Written at the end of January...
Tomorrow is payday (Thank you, Sweet six pound baby infant Jesus). Husband sent me a text this morning reminding of this noted and celebrated day. As I sit and type, Bennie is playing hooky from school and we are at Chick Fil A, celebrating a mommy-daughter day. She's in the playroom with other kids, sliding and running around. It's cute to watch her.
So, the question begs-- How did we fare this first month of REDUCTION!... ?
How'd we do?
Pretty darn good.
There were some expenses I had not planned on, things that I knew were coming but had simply forgotten. Registration for the upcoming school year for all three children (to the sweet tune of over $500) and the last installment of Birdie's summer camp tuition, to name the top two. If the camp makes you pay in installments, you know that I choked at the reminder!
We also went skiing-- we knew we were going as it was our Christmas present from my parents, and an awesome one at that. One of the days was so snowy and to truly enjoy the day-- and more importantly-- TO SEE, we needed ski goggles. At that point, having spent the time to get to where we were, Husband and Wife moseyed in our ski boots to the ski shop and spent way too much money on top quality Smith goggles.
And they were totally worth it.
We went out to dinner once. We were going to go out to eat with another couple, but they canceled at the last minute. The babysitter was already in place and the money was already set aside- why cancel on ourselves? Off we went. It made us enjoy it more.
Every other time I did not feel like cooking, meals were already prepared in the freezer, ready for eating. Being prepared has made the biggest difference.
Our weakness-- eating breakfast out-- was resolved with homemade breakfast burritos that were DE-LISH-US! I can happily report that we did not eat breakfast out once in the month of January. Even when my mom called and asked me to pick up biscuits on the way over to her house, I grabbed two burritos from the freezer.
I went out to lunch four times this month, twice while we were on the road and twice as a treat for the girls; one of those four times being right now. When we went out of town to he mountains, we packed sandwiches and drinks.
I switched to boxed wine and froze individual meals for Husband so he did not have to buy lunch at the hospital. Instead of listening to music on my walks, I now listen to Dave Ramsey. Hearing other people making less money, being worse off, and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps-- it gets me excited about taking these loans by the horns and telling those pesky things who's the boss.
Were we perfect? No. We could have done better, but we sure could have done a heck of a lot worse. By the end of the month, we were ready for the glorious pay day, satisfied with where our money went and not overwhelmed with the prospect of tomorrow. We have a plan. We have a goal.
AND WE DID IT. We freaking did it. 29 more months to go.
February will be a little tougher. Husband will get paid a little less this month, but we are still committing the same whiplash payment. Just today, we were talking about making an improvement to the backyard. I asked, "What do we really want? I think we should stick to our ultimate goal and wait. If we can suck it up for 29 more months- we can be DONE and do whatever the heck we want to do. AND, we can do it right." We were both a little dejected looking around at what we wanted to do, but the focus drove us back to what we wanted. We are doing less now so that we can do more later.
I checked in with my partner to see how she felt they did. We both had successes and complaints. At the end of the month though, we both cheered the positive aspects of what we were accomplishing. Having a partner: it makes it easier and it makes me accountable to someone other than myself. Thanks, Pard'ner!