I’m currently trying to figure my way out of $31,000 of debt and folks, I’m struggling. At this moment in time, I do not bring in enough money to cover all my bills and I am behind by a lot. Just today, I paid for my groceries with change*. Change. I’ve spent countless hours researching online for solutions and ideas. I’ve stressed, cried, pleaded, and obsessed over all of this to no avail. Then it dawned on me. I have to take a different approach. But first, lets talk about why.
My family’s current food budget is $100 a week. It is a constant struggle to maximize those dollars while choosing healthy options. Processed, preservative filled foods are typically cheaper and one package of the stuff has more in it than the healthier variety. These items are delicious but… If I chose to buy only these foods it would go against my healthy lifestyle initiative so I’ve had to become a bit creative. My grocery tips to making sure the food I buy is nutritionally balanced and in budget are simple and effective.
It dawned on me recently that I spend far too much time thinking about my financial situation. So much stress was created that it almost became an obsession yet I hadn’t made any real changes. Many a budget had been created and then forgotten about. I had no control over my own money.
My financial issues stem from multiple things. I quit my well-paying job in Human Resources to be a stay-at-home parent. After all, my fourth baby had just entered the world and the cost of daycare was too much. Then, I chose to pursue my dream of becoming a registered nurse, and unwisely relied on credit cards to live banking on graduating and entering the workforce as a R.N.
Hind sight tells me I should have stuck that job out because a few years later, three of those four kids would be in school, hence significantly cutting down on that pesky daycare expense. Also, please, never rely on credit cards to live on. A series of unfortunate events resulted in my dropping out of school a mere six months before I would have graduated, leaving me with a mountain of debt and no job.
Needless to say, these choices didn’t pan out and I found myself accepting a job that paid $12.53 an hour. Bills were coming out of my ears. Oh, and did I mention I’m in the middle of a divorce? My emotions surrounding this subject have run the gamut from frustrated to overwhelmed to downright helpless.
Where to go from here
The only way out of this mess was to stop moping and find a solution; I had to accept responsibility. I used to convince myself that pushing those credit cards to the limit was necessary. Finishing school was a priority and this is the only way it would work! I was so wrong it hurts but there was nowhere to go but up. It was time for a budget.
Common sense told me I needed to come up with a plan that I could stick with. I knew that the key to adhering to this budget was to find a program I could easily navigate. A search led me to the Busy Budgeter page on Facebook and I was impressed. I read many of her posts, downloaded her 90 Day Budget Bootcamp and away I went. I can’t say that I’ve been 100% successful. I’ve had several missteps but I keep coming back which is a testament to this program. Overall, I found the hope and support I had been looking for.
I have a long road ahead of me and I plan to document it all here. I invite you to follow along as I navigate this and to share your experiences as well.