What Dreams May Come

“I am teaching you a difficult lesson, learned only by hardship.”

– Sarah Young, Jesus Calling 

Free stock photo of sunny, summer, dream, catcher

The other night I had a dream that  I died. I was 10 minutes late picking up a friend’s kid from school; the school closed and sent the kid to DHR. Somewhere in the process of fighting to get the kid back, I was killed. (Wow. That escalated quickly!)

If you’re into dream interpretation…which I find fascinating…death dreams usually represent a rebirth or transformation you are going through in your waking life

So, it seems fitting I’ve been reflecting on the above quote for 12 days. It’s been in the back of my mind, and in the front of my mind. And it represents how I feel about our journey to become debt-free.

Alan and I have been married for nearly a decade (10 years in May 💕). For most of that time, we knew what to do with our money…we just didn’t do it. We took advantage of many payment plans, credit card points and 0% financing deals to buy what we “needed.” And constantly struggled to figure out why we didn’t have more to show for our money.

We make good money. Why don’t we have any disposable income? 

Turns out, we weren’t taking advantage of payment plans, credit card points and 0% financing deals. They were taking advantage of us.

Some days I wish we’d receive word of some long lost relative that left us an unexpected inheritance in the exact amount of our debt. We don’t need much…only $80K!  We could pay off the remainder of our debt, sans the house, and move on to the next chapter of our lives; we are starting to get restless in this chapter.

But, like it or not, we know we have to continue to work our way to debt- freedom on our own merits…and on God’s too. He is using our struggles to transform us into who He wants us to be.

At 32 years old, this is the first time I’ve confidently moved in a direction despite the approval, opinions and judgement of others. It’s always been important for me to have the support and buy-in of those closest to me. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m crazy!?!

But, you know what? I don’t care much about that anymore. If God, Alan and I are on the same page then we can move forward with confidence that we are doing what is right and good. And, as much as I would like to be able to do our Dave Ramsey debt free scream tomorrow…I’m not ready for our transformation to be complete.

Oh…also in my death dream, I came back to haunt the people who stood in my way and prevented me from getting the kid back. So, think about that. #WomanOnAMisson

How has your financial changed you?

Advertisements

Our Cash Envelopes

Yesterday was payday, which means at some point today Alan and I will make our way to the bank to get cash for our envelope system.

Paying cash for most of our purchases is paramount to meeting our financial goals because it forces us to stay in budget. For example, if my total at the grocery store is $101…but I only have $100, I am forced to put something back. Irritating? Sure. But, so, so helpful.

Over the past year, I’ve used this system and the traditional Dave Ramsey envelope system that comes with his Financial Peace University kit. Truth be told, I like our better! Its just a cute See Jane Work coupon organizer I found on clearance for $4.99 at Office Depot.

img_6420

With the amount of cash we take out it seems to be less bulky and awkward than the FPU envelope system. Plus, I like that it can close all the way…and that I had space to add a cute little bag to hold my change. (It’s from a Similac pre-natal care pack! Ha!)

img_6422

After a few months of finagling, we settled on 12 envelope categories: Grocery, Toiletries, Clothes, Gifts, Haircuts, Kid’s School, Special (e.g. money Em will earn from chores or money to spend when traveling to see family), Tithe, Kim’s Fun Money, Em and Livi. The girl’s categories are where I keep any birthday money they may get, etc. Don’t worry – Alan has fun money too, but he keeps it in his wallet.

img_6423

These categories work really well for our family, but there are no right or wrong categories to have. Yours may be broader, like if you purchase toiletries at the same place you buy groceries, then you may just lump all of that together. Or, you may even need to be more specific. Either is fine.

The other thing about cash that is helpful, albeit inconvenient at times, it that using it causes you to plan ahead. I only carry the cash I need…not usually the entire envelope at one time. So, yes, it does stink when I remember that I need to pick up milk on the way home, but I don’t have the cash on hand. However, I am rarely able to make impulse purchases because it has become increasingly difficult to do so. And, if you are trying to reign in bad money habits, having this protective barrier in place is a good thing!

I hope this little bit of info is helpful for you and inspires you to create your own envelope system! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about switching over to cash and would love to hear your tips as well!