Tell Us Tuesday: Your Success Story

by Kelly · 14 comments

in Tell Us Tuesday

Success in any big goal is made up of conquering many little problems along the way. I’ve read before that in order to change any habit, you need to work at it for a certain period of time (I’ve heard anywhere from two weeks to three months!).

Success is also how you define it. I judge as one of my successes on this journey to frugality my (semi) daily habit ofย  checking my bank accounts. Doing so helps me feel on top of and in control of my finances- instead of leaving me with that sick feeling in my stomach…

What’s your success story?


1 Jenna July 21, 2010

Graduating from college ๐Ÿ™‚

2 Kelly July 21, 2010

Doesn’t that feel good?! Congrats!

3 Jenna July 22, 2010

Thanks! And yes it did! What is your success story?

4 Jan July 21, 2010

I could never save a penny. Then I got serious about getting out of debt. Dave Ramsey says that before you pay off your debt, you need to put $1000 into an emergency fund.

I thought, well, so much for THAT idea. I can't save anything.

Well, we saved up that $1000 (much quicker than I thought we could) and it is in an account. We used $700 once for an actual emergency and replaced it. It's been there seven months.

Now we are firmly paying off our bills, 4 credit cards left out of 17 bills. And now we are 2 weeks ahead in paying bills.

5 Kelly July 21, 2010

That’s fantastic, Jan! How did you do it?

6 Jan July 21, 2010

Well, back in November I started working for the first time in 11 years after being a full time SAHM, and I had made a plan that all of my income would go for debt. We wouldn't even count it.

It didn't work until after Christmas and then I kicked it into high gear. I was bringing in about $800 clear a month. Not a lot, but it made a dent. Then we used most of our tax refund as well and that helped.

We kept seeing small bills drop off as we paid things off from smallest to largest. Our list was long. Each time we paid off one, I applied the payment from that one to the next one's payment. Ten bucks became $35, then $50, now that payment is $388 every month.

But the trick to leaving the emergency fund alone was to put it in a separate account that had no internet access, no checks or debit card. If I need it, I have to physically go into the bank to get it.

One of the things that helped a lot was using the envelope system for household expenses. Using cash has taught us how to be more careful with our money.

I got laid off in March and got a job making less money, but we are still rolling. My job ends at the end of August and I will probably have two months without a check, but I think we will be ok.

The intoxicating feeling of dumping debt is addictive. I have not charged anything since November and that's saying a lot.

7 Kelly July 21, 2010

Jan- that's so inspiring! Plus I like the idea about only being able to access the account by going into the bank!

8 Jan July 21, 2010

It was necessary, otherwise I might be sitting here at the computer, see something that I want and be able to transfer money over. And yes, I probably would do it. It's the equivalent of closing credit accounts, rather than just cutting up the cards. In a pinch, you can get a creditor to increase the credit, send another card or you can even access your statement to get the card number. It's too easy to spend. I had to make it nearly impossible to get to what I call my M.C. Hammer Account (Can't Touch This!).

9 Kelly July 21, 2010

Oh dear- now I have that song in my head (doo, doo doo duh- can’t touch this!)

10 Kay July 21, 2010

Success for us is just like Jan- we went through FPU with Dave Ramsey. We have our $1000 emergency account and are paying off debt, without incurring more! What a great feeling! As a SAHM of a 2yr old, I used to be terrible with money. But this and wanting more for my family than a wall of debt, motivated me to be a better steward of all God has given us. I do my part by really cutting our grocery and household items way down. I've turned it into a 'game' of how much can I save and how many wonderful healthy foods can I make for my guys! That is the BEST feeling ever!

11 Kelly July 21, 2010

Kay- I share the motivation to want to do more for my family than just be in debt- this is not the kind of life I want *them* to live.

12 Anne July 22, 2010

We don't have an amazing story yet but do have small successes along the way. In May our second vehicle's tags expired. Although we live in the countryside we became a one car family for a month and a half. Just last week we renewed the tags with some extra income my husband made. We didn't charge the tags to the credit card! ๐Ÿ™‚

13 Kelly July 24, 2010

That’s a double success- not charging it to the credit card and only using one car for the month!

14 Anne July 24, 2010

Thanks! I hadn’t thought of it that way! ๐Ÿ™‚

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