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March 2018

Our Financial Peace Journey: A Reset

I’ve been avoiding writing a post about our need for a financial peace reset for a while because I have a confession to make. On High-Heeled Love, I used to write an update on our financial peace journey every single month, but I stopped last summer…because we fell off the wagon.

Not like we went out and financed a new car or opened new credit cards off the wagon. But we got a little too relaxed with our budget.

It started when I got behind with tracking our expenses in Every Dollar and not regularly pulling cash out for specific budget categories, so we were swiping the debit card when we were out getting groceries, having a bite to eat with friends, etc.

And then, we put some travel and education expenses on a credit card with the intention of paying it off the next month. This is EXACTLY why Dave Ramsey says you have to cut your cards up and close the accounts.

Don’t do what we did. Cut your cards up. Close your accounts.

I’m bummed to admit that getting distracted has basically slid us back to where we started with our Baby Step 2. And the sad thing is that this was mostly my doing; I’m the one who kept choosing to use a credit card when I could have chosen delayed gratification.

And then I turned all our tax info into the accountant and realized that in 2017, we had our best income year yet as a married couple. And I got angry.

It’s absolutely ridiculous that we’re carrying the amount of debt that we have while making the type of money that we do.

I’m over sending a full paycheck each month to credit card companies. I’m done with it. It’s time to get down to business.

So, it’s time to shine a light on this problem and get back on the program. Here’s our current state of affairs:

Consumer Debt

We currently have about $30,000 in our debt snowball. This is spread across three credit cards and one personal loan. I want this gone by the end of this year!!!

As soon as this post publishes, I’m making a big in-your-face visual so I can’t hide from this number. Then, I’m making a list of every side hustle opportunity we have so can get going on this.

Business Debt

There are two debts in my business’s name: one credit card and an SBA loan that we used to purchase the agency. This is scheduled to pay off next year. I want to be¬†done with the credit card by the end of this year as well.

Upcoming Expenses

We have basically two challenges coming up in the next quarter: we’re going to owe some amount in incomes taxes (having a growing business does have drawbacks) and the Mister’s car needs to be replaced.

I’ve been planning for the taxes and saving like crazy inside the business. I’m expecting a call any day now from our accountant with the number we owe; we still have a couple more weeks to hustle any difference between what’s in the bank and what we’ll owe.

The Subaru has reached the point where it’s got more projected maintenance than we can sustain in our budget; even our mechanic has advised that we replace it. We do have a small sinking fund for each replacement and repair. We’ll combine that with whatever we can sell the car for. Fortunately, our mechanic is also willing to go to help us locate a newer vehicle at auction that we can pay cash for.

Okay, y’all. I’m putting it out there. We’re back on the Dave Ramsey wagon.

Hold my feet to the fire. And expect to hear more about this journey because we’re focusing hard.

Do you want to join us in taking control of your finances? Let me know in the comments. Then go get a copy of the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

March goals

Happy Friday, my friends!

I don’t know what it was about last month, but mentally I somehow felt like I was at the end of February all month long, which had me sweating my February goals and feeling like I wasn’t making progress. I sure hope that feeling has passed, but I want to rock my March goals.

February goals

  • Identify and contact at least five new life/disability prospects per week. – Partial success: This will be an ongoing commitment, and I need to be better at tracking my contacts
  • Generate $1500 life/disability insurance income – Success
  • Attend two massage study group sessions. – Success
  • Give a minimum of four treatments outside of massage class. – Success, but I need to make a point to receive treatments as well.
  • List at least one new product in my Etsy shop. [Check out my shop: Chasing Blue Jays.] – Fail. I did finish a couple of overdue gifts, but I haven’t completed any new products.
  • Complete Love Yo’Self yoga¬†challenge from Yoga with Adriene – Fail.
  • Gather and turn in all personal income tax info to the accountant. – Success. Now we wait to see what we’ll owe Uncle Sam.

Clearly, I need to be kinder to myself because I accomplished more than I thought I had as the month went along. But I am disappointed with the yoga goal. I really want to make that a part of my daily routine; I think I need to find a local accountability partner (or get the Mister to participate with me like he did the Stretch Project a few years ago.)

Moving on.

Let’s talk about March goals. Since I have such a big work goal this year, I’m relaxing a little on the personal side of things.

March goals

  • Spend at least 1 hour per week reviewing client files to identify cross-sale opportunities.
  • Contact at least 3 cross-sale prospects per week.
  • Generate at least $1500 in life/disability income
  • Complete a minimum of 4 massage treatments outside of class
  • Publish 4 blog posts
  • List 2 new products in Etsy shop

I feel like I have a lot to get done this month. What are you working on?