Friday, October 05, 2012

Frugal Five Meet Victoria a military wife

Victoria is frugal military wife who is successfully getting out to debt via the Dave Ramsey baby steps.

What is your financial life?

When my husband joined the military in 2005 we were handed a new life. Before the military we struggled to pay a $325 rent, once we became military a bank handed us a $25,000 credit card. As the years went on we spent and spent more and more out of our means. We were living a life that we couldn't afford. Our first duty station was Texas. We maxed out all of our credit cards here and the student loans started piling as I was trying to finish my BA. We got orders to HI and at this time we still had two credit cards both maxed out to equal $30,000 in debt. In Hawaii  I got my first job that actually used my degree and I believe this went to my head very quickly. Our spending was out of control once again. We came to Hawaii thinking we needed everything and sooner or later we had 7 maxed out credit cards equaling $40,000. May of 2012 I realized I had to find a new job, but was so scared to quit because of our debt. I needed a change from that position I held.  

During this time I watched some of the Dave Ramsey's videos and realized gosh I knew what I needed to do to get our family out of this mess, but we needed to realize that we needed to change our thinking. A minute after I watched these videos I decided to make up two folders. One was our bank registry. The other was the debt snowball plans. I printed a lot of my pages from the Dave Ramsey website. This PDF put everything into perspective

The bank registry folder has been a life saver. Before the bank registry folder we used to just spend and spend until our checking account was negativeOver the summer I found a position for 2 months  and that income went straight to 5 credit cards. I was thrilled that we paid these credit cards off so quickly. At the same time I was kicking myself in the butt because I couldn't believe we let our family get into this kind of financial mess. 
Currently we are down to our two credit cards again. Our goal is to have one paid off by December 2012 and the other HUMONGOUS one paid off by December . 2013. I can't wait until that time comes, I am celebrating!!! We have a long way to go to see financial peace, but we will see our credit card financial peace very soon. 

What is your budget buster?

Favorite Budget Buster: Dave Ramsey suggests having an allowance so you do not dip into your gas money or grocery money. As of right now my husband receives an allowance every payday, I used to but decided to take my money and put it in savings (I am the frugal one :)). This works out great because before he used to spend whatever he wanted out of the account and many times he would spend our gas or grocery money. It even got to the point where we were spending our mortgage money. He does look forward to every payday where he can get out his money, but this helps him on learning how to spend and stretch out his money. Sometimes it even helps him save. 

Another budget buster is the ability to tell some friends NO. We are a military family living on a military base. We have a lot of friends that sell Scentsy (my fav), Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple and other items. At one time I bought from every party, which average cost for myself about $100 and this could be on a weekly basis. I just had to say no. Seriously! I didn't need this stuff, I wanted it yes. Did I need it? No. Eventually with this being cut, we saved tons of money. I still have my Scentsy, but I don't turn it on unless I have company and since the June I have only spent $25 on scents. This isn't bad compared to the $200-400 a month that I used to spend.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

My favorite money saving tip is at the grocery store. We used to think we could spend whatever we want in groceries and it was excusable because "hey we couldn't starve." I remember going to the grocery store with all these coupons, spending $350 and coming home with snacks and really expensive shampoo. So I ditched the couponing right away because it wasn't saving us money, we were actually spending more and buying stuff we didn't need. Usually coupons are for the unhealthy foods: i.e. lucky charms, fruit roll ups, ice cream, pizza. So I decided we weren't going to buy anymore JUNK. Currently our grocery budget is $200 every payday. I try my hardest to spend about $100 weekly. I usually try to stay in the fruits veggie and meat section of the grocery store. Sometimes I will make it to the baking section, but not often. When you go grocery shopping eat a healthy snack before hand so you are not buying based on hunger (been there done that). When you pick an item up to purchase ask yourself "Do I really need this?" Do you need soda? No, why purchase when water is free. Do you need those poptarts? Absolutely not, so unhealthy and expensive. 

What would you do with an extra $1000?

If I had an extra $1000 I would probably put it towards my credit card. With what we owe getting smaller by every payday, I am getting very eager to pay it off. Who can say they paid off a credit card during Christmas? Us! 

What is your best resource for frugal living?

We are not 100% debt free, but we are seeing some financial peace, and I have to say Dave Ramsey's program is amazing. I wish I would have listened to Dave Ramsey 10 years ago, but so glad we finally woke up and are listening. We will see financial peace! 

Do you want to be featured on the Frugal Five  contact us through our facebook page 

No comments: