Welcome to Baileys on a Budget!
We’re a family of five (right now), living with a dream to be debt free.
I’m Christina, a stay at home mom to our three kids and (very) part time ER nurse.
My husband Jeff and I were married in 2009 at 21 and 22. We were a young couple just starting out not even knowing that debt was NOT a necessity. We had credit cards, student loans, bills for things we didn’t need and were making expenses we didn’t need to make. Once on a shopping trip (for clothing I didn’t need and never even wore), I handed the cashier first my debit card, and then my credit card, which were both promptly handed back to me declined. In the present, seven years later, we’re still making up for mistakes we made during this time.
In 2011, we had our first child, Samuel, and Jeff was deployed for the year, coming home when Sam was about 6 months old.
Being a new mother all alone was so overwhelming to me, as was missing my husband and his being so far away for so long. About now is when I went through this weird couponing phase thinking I was saving SO. MUCH. MONEY.
October of 2011 Jeff came home and we moved into a family home and had the opportunity to live rent free for about a year. Unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of this and racked up more credit card debt, medical bills and drained almost all of our savings.
What did we do next?? Had another baby of course! Our daughter Abigail was born December 2012, but not before we bought a house in August.
January 2013 was probably the first time we considered our finances. Jeff came to me and told me that every month, he was dipping into our already meager savings to pay the bills. We made our first ever family budget, and I started contributing money from my paycheck to our joint checking account, which I hadn’t been able to do before because I was too busy blowing everything I made on junk we didn’t need.
I know, awful right? I don’t even want to know how much debt we had at that point but somehow, it wasn’t until New Year’s of 2014 we really knuckled down.
We made a new budget including realistic family goals, emergency savings and debt repayment.
This was such a tough thing for me to do. I watched my own parents fight about money my entire childhood. Sure we had family vacations, school clothes, and a new computer all thanks to home equity loans, credit cards and lay away. We also had hand me downs, free canned goods from the church, and discontinued utilities more than once. And so much fighting. I even worked two jobs after school and with my mother starting at age 13. All of that money went right to family expenses.
We decided we didn’t want that for our children and future.
Since making the commitment to be debt free that New Year’s night, we’ve so far:
-Paid off a debt to the organ player at our wedding 3 1/2 years before.
-Repaid all of the money we’ve overdrafted from a savings account.
-Paid off ALL credit cards as of December 2015 (This one was HUGE!)
-Paid off one car loan, then used that as a trade in on the van, and paid THAT loan off in March of 2017.
-Paid off all of Christina’s student loans as of August 2017.
-Used cash for all expenses, home improvements etc.
-Established an Emergency Savings Account.
-Reduced our overall debt by $36,000.
From paying off these debts, we have enough money month to month where we can anticipate future needs or purchases and save up to pay for them in cash. In 2016 we remodeled our entire kitchen with no additional debt accrued. Even better, Jeff did all the work himself and we only spent $2,000.
We’ve also had another baby (who was born right in the middle of the kitchen remodel), Ben born in February 2016.
We have three children now, and we know that we want a nice big family. So financial planning is so important to us.
Still interested?? Here I plan to document all of our financial wins and loses, our money saving tips, family life (maybe more babies?), new faith, homemaking tricks, recipes and more! Pshew!
-Total Non-Mortgage Debt:
Jeff Student Loans: $31,076
Credit Cards: $0 (As of December 2015)!
Car Payments: $0 (As of March 2017)!
Christina’s Student Loans; $0 (As of August 2017)!
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.