Are you debt free/ on top of your finances? How did you do it?

I would like to hear from others who have dug themselves into a financial hole and gotten themselves out of it. What did you do? How did you do it? We have gotten ourselves into a bad financial situation. We are planning to move into a cheaper house when our lease ends and I was hoping someone could give me some more ideas. Thank you so much!

I don’t know if I would say I was in a *bad* situation, but things were starting to get out of hand. It’s like I woke up one morning and saw that I had more debt than I realized. I created a very itemized budget that includes things I like to do (eating out, shopping, etc) but in moderation. I’ve found that I’ve stuck to this budget more than any other one I ever created because I don’t feel that I can’t spend on things I enjoy. I put it in Excel so I can keep a running tab of my expenses and even sync it into my Palm pilot so there’s no excuse to not know what I can spend.

Additionally I opened a second checking account with a separate check card for my monthly "play" money. So I basically pay bills with one check card and play with the other. Since I have the itemized budget I determine my play money at the beginning of the month and transfer it to the play CC. Once that money’s gone I can’t play anymore until next month since the other CC is strictly for bills/household stuff. I get paid once a month, so at every payday I take whatever’s left in each checking account and transfer it to my money market. So the better I stick to my budget each month the more I put into savings. And doing good one month doesn’t give me additional play money next month.

I’ll be happy to share more with you one on one if you’d like. Just shoot me an email.

Good luck!