A testimony from Kim from ProteanMom.com
We are big fans of paying cash for items. We use a cash envelope system (though for larger envelopes we actually keep the cash in our savings account) and we use a spreadsheet to keep track of how much is in each specific envelope.
We started using this system five years ago. And after we realized debt was going to limit our long term goals, we went to work on paying off our debt and changing our habits.
We paid off each account and celebrated our financial successes along the way. After working tirelessly for eighteen months, we paid off everything but our mortgage. And just in time, too! Our first child was born and we were so excited.
Because we were both committed to living debt free from then on, I was able to cut back my hours and stay home with our child.
Now we were debt free, but we didn’t have anything in savings.
Our vehicles, while still reliable, were already 7 years old. We wanted to be financially prepared for potential malfunctions or to replace the vehicles when the time came. So we pretended we still had a car payment – only we paid our “car payment” into our savings account and kept track.
When we began to seriously discuss having a second child, we realized we would have to replace my truck. We started researching cars and listed my truck for sale. We (thank the Lord!) managed to sell it for more than we had anticipated. That money went straight into the car envelope.
After some time we looked at our spreadsheet and we realized that we had met our goal. So we kept an eye out on local ads for a used minivan and found one that had the features we wanted – and it was in our price range!
We called up the seller (a small used car dealership) and took the van for a test drive. After it passed inspection, we went to the bank and withdrew our car payment money. The dealer was so excited to be paid in cash that he gave us a discount!
All in all, it took us three years to save enough for our minivan. The discipline and happiness we have gotten from paying with cash has been worth every tear and penny. And our long term goals? They’re happening!
Kim is a wife, mother of two happy little boys, writer, family chef, and a whole lot more. She works in healthcare and blogs about finding fulfillment and better ways to serve in the variety of roles that life gives each of us at ProteanMom.com.
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