A, adulting

DIVIDE (and conquer) 

I’m not sure how you spent your last week, but most of mine was spent with this guy: 

thank @teddysphotos for the ink envy

Ed Sheeran‘s newest- ‘Divide’- came out last Friday. I’m not too proud to tell you it’s been on repeat since. 

Do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Or 83. And get ready to cry and call your mom after ‘Supermarket Flowers.’ 

The other thing I’ve been focused on this week is the budget. 

I’m not having nearly as much fun as this guy

Last year, I managed to pay off around $8000 of debt (in full).This year I want to up that to an even $10k. There are several ways I’m planning on making that goal a reality. 

  • The Snowball is growing. If you’ve ever even heard of Dave Ramsey, then you’ve probably heard of the debt snowball. My snowball is finally getting to a point that it’s making more of an impact. This is great news for driving down those outstanding balances. 
  • No Spend April. No Spend 2016 was a huge success, and I’m repeating it in 2017. I’ll explain more on how I structure my budget and my month for a month with no spending in a future post. 
  • Utilizing our credit card rewards. This may seem counterproductive– use a credit card to reduce debt? But with my Discover card, I get 5% cash back on items we use anyway. Q1 we are getting that 5% on gas. Instead of using our debit cards, we use the Discover and use the cash from the back end for other essential purchases. It’s a great system, if you can get it to work for you. 
  • DImYself. I’m doing my best to do more and more things in house. Up on the docket for this year: home improvements and repairs, homemade cleaning supplies and finally learning how to do my own manicure (something I cut from the budget a few years ago, and have been systematically ignoring that mess ever since – NO more). This will build on other things that I’ve already worked on — mainly brown bagging my lunches and bringing coffee from home. That brings me to the last item:
  • Continuing good habits. We have a pretty strict grocery budget, so we’re sticking to Aldi, and we try to limit our dining out to once a month. I’ve become good friends with Groupon, and gotten well acquainted with our library. We’ve become fans of dinners in with friends, and look forward to continuing that trend this summer. We will be making some investments in our home, but as our budget is a top priority, we will be choosing our projects wisely. Plus, we are still saving religiously for future planned (and unforeseen!) changes. 

Sure,  this isn’t perfect, but all these are steps to being debt free, which is the ultimate goal. 

Until we’re there I’ll just keep recalculating with the help of Ed. Apparently he’s good at math– +, x, divide? That man is on a mission to educate!

Happy budgeting!