Vanquishing My Debt

I'm 29 and trying to get a handle on my finances so that, one day, I can buy a home of my own. I've been reading personal finance blogs recently and decided to start one chronicling my own struggles and success (hopefully). I am lucky, considering the amounts of debt and tales of tragedy I've read about... but I am making some positive changes and moving in the right direction.

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Getting our emergency fund in place

I feel somewhat guilty after a recent post about how my fiance, R, seems to be indulging me instead of actively participating in a financial makeover... we were talking about the Dave Ramsey books I've read recently (Total Money Makeover and More Than Enough) and how Dave suggests establishing your $1,000 emergency fund first.

I've been suspending my savings account investing for the last few weeks to jump into this credit card debt fight. I have about $200 saved, but I'd rather the money alloted in my budget for saving went right to my credit cards. It's such an amazing feeling of accomplishment and being in control that it gives me to pay down or pay off a debt... to me, the feeling is worth the risk of not having enough to fall back on. Plus (I know you're going to cringe because this sounds so lame), I know I can always ask my mom for a reasonable amount in case of an emergency.

So I was talking about Dave's steps with R, and he asked me if I had fully funded an emergency fund yet. I basically told him what you just read in the above paragraph. He volunteered to put $1,000 of our earnings at the upcoming convention into the emergency fund, allowing me to concentrate on the debt. Wow! I was floored, because he's not the best planner I know. But since he is paying all the convention costs up front out of his paycheck, any money we make there will be going to us, instead of to his business credit card.

I think he's realizing that this is so much more important to me than either of us thought at first. He's starting to understand that I'm not trying to temporary changes, but permanent ones.

Yesterday after work we went to a discount ethnic market near our apartment that we had never been to. We stocked up on cheap produce (peaches and pears were 2 pounds for 99 cents) and we spent all of $12.13 of our weekly grocery money. He was impressed and suprised. I think he's being won over in part because it's so easy to save money when you focus on it... or especially when your significant other is focused on it! :)


Anonymous Hazzard said...

Congrats on the turnaround. I think you'll find that as you get the cards paid off and start increasing your savings you'll feel so much less stress. It's funny. I don't think a lot of people realize how much stress they are carrying around over finances until that stress is gone. I would love to knock my neighbor over the head and help him do what you are doing, but no matter how often I try to throw out subtle hints, he never bites.

I find a lot more comfort in having no debt and some money in the bank than I do when I buy something.

4:34 PM  
Blogger The Divine Miss M said...

I completely agree! Before a few months ago, I was so used to having revolving credit balances that it didn't even bother me. It was totally normal to have debt. The more my eyes were opened by this amazing community of bloggers, the more I started to feel anxious and stressed out... like I should have been all along! Doing something about it is the best stress-reliever that there is.

3:22 PM  
Blogger DEBTective said...

Way to go on deep-sixing the debt and connecting with the cash, baby! Dave's plan makes a lot of sense, don't it?

12:32 PM  

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