It is coming very close to 2 months since my husband and I created our first budget and we have been working at trying to figure out how to stick to it so that we can begin paying down our huge debt. There are days when I wonder why we waited so long to address this issue. But really I know why. It is because our financial situation is scary and overwhelming.
Our budget isn’t just a list of income and expenses. It is a tight budget that we constantly review each week to see if there are any other expenses that we can decrease or eliminate.
One of the things that we are looking forward to is having our car paid off by June of this year.
We have been sharing one vehicle for the past 2 years and it has worked very well for us.
Our car loan is $310.07. Once we make our final payment on our car we can allocate that payment amount each month to paying off other bills.
As well, one of our credit cards has an interest rate of 19.99%. That’s huge!
I’ve noticed that a lot of banks in the U.S. offer 0% credit cards. The banks in Canada do not do that.
We have spoken to our bank twice about lowering the interest rate on this card but one of the few options available to us is to change to a card with an interest rate of 11.9%.
Another option is to use one of those balance transfer cheques at 1.9% interest for 12 months to move money around. We are working on transferring some balances to reduce our interest rates so that when we make our payments every month more of the money will go towards paying off the balance instead of being eaten up by the interest charges.
There are days when I personally find following a budget and keeping track of every penny we spend very motivating, and there are days when I get very angry with myself about our whole situation, and I wonder how we will survive this economic challenge that we have gotten ourselves into.
Weathering Tough Times
Over the weekend I came across an interview between Oprah and Tony Robbins. She recently attended one of his live events in L.A. and then interviewed him one on one.
One of the points that he made that really caught my attention was when he spoke about “weathering tough times”.
He says that everyone (rich and poor) experiences a number of seasons throughout their life and equates the tough season to winter.
He also says that there is no going around a season, we can only work through it. Hmmm...
Of course the big question for us, and most likely for many of you if you are struggling with your finances, is when will winter be over?