The Road Not Traveled

Often times I wonder where we would be if we hadn’t decided to get our financial act together last year. While we have always been responsible with our bill paying we haven’t always been the best with our spending or saving. I know we have made the right decision and almost can’t imagine where we would be if we hadn’t changed our behavior. But I can try.

Here’s a look at the road not traveled… 

  • One week after our goal to be debt free started our microwave decided to up and die. Not to be deterred we came up with the idea to have a yard sale to raise money to buy a new one. The old us would have ran out to “buy” one. Of course, we would have had to put this on our credit card because we didn't even have an emergency fund at the time. This would have added $400+ to our debt load. 
  • As we went through our journey I learned about setting up sinking fund accounts. We compared rates and signed up for ING Direct. ING made it so easy to transfer money and to set up different accounts for each subcategory. Before our enlightenment we would have never set up such savings accounts and would have always blown our budget when a need arose. Oh, wait. We didn't even have a budget. Which left us continually overspending each month. 
  • The old us usually paid for our Christmas shopping in cash with the money we saved up (Yay! We did something right) but we would sometimes go over our budgeted amount. We always felt like we hadn't bought enough. Last year we came in under budget and though I had my doubts, getting out of debt was more important. Who knows how much we would have over spent.
  • This year we paid for our vacation with cash and though it wasn't a huge production we didn't put it on our credit card. We used to do this and our vacations were a bit more extravagant. If we hadn't turned this metaphorical boat around I could have seen us spending waayy too much.
While it's great to realize our want to be financially secure has led us down a different path. I would like to think it is never too late to make the right financial choices. Even if I sometimes torture myself with thoughts of what if I had started sooner but it is what it is. I am just happy to be doing it now.