One of the fundamental parts of our Debt Free in 2012 goal is making and sticking to a firm budget. As Dave Ramsey says “Spend every dollar on paper before the month begins.”
As we’ve been doing this for three months now, we found that we have more money that we realized. Instead of a few dollars here, a few dollars there, slipping through the cracks, every dollar has an assignment. Once the essentials are assigned, we have more than we would have first imagined to work with on everything else.
In some ways our budget drives me CRAZY! Take this line item for example: Tax Preparation (not even the actual taxes, but fees for someone to help us prepare our taxes). I HATE this one. Why? Because every month, we set a side money for Tax Preparation 2013. AND on top of that – we had to set aside a large, lump sum in March for Tax Preparation 2012.
GRRRRR! Feels like we are paying Double! What do you mean we have to pay for something this year AND plan for next year!?! What do you mean we can’t take that monthly amount for 2013 and put it toward something more fun (like movies!) or more ‘important’ like the Debt Snowball!?!
Well… that would be nice – (especially while we are full throttle debt paying machines, I’d love to put it toward debt!) – BUT next year. When March/April comes around. There will be no lump sum line item in the budget for 2013. There will be a lump sum extraction from our savings – and direct payment toward Tax Preparation. AND then, I’ll be a happy camper.
Which is just one small example of why planning now, working hard and paying off debt now, will pay off.
I’m not even sure how to dream with what we can do with the former “Set aside from the March Income a Large Tax Prep fee” money that we will no longer need to set aside…. And if all goes well – we won’t need any dollar of that to put toward debt since by March of 2013, we’ll be debt free.
Hummm…. Imagine that. Dreaming, Hoping, and Planning to make it happen.