Treading water but getting stronger


my husband and i both work but we only really have one income as he’s just starting his practice. this means his income is low and variable and we can’t really count on it. we have a high networth due to my 401K savings and the equity we have in our home. yet, we have an insane number of outflows and a deficit of inflows. we are house rich but cash poor. for years we had no debt other than our mortgate and now it feels as if overnight we grew a few festering moles: (1) mole #1 — credit card debt we have over $25K in credit card debt and (2) mole #2 — the benign type, the weltlike student loan over $130K in student loans.

this blog is an outlet for us to share tips, build community, express frustrations (probably me more than my husband fritz) and an opportunity for us to stay focused on our goals. Our top financial goals right now are to:

1. Life within our means & stay on budget — This come to jesus conversation hasn’t been pretty. We should have hired an exorcist to get rid of those spirits that have gotten used to eating out, lattes and not worrying about late video fees. This also means the dreaded allowance and no credit cards in my wallet.

2. Increase income — We need to build a budget based on what I currently earn and live within that one salary. In addition if we ever want to make any real progress on our war against la debt then we need more funds. My husband will focus on networking and building his private practice so that we can start increasing inflows.

3. Pay down our credit card debt — We need to come up with a more disciplined plan for paying down this debt. We’ve started the budgetting process but until we can get ahead of the curve like YNAB recommmends and live on last month’s income then unsure what our payoff plan will be.

4. Build an emergency fund — I have to thank all the inspirational bloggers who bare all. So many financial bloggers share all the details of their finances and this candor inspired me to open up my own high interest ING account. I now have an automatic withdrawl to transfer $100 from my checking account to my ING account at every pay period. I love that my ING account is not connected to a debit card as it makes it harder to touch. I am paying myself first and I will have $2400 saved within a year. When I get a bonus I’ll try to save some of that into my ING account too. In addition to the ING account I’ve beefed up the savings account tied to our checking account. I got a bonus in the spring and was able to put about $1800 into my savings account. This savings account will be used if we are running low on monthy funds. I hope that happens less and less as we get better with budgeting.

5. Have enough cash flow to do some home repairs I dream of the day when we have enough money to remodel our home.

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2 Responses to “Treading water but getting stronger”

  1. debtfreeforlife Says:

    It’s hard isn’t it?

    I totally know what you mean by feeling like you are treading water. And for me it feels like there is no end in sight. But I think blogging like you are, working side by side with your husband, thinking and doing things in your life to take control will get you on track in a way that most people aren’t always able to do.

    Good luck on the journey…

  2. ladydoughgirl Says:

    Dear Debtfreeforlife,
    I just changed my name from organizedgal to ladydoughgirl. Same person, same station. I just want to start using my new gmail account in association with this blog.

    Thank you for the comment. It is definitely hard. I feel like I’ve just woken up to reality which on one hand is great because awareness is always the first step before making changes, isn’t it? Yet, on the other hand being acutely aware of how much we have to do can make it feel like such a chore and also as you say it seems so endless. I find it’s very hard to find a balance. I know how depressing it can be when faced with a long road. Good luck!

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