If I was to take a couple of hours and add up all of the money that we have made since we were married all those years ago, I would look at the total and throw up. Yep, I would literally puke and wonder where in the world did all of that money go?
We have always lived in a decent houses in safe-ish neighborhoods, had clean and mostly decent clothing, and have driven reliable vehicles. But when you look at the debt we have been in and how long it is taking us to get completely out of debt, I realize we do not have lots of great memories to show for our money woes.
We took very few vacations over the years, and those we did take were at minimal cost. We did not drive fancy or expensive vehicles. We did not live in lavish homes. We did not buy the latest and greatest technology, and our kids grew up hearing “no”, way more than yes when they would ask for things. We did not eat out at fancy restaurants and we didn’t shop at expensive stores; in fact, we’ve done most of our shopping over the years at thrift stores.
So, looking back at all the money we both brought home, we have nothing great to show for it. Our money literally ran through our hands like water pouring out of a faucet. We always paid our bills on time, but the rest of our money just seemed to disappear and we lived paycheck to paycheck, just like the majority of Americans.
It wasn’t until we ran across Dave Ramsey that we learned the importance of having — and sticking to — a budget. It is not that we lived in a cave and had never heard of budgeting but to be honest, it just didn’t seem to work for us. But Ramsey’s zero-based budget was so easy, and it made perfect sense… assign every dollar a job, period. Nothing more. It is simple, to the point, and it has changed our financial lives.