper, back in the dinosaur days before we were computerized. Now I use Quicken and generate reports on there. Glad you had your Sunday rest day!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Maura Beth! I know a few people who use Quicken. I never learned the program because my Excel sheets work for me. I'm glad you have a system that works for you. Thanks for sharing! :-)Delete
I congratulate you my friend. I had to do the same when my small business floundered here in Germany. I didn't do bankruptcy but worked until I had all my business debt paid.
Kudos to you, Pat! I am of the same philosophy. I refused to file bankruptcy or foreclose on my house. I made the sacrifices necessary to pay off my debt and get back on my feet. It's the responsible thing to do. Thanks for sharing and visiting today. :-)Delete
You are so organized, Yvette! I wish I had the discipline to keep track like you do. Bill wishes I did, too. Your parents did a wonderful job teaching you life skills, and you're passing them along to your son. I've been using the blogging challenge as an excuse to avoid our financial spreadsheets, but you've just knocked some sense into me. I'll add it back to my to do list. Oh, well. Small steps.ReplyDelete
I'm happy to push you in the right direction, Patty! ;-) Thanks for stopping by. :-)Delete
Yvette, this is wonderful!!!!! You helped me more than you know...thank you!!!!ReplyDelete
Donna M. Atwood
You are most welcome! It makes me very happy to know that this will come in handy for you. Thanks for sharing that with me. :-)Delete