Hubby Getting Involved!

So, tonight after Christopher got off work, I showed him the merged Priorities list I'd made and he approved of it, whew!  So, then I showed him how I'd done the budget all the way THROUGH JULY! (I was on a mission!).  I showed him briefly how the budget coincided with the priorities, no matter how painful.. I even have the entire tax refund (estimating how much it'll be based on many years past), ALL of it, going toward paying off credit card bills and collection agencies. Of course it's the intelligent and responsible thing to do and that's what most people would do without thinking twice... but to be honest, I wanted to use most of it to put down on a newer vehicle. I couldn't bear to think of having to drive our old clunker van much longer and just wanted something new. Silly I know, but that's how I was thinking before this whole Priorities thing. I really need to write to CNN and thank them for their fabulous website and tools.

He was impressed with all of it, and then told me to take the calendar (we have one of those big ones - almost the size of Flylady's but lots cheaper,) and write down every single thing from the budget onto the calendar.  He wants to be able to look at a glance what's coming up, when something has to be paid, how much will be available for groceries and gas etc. I was happy he showed interest in it. I'm very optimistic about this actually working this time.

So, Lord willing and the creek don't rise... we'll actually be out of debt (except the house) by June, and will already have $1000 in emergency fund and $1000 to put into a higher rate CD (We don't plan on touching it anyway), and saving for a new-to-us vehicle.  I did have to postpone saving for the bigger stuff for a bit due to July and August birthdays (5 of them) and Back to School shopping . And I also changed one little thing on yesterday's posted priorities list.  Something neither of us remembered when making out the list of priorities to start with, but it's very important to us both... our 20th Wedding Anniversary trip. Of course it's not a *necessity* but it's been a long time since we've had time away, and even longer since we had a real vacation. But fortunately, on paper it looks like I'll have time after getting stuff paid off and getting that savings tucked away, to save almost $3000 for our trip!! And it'll be in time to make the final payment on the trip in Sept. We just have to put a $100 down payment to hold it and pay the rest by the middle of Sept, and it looks like it's going to actually work out for us... and because we'll have stuff paid off and savings to buffer the unexpected, we'll actually be able to RELAX!  Oh, where are we going?  Well, we're going to get a package deal to Universal Studios, Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park! The package comes with early admission to the park, passes to both parks, breakfast at the HP restaurant, the hotel is in or near the park so we can walk everywhere, and our hotel pass gets us right onto to all rides without having to wait at all ever.  How cool is that?!  We'll be going down a couple days early to stay and visit with Christopher's grandparents. We should have a newer vehicle by then too, so hopefully it'll be a nice trip since it's a 13+ hour drive - but we go down 95 which is just gorgeous scenery really.  (I want to go to Charleston some year as well, but he's not as keen on it.) 

I know we *can* do this (as I said, if nothing catastrophic happens),  and I know we have so much to look forward to. Getting out from under all that debt. Owning our vehicles. Owning all the stuff we're paying on currently. Paying the house payment literally weeks in advance. Getting that savings buffer saved up, starting to save for the future, getting a newer vehicle, being able to do everyone's birthday's right, having money to be able to get the girls really nice clothes and all their supplies for school, and then finally getting that 20th Anniversary trip we've been hoping for.   So so much to strive for and so many reasons to stay on track. It will take a LOT of WILLPOWER, something neither of us has ever really had.  It will take a good deal of growing up and remembering our priorities.  Every time we want to spend money on something, we have to really think about what goal is that taking away from.  How will that affect the budget and our plans.

As the budget continues (mainly in my head as I stopped putting it on paper for the last half of the year,) I can tell we will have a very good Christmas next year. I may even do Black Friday shopping!  But best of all, we'll be able to end the year practically debt free, well on our way to finally having a decent amount of savings, and finally planning for retirement.

It's going to be a heck of a year... I have often said, "This year is going to be the year." But it never happened... now I know why.  I guess I've just been waiting for it to *happen*.  But it won't.  We have to MAKE IT HAPPEN.  We're not going to magically get out of debt and save for our future,  we have to WORK at it, and it IS work too.  We'll do without a lot of the little things this year, but we have to keep our eyes on the bigger picture this time. For us and for our kids.