Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dave Ramsey

Slowly but surely I think I have finally finished Christmas shopping for everyone. I don't know about anyone else but I love to buy my kids things. I scrimp and save all year long, when Christmas time rolls around it feels so good to buy them the things they want. Now I'm not crazy and buy them EVERYTHING they ask for. It has to be reasonable and something I want them to have. Paying for Christmas has always been so stressful but this year I've paid for each present with cold hard cash.

It is so exhilarating to go to the store with my envelope labeled CHRISTMAS bulging, well sort of. I pick out the gifts I think my kids deserve, cause that's just good parenting. I take my cart of toys that hopefully will last a couple of months before going into the trash, to the check out. I wait for the total, knowing what its going to be before hand, and all the time knowing, I have the money for this. It is the best stress free Christmas shopping I've ever had.

We've been doing Dave Ramsey's envelope system for about a year and a half. Last Christmas it was stressful and I felt like our kids would get nothing with our sorry envelope we had saved in only 4 months. It was tight but the kids didn't know a difference. This year we don't have oodles of money but we have enough. I'm not big on spending thousands of dollars cause that's not what Christmas is about. We are taking some of our Christmas money combine with our vacation money for our trip home to Utah for Christmas. It's been about 6 years since we've been home for Christmas. I've made the decision to only bring the 2 Santa gifts and stocking fillers to Utah and leave everything else at home. We are making our kids gifts from us when we get home.

While in Utah we are going to baptize Eli with his cousin Carlyle hence our reason for our trip. I really don't know how we would be paying for this whole extravaganza if it weren't for all the envelope stuffing each and every month. It was so hard at times when I wanted that extra cash for something else but we just kept doing it and now after a year it finally is paying off. Isn't that the way of most things. Its hard in the very moment but later you realized how worth your hard work was. I know there has to be some great talk out there about this. Someone else can find it. We might have eaten PBJ and had pancakes for dinner one to many times this year but really the kids just thought I was awesome. Which is a huge bonus in the mom department.

This month I had a huge trial. I was offered 4 free tickets last week to Disneyland that expired in 2 days. I almost peed my pants I felt so happy. I knew there would be no way we would be able to take our 4 kids plus us to Disneyland it would be over a thousand dollars for just tickets. I was going to leave Robb and take the 3 older kids and just go. I had it all figured out. I just need to talk to my accountability partner. He asked the hard questions like "what about food?" "what about souvenirs?" "what about gas?" My heart dropped and I felt like crying. I knew he was right, it was lingering in the back of my mind I just didn't want to face it.To say living here in California where 90% of the people on base are officers and make 2 to 3 time more than we do. I hate to hear of their season passes to Disneyland and trips to Magic Mountain, Sea World, and really anywhere. Having someone offer FREE tickets for something I dream about taking my kids to was a painful blessing. Yes I could have put it on a credit card or used money from another envelope or even asked family for some money. This was my test to see if we could really do it. I curse and thank Dave Ramsey for his brainwashing of my husband. I said no to the tickets and then cried a little and after I felt warm and fuzzy maybe from crying or knowing I did the right thing. I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders that I didn't know was there. It still makes me a little sad but mostly I have a feeling of gratitude.  I feel the blessings of paying your tithing, paying your debtors and then paying yourself. I have learned to tell my money what to do and how it can work for me, rather than throwing it away to the wind. Is it hard, yes. Yet it's something I have grown to love. I don't even know how we could live here with out doing the evnelope system. It is really expensive to live here and will do a little dance when we finally get to move. California has taught me to budget our money which we have never had to do. I will never thank California for this lesson but I'm just glad it was learned.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of family and love. Merry Christmas!

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