Hey everyone! In the last few hours of August 2016, I am glad to report that we've dropped our debt to $72,212.29! For those of you who are visiting the first time, you are probably shocked that I'm excited about that, but it's because we have a plan and this is almost exactly where we planned to be at this time.
This month we traveled to California to attend my husband's grandmother's 100th birthday. Initially we were only planning on sending my husband due to expenses, but his brother offered to pay for some or all of our tickets. I didn't want to have him pay for all six of us, so he ended up paying for the kids to go. It was fun for the kids to get to go to the beach and I got to see my brother and his family while we were there, but the prices of food there startled me at first (and we even used to live there!) I realized how much I loved Aldi, and even if we had to drive a bit, we went to one of the new Aldi's in Southern California to get the groceries we needed.
We didn't have any major expenses this month, but our baseline bank account balance (what's left after we pay all the bills) dropped a little more this month. Even with my husband's modest raise, the daily expenses of life add up. We had the piano tuned ($100), had to pay for airport parking (another $100), and signed our kids up for Trail Life USA (almost $80). Add to that a need for more vitamins ($50), and a homeschool order (another $60) and you can see why our savings dropped a bit. I am determined to do what we can to make our planned debt payment every month, but in order to do this we have to dip into savings.
The good news is that my husband applied for a different position at his office, not sure if he would get it (it was a stretch job) but we just found out that he was selected. His salary will remain the same for the time being, but has the possibility of going up at the turn of the year. Because we have had some expenses and are already planning on putting most of the extra money from his current raise toward debt, if and when a new raise kicks in, we will use it to build up our savings for awhile.
I know many Dave Ramsey followers adhere to the $1000 emergency fund rule, but lately I have felt nervous about that. Even in a government job, you never know what will happen, especially if the political climate changes. While debt repayment is important to us, so is having a healthy emergency fund.
It also seems that it is leak week at our house. A few days ago our refrigerator started to leak, and as I took everything out of the freezer to de-thaw the ice sheet that had blocked the drain hole, I had to get something from under our kitchen sink, and of course, I noticed that a piece of cardboard down there felt damp and realized one of our drains was on its last legs. I don't think we'll need to call a plumber for this one though - my philosophy is that if it is not dangerous or an emergency, we can afford to put a bucket under it, watch the Youtube videos, and try to fix it ourselves, and if it still doesn't work, we can at least have the parts when we call the plumber! :)
Next month I will be posting our new budget as we raise our debt repayment amount.