Budget Time: $29,269.81 Paid, $56,038.26 Till Pay Off

Sorry for the delay folks!  This post has been the most difficult to write, because my aim is to help others, but not disclose too much.  Private messages are welcomed if you have any questions.

PIggy BankI want to start this post by thanking God for his love and provision. Many nights I stayed up worrying about having enough money to pay bills, but God provided. After deciding to fully trust His promises (Matthew 6:31-34), my needs continue to be met.

Sure, there are things I desire to provide for my wife: a nicer car, better clothes, and longer vacations. Times when you can’t pay the mechanic to fix everything wrong with your wife’s car, or afford to live exactly where you want to, can be demoralizing. Yet we lack for nothing: not because we are deserving, but because He is merciful. Looking back now, I can see how God provided for the need before I knew it existed.

As for other credit due: I want to say thanks to my lovely wife and her ability to add a flavorful Trinidadian twist to meals.  And to my parents, for instilling in me values that I hold dear till this day.

To my father-in-law, for lending his mechanic skills in fixing mine and my wife’s cars. And also to my mother-in-law for always finding deals on clothes for us to wear. The care they both continue to place on our daily lives has allowed us to budget for things like an occasional dinner out or a short vacation.

And on that note, even in the midst of being “financially suspended” when focused on repayment, I would advise still taking time out to enjoy the spouse, family, or friends in your life. Don’t make the mistake of suspending quality relationships while “suspending spending”. Those people and relationships are irreplaceable…

Now, let’s get a rundown of the budget.

Monthly Budget

Spent-May Budget Remaining/Over
Groceries $232.60 $200.00 $32.60 OVER
Gas & Fuel $164.57 $190.00 $25.43 LEFT
Restaurants $93.43 $170.00 $76.57 LEFT
Fast Food $145.48 $90.00 $55.48 OVER
Clothing $31.37 $70.00 $38.63 LEFT
Coffee Shops $0.00 $20.00 $20.00 LEFT
Movies $48.10 $10.00 $38.10 OVER
Student Loans $805.02 $805.02 $0.00 LEFT
Rent $400.00 $400.00 $0.00 LEFT
Cellphones $73.94 $100.00 $26.06 LEFT
Car Insurance $45.76 $45.76 $0.00 LEFT
Health Insurance $125.00 $125.00 $0.00 LEFT
Total $2165.27 $2225.78 $60.51 LEFT

As you can see above, I have not been a very good boy this month following my budget in every category  But hey, we all need to enjoy ourselves sometimes right?  For two people living in Dallas with the listed expenses above, our financial survival to this point is a blessing, and frankly shouldn’t be possible.

By living with parents (not perhaps the most ideal living arrangement that comes to mind when thinking of a young married couple), we can further reduce costs.  Their help leaves us with only a $400 bill to cover for direct living expenses in a comfortable home.  Their incredible display of love makes this debt pay off project possible.

So to those that may be challenged by the incredible mound of debt in front of you, I’m here to say (and show) that it’s possible with help. Look around you and think of ways you can save money: start with what things are absolute priorities, then reduce or eliminate things that are not. Keep in mind that these adjustments are temporary, and don’t reflect what the rest of your life will look like. Moreso, by making those adjustments for a short time now, you’ll benefit from longer and more comfortable enjoyment later (without the looming fear of a visit from your local repo agent). Talk to your spouse/significant others, friends, and family and get them on board with your personal goals.

And most importantly, I encourage you all to accept help when it is offered (or ask when it is needed), because pride will limit the growth of ourselves and others. No man’s an island, and having the support of others can be the difference maker in your life.

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