New debt totals posted! By applying our June savings of $2,859.90 to my student loan on top of our monthly minimum payments, we saw a reduction of $3,292.17. But the most exciting news is the side by side comparison of where we started last year on July 1, 2011. Since that time, we have managed to reduce our debt by $24,900.84!!! If you would have asked me a year ago if that was possible, I would have laughed. It seemed so far fetched of an idea. By embarking on our spending lockdown(to see our list of spending guidelines, click here), we took control of our life and money. There was nothing fancy to our strategy. It was simple, we just cut out the excess spending that was draining our bank account. And we are not talking one major expense, we are talking countless mindless minimal expenses that emptied our wallet week after week. We have many friends that still say they want to do something like this, and I encourage them, but it’s important to remember—personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior(a common Dave Ramsey quote). And that’s the most difficult part of the task, changing your behavior with money.
Now that we have officially ended our yearlong spending fast, what do you think we did to celebrate? Favorite restaurant? Movie? Concert? New clothes? Umm, sorry to disappoint, but none of the above. Instead, this weekend, we took a trip to Trader Joe’s and the local produce stand to stock up on our regular groceries for the week. We also made sure to use our cash envelope which has our allotted amount for food during the month of July. In fact, since ending our spending lockdown, we’ve been talking a great deal about how to budget ourselves through the next year. We are living in possibility.