Money Monday: The Struggle is Real


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If you’re new to my blog, you can click on the links below to read the previous posts in my Money Monday series.

  1. New Series: Money Monday
  2. Money Monday: Discovering Dave Ramsey
  3. Money Monday: Setting a Budget
  4. Money Monday: Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps

I last wrote about Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps, and mentioned that we’re on Baby Step 2. We’ve been on this step since May 2011 and will be until March 2015. We’re in this for the long hull, no doubt. I’m not going to lie, though; it’s been a bit of a struggle lately. My mindset has become increasing negative, like I just want to break free of being so strict, but that’s just not an option. We couldn’t possibly make progress if we didn’t have a strict budget. It is what it is until we’re completely debt free. I just need to re-focus and find the positive in what we’re doing.

So here’s what I’m struggling with lately:

  1. Not having any blow money (money for leisure activities)
  2. Our grocery budget
  3. Self-discipline

Some people on this plan have a monthly allowance of blow money, but we don’t. We decided not to from the very start because we want to focus on putting every last penny toward our debt. The more money we blow, the less money we put toward debt. For us, that seems counterproductive.

Over the years we’ve ordered takeout and indulged in coffee, but nothing else that I can recall. We do so only if we have or know we’ll have money leftover in our $75 retail category. If that’s the case, then we don’t mind treating ourselves, as doing so helps reinvigorate us. The perfect example of indulgence is our crepes and Panera coffees we treated ourselves to last Sunday night. Talk about yummmmmy! I’m sure this sounds completely insignificant to those who frequent Panera, Starbucks, and the like, but for us it’s HUGE. A real treat for sure.

Now on to our grocery budget. We’ve had a $40 grocery budget for over 2 years now, but it just doesn’t seem like enough anymore. Regardless, we have no plans to increase our budget at this point. I feel like we used to have such delicious meals, but it’s getting harder and harder to have a good variety. We have a lot of staples to buy, which means we have less money to spend on ingredients for meals. Big bummer! We’re making it, though. We’ve been having a lot of chili, pasta, quesadillas—whatever is cheapest, but still healthy.

Most recently I’ve been unable to put as much time and effort into meal planning as I’d like, so I’m sure that’s also factoring into our grocery budget woes. Lately, we’ve been working on our meal plan just before bed when we’re too sleepy to focus. Time for a change!

Self-discipline is HUGE while paying off debt. It’s been a struggle to tell ourselves no, but we do it anyway. We’d love to buy so many new items, but it’s just not an option right now. We’d make zero progress if we never told ourselves no. We all want immediate gratification, but it’s delayed gratification that is the key to success while paying off debt. One thing’s for sure, I cannot wait to buy new clothes and have a laptop that isn’t a dinosaur. Soon enough!

You know what’s funny?! We often have “sticker-shock” when we’re at a store and check the price of something. We haven’t bought anything significant in such a long time that oftentimes the cost of things seem so outrageous to us. We’ll have to get our heads back into the game once it’s time. I told you…we’re complete homebodies! ;o)

Our debt-free journey isn’t over yet, so I’d better start thinking more positively. The struggle is real, though. If you’re on a budget like we are, keep your chin up! Progress = Success. Onwards and upwards!!!!

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