When you are in survival mode and struggling just to keep the roof over your head, the last thing you want to think about is saving. The minute you get out of the situation you were in, you tend to blow every cent you get on things that you weren't able to buy before or to pay off debt. I have been there and done that. I do not want to be there again.
When Nolen got his new job the first thing I did was take half of his first check and put it in a jar to start our baby step one (See Dave Ramsey) of saving $1000. This money is meant to cover those small emergencies that happen. The car will break down, someone will get sick, you will break the oven. The money in this small emergency fund is meant to cover those things.
Dave says that this is often the hardest step. To set aside money when you want to put it all toward paying off debt, feels so wrong. But think about it, if you are putting all of your money into paying off debt, you will have to go further into debt to handle those emergencies.
My husband is not a natural saver at all. If he has money, he will spend it. It doesn't matter if that money is meant for a bill. It will be gone. I need to change the "tense" on those statements. I am so proud of him. He now thinks before he spends. When I told him I planned to save the money, he looked at me like I was crazy. But after a week of it being there, I showed him it was still there and he said, "Quick, put it back in the jar in the safe!" WTG Nolen!
We are 40% to our goal for our first emergency savings. Then we will move onto debt repayment.
This month we are going to be tight because we have some car repairs (that we have budgeted for) and extra daycare for Sarah due to spring break. This month we know we will not be able to add to that savings. The key is, we don't spend it! We know that after this month, we will have an additional $600 a month to put toward savings and debt repayment. That is HUGE for us.
If you haven't gotten started on your plan, make one. Stop struggling paycheck to paycheck. There is always a way. Work extra hours. Coupon. I wasn't a believer. I had huge arguments with my family because they felt I could do more. I was in denial. I spent money I didn't have. I am now a believer. Nolen is now a believer. Its not easy, but dang it, it is worth it.