October 14th, 2014
It's been 5 weeks since I started Financial Peace University classes and it's been 2 weeks since I began my new budget. Let me give you a little update:
- I have 150 "extra" dollars in my account
- I have $534 in my emergency fund
This. Is. Huge.
As a state employee, I get paid once a month. This is excruciating for someone who is as terrible with money as I am. I have NEVER had $150 in my checking account in the middle of the month. Remember that story I told how it all came to fruition that I would be attending an FPU class? Yea...I typically have about $15 right about now. This money, of course, is not actually "extra," but is serving as a cushion in case something unexpected happens. Or if I accidentally trip into Little Rosie's and buy 75 pocket tacos. Either/or. Kidding! But because this is the first month with a new budget, it is wise to have a cushion. If that "extra" money does not need to be touched for any reason it will go either toward debt or my emergency fund.
And on that note - my $1,000 emergency fund is over halfway there! Three weeks ago I was crying my eyes out, wondering how in the world I was going to get any extra money, and now I'm over halfway there. It's amazing how much money you can save when, you know, you don't spend every stinkin' penny in your account. I am also extremely fortunate to have a second income provided by teaching fitness classes, and I get a great travel reimbursement from the mileage I drive for my job. Because of these things, I should have my emergency money fully funded by mid-November. Miracles can happen.
But let's be real here - these aren't miracles. This is God's handiwork through and through. At the end of class last week Dave said, as one of his key points about dumping debt, to remember that prayer really works. Oh, how it does.
Once I started these classes I had to make some pretty difficult decisions. One in particular was skipping out on a big trip to New Orleans for a dear friend's bachelorette party. During this trip I would also see my best friend, a good friend from college and SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY in concert. To some of you, you're confused why SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY's name is in all caps. To those of you that know me real well...you get it. (Read: hi, my dog's name is George after George Harrison and my cat's name is Rigby after Eleanor Rigby. If this still means nothing to you, we can't be friends, okay bye). So, saying no to that trip was pretty difficult. After I told all of my friends that I wouldn't be able to make it, I began trying to figure out how to sell my SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY ticket (extra $100 right there!). My bestie, Lisa (hey bff!) offered to list it on Stub Hub for me. Long story short, it was a week before the concert and I was stressing because I really didn't think a solo ticket was going to sell. I kid you not, I said a quick, sincere prayer that it would sell and 20 minutes later Lisa forwarded me the e-mail notification that someone had bought it. Prayer really works.
Every time I wake up overwhelmed with how I am going to get enough extra cash to pay for George's flea meds or alterations for a bridesmaids dress, a new opportunity arises. These are not opportunities that I would have even thought twice about 5 weeks ago, but things have changed. Whether it is selling more items I don't need on Facebook or babysitting on a Saturday night, the opportunities are there. We just have to open our eyes and hearts and ask for them to be shown.
For quite some time I have been praying for help with my finances. The Lord answered. And he ain't playing around.