Not a Good Day

Starting Debt (01.01.19): $124,310.77
Current Debt: $107,793.15
Total Paid Off: $16,517.62

Today was not a great day. Today was a day I had to text my wife to let her know that, at just halfway through the month, we are already about 70% of the way through our budget.

I’ve read books by David Bach which state that budgets never work, and I understand the point he’s making that if you try to run your life on a budget that you will wind up hating life. I will get to a point where we are no longer governed by a budget, but we’re not in a spot for that just yet.

Right now we are digging out from a substantial amount of debt. We don’t have a nest egg or savings to utilize, and thus every penny we make goes to paying bills. The “budget” I’m referring to is literally the money we have left from the paychecks I’ll receive this month.

Next month we will refinance the house, and this will help. While helpful, these types of relatively small steps won’t solve our problems. This is going to take a long time, and a very mindful approach to how we address the situation we are in.

I know this might feel like a somewhat non-sequitur post, but it’s something I plan to do more. I’d like to utilize this blog for two purposes:

  1. To help others realize that they aren’t alone in the choices that they made that may have put them in a tough financial situation.
  2. To track my journey (bad days and all) to hopefully rectify my mistakes and get my family on the path to financial well-being.

Today was not a good day, but I can almost bet tomorrow will be better.

4 thoughts on “Not a Good Day

  1. I know this is an older post… do you think budgets don’t work? We’re going through a similar process of paying off all our debt; but we think the budget is useful, and we’re not hating life.

    What are your thoughts?

    Like

    • Hi Matt! First of all, thanks for checking out the blog.

      I think it’s really just sort of semantics when it comes to budgets. The more of David Bach’s material I’ve read, the more I realize that what he’s saying is front load the budget, rather than applying saved money at the end of the month.

      Example:
      You make $1000 a month, and you create a budget that shows you’ll have $100 left at the end of the month. If all goes well and you stick to your budget, that $100 will go into savings. Well guess what? You know you’ve got that $100 dollar buffer now, and as the month goes on, you find more and more things you’d like to spend it on. By the time the month is over, you’ve got $8 dollars of it left!

      So instead, figure out how much your comfortable putting into savings (in this scenario it’s that $100 bucks) and put it in on day 1 of the month, or whenever your paycheck rolls in. Have it automatically deduct into a separate 401k or savings account, and then forget about it. Think of it as taxes that you are required to pay. It’s gone. You’ll then adjust to your new income, and as you do, you can slowly increase the amount you automatically deduct.

      So you’re still living on a budget in a sense, because you still have to figure out that you have that $100 you can put aside. It’s really just a matter of when you do it.

      Hope that makes sense, and thanks again for reading!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, I see. I am not familiar with David Bach’s work, or method. We are going through the Dave Ramsey process, which proscribes an “every-dollar” budget — every dollar is accounted for. It seems the two approaches are similar in process. I was a bit confused by the quote, I guess.

        I started following, and not from the position of seeing “how much better of than this guy we are”. Several of your posts made me laugh (and I actually found your blog from the “running” tag).

        I was once before debt free and looking forward to that end again. Good luck on your journey to freedom. I think once you’re on the path, there is a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Appreciate it, Matt! I’ve read Ramsey’s works as well as Bach’s, and they are indeed very similar. Ramsey is much more aggressive about focusing on nothing but paying off debt, where Bach uses a measured approach of half paying off debt and half going into savings/retirement. Both are proven strategies, so I’m sure we’ll both reach our goals.

        Glad I could bring some enjoyment to your life, and I hope you keep reading!

        Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to davejohnsonjr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.