We first met with Josh, our financial counselor at the Village, on December 14, 2010. Since then we have been keeping a spreadsheet with all the receipts and the incoming money. We were simply amazed at our spending in different areas and we have found a few more places that we could cut back and like to cut back, so we talked about it and we have made a plan together that John and I can live with.
We have not been able to put any money in savings yet, just because right now we are playing catch-up on some of our bills. We have also found that some of our bill collectors are understanding of our situation and are willing to work with us, since they see we are making changes in the right direction. Although, I have found it interesting that our mortgage company is one of the hardest to work with.
Unfortunately last week, I did not focus on finances. Our little girl had her tonsils out and so I did not work all week. We made sure she had the drinks and foods that her system could handle which put our grocery bill a little out of wack. But the good thing is that we never once used our credit card.
Another bad habit that we had (and I am sure MANY people do) was grocery shopping with no list. I have found that if I make a list with the store ads and write “coupon” next to the items that have one, we have been able to save money. It takes a little extra time to make up the grocery list, but in the long run just think of the money that you can save!
I have noticed that our two teenage sons are also getting the hang of making decisions so their money lasts longer and when the money is gone and they have to pass on something with their friends, it makes an impression for the next paycheck that they get.
With all the information that Josh at the Village has given us, we have found that we’ve been making slight changes in our spending without even thinking about it. Once you get in the frame of mind of watching spending – we have found it easier and easier. If you tell yourself “NO” on that impulse buy (like getting drive-thru fast food, coffee, etc) it is easier the next time to do the same thing at the next store.
I feel that doing this wonderful eye-opening Financial Fix-Up with the Forum and the Village will change lives – the three families involved and everyone that wants to open their eyes and minds and face the truth about their spending. If you can do that, I think that you will be amazed about all the other aspects of your lives that will change with your finances.
With the steady income that John now has and cutting our spending – I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! My hopes are high and so is my trust in our ability to manage our finances! So – STEADY ahead and loving the changes!