August is always a very heavy budget month for my household. Back to school adds up very quickly, and the boys return home from summer vacation, so my grocery bill skyrockets, lol. This was the first year I actually was not playing catch up during the two months that they were with their dad. In the past, there seems to always be some bills that I had to put on the back burner while they were here and I could slim down my eating and just stay home to get caught up but it seemed like by the time they came back I wasn’t able to handle that first month they return. This was the first year I was actually able to slowly stack cash so I could handle the school supplies, school fees, extracurricular activities, and doctors’ appointments. On top of that, I was actually able to go on vacation. If you’ve followed my journey this is something that I had decided to do prior to getting really serious on my debt free journey. The trip was paid for over a 10 month period but with everything said and done that money could have gone towards my debt. If someone would present that opportunity to me today I would say no thanks, but I will say the rest and relaxation were invaluable. It was definitely a glimpse of the lifestyle I want to lead in the first, and the fact that it was paid for in cash I didn’t have to have the payments following me months post vacation.
I cut up my credit card in November of 2016 in my financial peace class. I originally didn’t do it because I wanted to. Actually, it was a very emotional decision that for a few months after I was still regretting. Now nine months post cutting the card up I feel like it was one of those critical moments in defining my decision to really commit to a debt free lifestyle. I couldn’t lean on the credit cards to bail me out when I wanted to impulse on something I didn’t really need. Instead, I had to completely remove that option from the table, and quite frankly train my brain and my actions to do something completely new. For example, just saying no or figuring out what else would I need to sacrifice in order to make that thing happen. Would I need to get an extra job or sell something or give up something else in my budget? Either way the reality of, in order to say yes to one thing you really were saying no to something else.
As I was reflecting on where I was a year ago I really have made some major life changes. Many of you don’t know that once I went through my divorce I decided to downsize from my townhome to a two bedroom apartment. I was extremely underwater so I ended up renting it out for three years while I recovered emotionally and financially from the hardest season in my life. August of 2016 I ended up moving back in my townhouse after a series of events and have been on a mission to continue to change my legacy so my children’s, children’s, children have something better. I’m definitely still a daily work in progress but consistently making better choices to reach my dreams I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.
One day I hope to run my non-profit full time and help others overcome the bondage of student loan debt so they too can reach their financial dreams. I also want to own multiple quality but affordable real estate properties that I one day will leave to my children to manage. I also will be traveling the world with my kids by my side laughing and enjoying a completely unrecognizable life from where I was just five years ago.
As of September 12th, I owe $72,356.87 with the goal to completely be student loan debt free in December 2018.
How did your August budget turn out?