Thursday, June 14, 2012

Amazing Savings

Ever since I was little, I've wanted to be a stay at home mom.  When we got married, *B* and I agreed that one of us being home with the children would be the best way to raise our kids.  After I became pregnant, the realities of cost of living in the DC area hit us pretty hard.  I got really upset and anxious and swore it wasn't possible to live on only one income - especially one of our incomes.  I started frantically crunching numbers and came up with a goal.  We would need to save $10,000 by September just so that we could survive the year.

So I read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  I started using a spreadsheet to plan out future spending, and budgeting software to track past spending.  And from December to April, without a huge inconvenience to our lifestyle, *B* and I managed to save all $10,000.  We hit our goal four months early. 

So we decided to make our lifestyle more sustainable and pay off as much of our debt as possible.  We paid off my car and all of our credit cards, which had funded house repairs (that mold issue), course work, and miscellaneous things that really weren't worth paying on like eating out or groceries that I wasn't sure I had enough to cover in our checking account.  We paid off $6,000 worth of debt in one evening, which brought our savings down to $4,000.  It was a scary but triumphant moment.  So our goal now is to save up $12,500 by September, when my income cuts out. 

But here's the amazing part - I looked harder at our expenses and what we do with our money.  Since we no longer had minimum payments and interest, we needed far less per month.  If we live fairly close to our paychecks, not even sacrificing that much, we don't have to touch that savings while I'm home.  We will be living solely on *B*'s income. 

I had already planned to go back to a part time job I had for a couple of hours at night a few days a week.  I want to pay my student loans off early, so I'm going to put all of that second job into student loans.  While living on one income in a very expensive location, we'll still have more savings than anyone I know in my age range AND pay off our debt faster than anyone else I know.  All the while, our child (or children depending on how long I stay home) will have the benefit of a parent home with them at all times.

It's mind-boggling to me that we could have ever wasted that much of our income.  We'll have saved almost $20,000 in less than a year.  Think of all of the things we could have done!  But this lesson is one learned better late than never.   Even though we still have student loans and our mortgage, this taste of financial freedom is intoxicating.  I'm so thankful that we are lucky enough to be able to live our lives as we want.


  1. Wow, that is incredible. Way to go!

  2. Your last sentence said it all..."We are lucky enough to be able to live our lives as we want". Many folks do not get that part.

    blessings, jill

  3. Good Job!!! When there is a will there is a way!

  4. Thank you! It's amazing what happens when there's proper motivation :)