Sep 8, 2008

moments of reflection

Not long ago, I finished Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover from cover to cover. Despite knowing what it's all about from all the extensive reading I've done in the last 10 months on personal finance, the book gave me more knowledge and changed my strategy of attack on debt.

Because we are going to be out of the country for a month in 3 months time,  attacking debt aggressively will be put off. Actually, we had already started and this month is still in the process of adhering to Dave's Baby Steps. For the next 3 months until we return in late January, we'll only be paying minimums to our plastics. Saving will be our primary goal so that the trip will only use cash.

Reading all the people who took the Baby Steps into action was really inspiring. I'm overwhelmed by all of our debt. I can't stop worrying even though I am mostly okay. Because we have pledged our commitment to pay off plastic usage on top of existing balances, budget is tight with very little wiggle room. I know we'll be okay, and that this is just the now.

However, I'm not going to put off saving money for our baby's college fund. We currently put $50/fortnight to a savings account. Once we have moved to our own home, we'll be submitting our application for his educational trust fund and will be paying $25/fortnight for the meantime. Even if we will not have a lot of savings, we'll work on making our liabilities disappear little by little. We will not stop contributing the minimum 4% to our Kiwisaver either.

I also took a productive moment (long moment I tell you!) to rationalize our savings accounts. We now only have savings accounts in 2 banks. We also got rid of another overdraft facility that we forgot we had. We also got reduced J's cc limit by $2,000. We make every little effort to make this transition easy for us. We know it's not realistic to just go cold turkey and close our plastics. In time, we will once we've paid them off.

I always take a moment to reflect on our life as a family. There's so much of the future to look forward to, so much of it to work hard for. I'm partly worried that all this consuming debt takes some presence out of me to enjoy little moments with my husband and child and dog. Sometimes I feel that I worry for both my husband and me. I catch myself often thinking about fast-forwarding to the future where we are debt-free, and wonder how wonderful we'd be feeling every morning as we get out of bed.

This is just a vent post. I wish I had a more positive entry to inspire others. We will be debt free, no matter how long it takes but we'll attack it agressively and surely.

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