For over 10 years the discussion of having children has been the talk over coffee, dinner, cocktails and driving around the country, so what makes this so special? Having children was always in our future. We spoke about it early on but just continued to live
our lives having fun, traveling, living outside of our means and not paying attention to the future. Within the past 5 years, we became more aware and focused on building a family and living OUR lives. We knew that we needed to set up a timeline that we could follow and guide us in the direction of our ultimate goal. But, we also were aware that “shit happens,” so we needed to be flexible to handle each situation as it occurs. Time is ticking away and our youth seems to be fading along with it. Progress needed to be made…
First Things First…
- Make A List
Some people are able to mentally keep a timeline, use their phones to program events but I have to physically write it down with a pen & paper (WHAT? what are those?). I find it easier for me to make things happen once I write it down! I made a list (with a box next to each task) about what I wanted to accomplish in 2 years before starting the adoption process. Each time we/I completed an assignment, I grabbed a pen and checked it off to move on to another. After 2 years, most of our boxes were checked. Sometimes I would accomplish them without even setting a goal to get it done, so when I looked back on the list, I surprised myself.
2. Pay Down Your Debt
Most of us have debt to some degree. The ultimate goal would be to PAY OFF your debt but unless you anticipate winning the lottery, paying your debt DOWN will certainly be more realistic. I had to take a look at my life and my spending habits. For anyone that knows me, I enjoy THINGS, nothing specific, just THINGS! I found that most of the time I was spending my money on frivolous items. I buy them and then they sit in a corner or in a storage room. I RE-conditioned myself to only make purchases for material things I NEEDED.
Food is essential for survival. Eating-out at restaurants and fast food locations can really take a toll on your budget. So to deter that, I would set aside a budget for the week on which I could spend solely on food, anything from a lunch to snacks, coffee or drinks. I trained myself to cook at home, bought a hydro-flask to stop from buying bottled water, ate lunch at home prior to going out, packed a coffee thermos to last the day and made sure I took note of how much I would save each day I wanted to spend it on those items. Think about it….
- Coffee ($ 5.00 a cup / 2x per day / 3-4 days a week) = $ 30-40 per week
- Lunch ($ 20.00 per meal / 3-4x a week) = $ 60-80 per week
- Bottled Water ($1.25 per bottle / 3-4x a week) = $ 3.75-5 per week
That’s a total of approximately $ 101.75 – 125.00 per week! $ 407.00 – 500.00 a month! Now, these things were LITTLE (to me) as I wasn’t counting gas, buying clothing, hats, and other things I was purchasing on the regular! After documenting the rest of my spanding habits I found that I could’ve paid down 3-4 bills per month and eventually paying off these bills within 1 year along with setting up a savings account for the next step. Try it for yourself and see what you come up with, I’m pretty sure you don’t even realize what’s leaving your wallet!
3. Surround Yourself With People Who Encourage and Support You
(STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF 2… THERE’S MORE TO COME!)