Growing up, my Momma regularly told me that I needed to have a five year plan. So I created one. After I finished college my 5 year planning process ended...I had vague goals, such as get married before 30...didn't manage that one...but came close. I wanted to have a baby...by the time I was 30. I missed that goal too, but not by much...just a couple of years. I knew I wanted to be working full time, and be able to support myself. Check! I managed that goal...but what I never imagined, not in a million years was that my next five year plan would be financial.
Yes folks, I'm the money lady around our house. Scary!!!! I have an English and Philosophy degree and to say that I'm not good at math is an understatement. I'm HORRIBLE when it comes to math...but oddly enough, decent when it comes to finances. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't care much for money. In fact, if I were to create a world, money wouldn't exist. It simply doesn't matter much to me, unless of course I don't have it.
Well, not having it has been a problem for a while. My husband and make a decent living...well...more than a decent living, but we're struggling to make ends meet and I finally had, had enough. So this month, I became the money lady. My husband handed the bills over to me and the passwords to accounts, etc...and told me to go to it. So I am.
And I've developed a five year plan! Ha! Who would have thought...I'd be back to five year plans? But they work. So here's the plan...and the steps to get there.
We are going to get out of debt, have another child, save for the future, pay off our mortgage early, go on a trip to Italy, and contribute to our retirement, save for our child's (or children's) college expenses, and I'm going to take a couple of years off from the outside the home workforce and be a Stay at home Mom for a couple of years. Then going further into the future. I'll go back to work, we'll continue saving for the future (retirement and children's college), we'll buy at least 5 acres and build a nice house in the country and my husband will be in business for himself. Then,we'll sell or rent our our current home.
Nice plan, huh? So how are we going to accomplish this? And why am I dreaming of leaving the workforce or going to Italy while our country is in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression? Well...it's simple. I've decided I'm sick of debt and I heard of Dave Ramsey and debt free living for the first time this year.
And we've begun to move through the steps to get there. There are 7 baby steps in the debt free living plan. We've been on this plan for 3 weeks now, I've been visualizing it for 6 weeks. We're half way through step one, and starting on step 2.
Let me break down the steps though and explain where I see them falling in our lives.
Step 1: Save a thousand dollars. As I said, we're half way now.
Step 2: Pay off all credit card, car loans, student loans, etc... (anything but the mortgage) as fast as possible. When one debt is paid off, apply the extra money to the next debt. We've been working on this step for 3 weeks. It will take us just over three years to finish this, although it may happen faster and I hope that it does.
Step 3: Save up the equivalent of 3-6 months of expenses. I want to do a few more months than 6 for us. I anticipate we will have this step finished in just under 4 years from now.
The following year, I will quit my teaching position for a few years. Don't get me wrong. I love teaching, but I've wanted to be a stay at home Momma for as long as I can remember and the reality is that I can be...soon. In four years that is...after we get out of debt.
Yesterday, I did the calculations, and realized once our debt is gone...our expenses for the month will be less than 1/2 of our income...way less. So it's possible...and so are our other dreams. Who would have thoughts. Not I. But we do have a five year plan...so where does Italy fit into this. That's our 5 year anniversary present...and I can hardly wait. This September, will be year three of marriage (not of the get out of debt plan). So we will have two and a half years to save for our trip and I just know that's possible too.
Debt free living...that's our plan...so what's your five year plan. Do you have one?
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Happy Spring!! Okay, so it's been spring for several weeks now, but the weather has finally caught up. I'm in hog heaven loving the warmer weather. The winter was WAY too cold for my taste! Whew!!! And to think that I live down in SOUTH Georgia. I hate to think about what the winter was like for people north of here. But at least we did get snow down here in South Georgia for the first time in over tweny years! yay!
Anyway, this past week my little one and I have been living in Spring break to it's fullest potential. My parents, sister, and niece, and nephews came to visit for Easter and for Spring break. We had SO much fun. Last Sunday we had an egg hunt and brunch at the church. Then on Monday we all visited Wild Adventures. That was the second amusement park that my Daddy had ever visited and the first time that Ella Rose had ever been to one too. Ella and I got our season pass (she didn't need one, so she'll go on mine) and so did my Momma, niece, and nephews! We are all excited about going back this summer when the water park portion of the park is open. :)
After the Wild Adventure (adventure), Ella and I hurried home and packed up for our next adventure. We decided we'd travel out to Tennessee and Mississippi with Momma, Annie, Gabe, and Danny. :) It was SO much fun. We visited with Aunt Sara and Uncle Frog. We saw Dana's new house and the children got to play with their new cousin Hays. Yay!!! And they got to ride Jimmy the horse! Even Ella got to ride. I was so proud of my little one...she may be working on walking still, but that girl can ride!
We also let them go swimming...and took them to the Children's Museum of Memphis. I was IMPRESSED to say the least. Wow! We spent hours there and could have easily spent more time, but it was time to head back for Georgia. So after thoroughly enjoying the museum we loaded up for our trek back to the good old GA.
On the way we stopped at Casey Jones' village. Everyone ate a great meal, and so Gran decided they would all get to pick out toys. Three of the children picked out stuffed animals. Ella even got to choose her own and it's a big soft stuffed pig. She leaned over grabbed it and said, "I get." So she did!!! She has hugged and snuggled with that pig ever since.
No one can say my little girl lacks knowledge of what she wants. :)
The adventures didn't stop there though...we spent the night in Calhoun which was nice and then yesterday visited with Lisa, and Sophia. What fun! Ella and Sophia ate lunch together, talked together and played together. Thankfully, there were no tears and Ella didn't poke anyone with her finger. Sophia did poke Ella, but Ella didn't care.
Finally, Ella snoozed while we made the treck back home and spent a lovely evening with Josh. Josh and Ella both conked out early and are both still snoozing as I type this. I've thought about trying to take her over to the park in Albany today, but we'll see. I do believe she might revolt if I put her in the car again today, but then again...maybe she won't. It truly depends on how long those two snooze.
I still want to do some more work on my garden and I *need* to get my spring/summer clothes down from the attic. :) So we'll see what the rest of this weekend holds.
I do know that my summer count down has begun! We have 30 more school days with students. Can you tell I'm slightly excited about that. I can hardly wait to pretend to be a full time Mommy again. Perhaps, I should say that I can hardly wait to be a full time summertime stay at home Mommy again!
Come on Summer!!!