Living Lean Part 2

Back in January of this year, I posted about learning to live lean. I’d taken this Dave Ramsey class to learn about how to control spending and get my financial life back in order. It was a wake up call to realize I had really bad spending habits. When I wanted something, I got it. I’d whip out that credit card and get it no matter what. Without even a thought about anything other than, “I’ll just pay the bill next month.” But sometimes, when the bill came next month I would be hit with something else. Some other unexpected expense that would force me to pay the minimum payments.

Dave Ramsey preaches about the budget and spending every penny on paper every month. I’d always made a budget and knew where my money was going. But I never really tallied up how much I was spending per month on the minimum payments of my cards. Nor did I really know how much my total balance was for the cards (how much I owed). So when I had the guts to make that list of cards and balances and looked at it, it nearly made me sick. It was a big wake up call.

I went cold turkey. I handed my stack of cards to the husband and told him to hide them from me. I have no idea where they are. Even still. I don’t care. Still don’t. I’m proud to say I’ve paid off more than $10,000 in debt since February using Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball. I have paid off nine bills total. Granted most of those have been small balances. But now I’m hitting the big balances. And now I’m making real progress.

I can tell you that it takes a lot of discipline to be able to do this. It means I’m not spending frivolously. I’m not buying stuff just to buy. I have to really think about the purchases I make because I’m paying cash for everything. There are no more credit cards. And life is a little more boring than it used to be.

But you know what? I don’t have this weight pressing on me anymore like I used to. The financial stress is melting away with every card I pay off. I don’t worry nearly as much as I used to. The strain is not there and I feel better about myself and my financial situation. It’s a huge relief!

So nine down and two to go! Those bitches are going down.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.