Thrifty Thursday 01 – Emergency Fund

Creating and emergency fund, budgeting, thrifty Thursday

Creating and emergency fund, budgeting, thrifty Thursday

To kick of 2015, Cody and I realized that we wanted to totally figure out our finances.  We have a lot of debt, and we are still fairly new to the world of bills and other financial responsibilities.  We got connected with a Financial Peace University Class and have felt really good about the progress we are making so far!

The first step was to make an emergency fund, because we all know emergencies will happen – anything from the heat going out in our car on a day when the temp is 30 degrees below zero (happened this winter!) to the possibility of an unexpected medical expense.    The recommended first step is to start with a small emergency fund of $1000.     We were lucky enough to have saved up closer to $3000 in our savings, so we removed $2000 and put that towards step two (coming next week!).

Although it wouldn’t save us in a huge emergency, having this money at hand gives us peace of mind that while we are still in debt, we are still covered in case something were to come up!

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Back to school – for Financial Peace

When we got married in August 2014, we were both fresh out of college, had never really lived on our own (aside from the two months I lived with two of my best friends the the summer before the wedding), and we had mounds of student debt.  Honestly, the amount of debt we have is horrifying.

Photo Credit: TaxRebate.org.uk

Photo Credit: TaxRebate.org.uk

If you’ve never been in debt, it is not a good feeling.   We both have quite a bit of Federal Loan debt and I have a mountain of private loan debt.  The interest we gain each month on the private loans pretty much evens out with the payments we make each month.  Even from the first month of making payments it felt like we would never keep up. We are blessed to have my parents helping us out paying a little bit towards our student loans each month, which we are beyond thankful for, but it still felt like we weren’t making any progress on our loans.

We knew we needed a strategy. Continue reading

Food, Glorious Food

My (surprisingly small this week) pile of grocery list making resources!

Today is grocery shopping day in our home.  We love food around here. We love cooking and baking (and we really love eating).  Right off the bat in our marriage, we knew that we needed to be smart about how much we were spending, or our stomaches would be full and our bank account empty.

How do we keep our costs down? (I’ll post more on each of these in future posts)

1) Meal plans
2) Price book
3) Coupons
4) Leftovers
5) Stocking up
6) Creativity
7) Plan, plan, plan

Right now, for the two of us, we spend <$200 a month on groceries, and that is a number we may be able to lower with a little more work on perfecting this list.

What methods do you use to keep your grocery bills down?

My goals

I believe having goals is very important.  This year, as I am exploring the Five F’s, I have tried to make goals that will encourage me to learn about these.

Finances: Cody and I are going through Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey through a Small Group at our church.  It is definitely already making a huge differences in our finances!

Fitness: Ask anyone who knows me – I am not the sporty type. I’m more of a read a book, watch netflix, and bake cookies than do anything athletic. But I am trying.  This month I am starting with Yoga.  I found a 31 Day yoga course online through a fantastic site and I have been really enjoying it.

Fellowship: Since getting married, Cody and I have worked to find a church (success!) and are now getting involved in small groups to meet some people!  My best friend told me to get on this asap.

Fun: I have a lot more free time than I did a few months ago.  I have decided to explore hobbies I have always been interested in.  My goals include books I want to read this year (including Harry Potter finally. . .), learning languages (ASL, French, and Spanish), and learning instruments (guitar, ukulele, and piano).

Freedom: I am trying to get my priorities straight and finding ways to enjoy spending my time. This links to all of the other F’s in that they are all taking some of my time to explore.

What are your goals?  What aspects of your life would you like to feel more in control of?  Are there hobbies you wish to pursue but I have never found the time?  I challenge you to take the first step and set some realistic goals and tell someone about them so they can keep you accountable!

The Five F’s: https://thrivinginyour20s.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/why-your-twenties/
Financial Peace University: http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/home/?snid=classes.fpu-a
Yoga by Candace: http://yogabycandace.com/blog/yoga-for-strength-project