Forgive me, I know it is uncouth to speak of money and finances, in front of friends. However I'd like to take this moment to bask in our bank account.
Please, before I continue let me point out, we are in no way wealthy or really even well off. What I'm about to confide in you have come from just under two years of determination and sacrifice.
October 2009 after being inspired by "Your Money or Your Life", and by my husband getting a promotion, I decided we were going to get out of debt... completely out of debt and the sooner the better. We had two types of debt, school loans and consumer. The school loans I knew we'd have until we didn't have anymore, but I could do something about the consumer loans. The CL were a combination moving expenses, wedding expenses, and a car - the majority was the car, about 75% - luckily I can say that very little to none of our CL was just a racked up credit card of "just because I NEED it" purchases.
So here's my moment... currently in our bank account we have more money saved than the total of the CL two years ago and we have about three months left until we have no CL at all.
That's right in two years - with job changes, moving cross-country, purchasing a second car and baby - we will have managed to not only pay off our CL, but save an equal amount of money.
Currently I'm basking in the glow of my bank account and damn proud.
Let me reiterate - this was not accomplished without sacrifice and the majority of the money we saved was due to our current living arrangements with my parents - but it can be done and once you've cleared those debts and realized how much extra work went into it it'll be that much hard to "just spend" in the future.
Now I feel like we're that much more on our feet and prepared for the future - student loans will continue to be paid off, daycare costs will go down with age and our paychecks will get larger. We might not have everything we want, but we have what we need.
Now to continue to plan for the future - the biggest hurdle is home buying. We live in an area that is not cheap - what my parents paid for their first new duplex in this area almost 20 years ago will get you a rather cruddy condo and being that Iowa is a mainly rural state the cheap country housing is often negated by fuel costs. Even if we get to follow thru with my desire to purchase my parents home when they retire there's still a large chunk to be saved.
So there's still a long ways to go and sometimes I wish I could throw in my fiscal responsibility towel along with my caution into the wind and go out and purchase the first house I love even if I can't afford a good down payment or if they mortgage will make me house poor for twenty years. But for now I feel proud and accomplished and who knows what tomorrow will bring.