By Frugal Sally
It's about wanting what you have instead of having what you want. It's about living a frugal life to so you can survive well with what you make. Stretching the dollars to go further. Use coupons, shop the sales at the grocery store. Buy used instead of new. Recycle, upcycle, reclaim and reuse, wear it out, make it do. It's about not being a "slave to the lender"....
When you are debt free the world opens up for you. You can start saving for your kids college and your retirement. You can take paid for vacations and not have to worry about paying for it months or even years after you get home. I know people who are still paying for Christmas 2010 and then have 2011 on top of that!!
Think about it, how much money would you have to live on if you had NO bills. No credit card payments. No car payments. No student loans. You can do it!
Once you have snowballed your debt and it's gone, you can go back to your "mini" emergency fund and fully fund it - 3 to 6 months of expenses. Put it someplace safe such as an on-line bank which earns more interest than a regular bank. Then you are a little more safe against the rain storms that can pop up in life. It will give you more freedom to do things like rais...e your deductibles on your car and homeowners insurance (because you will have the deductible if something happens). It will be your saving grace if you are temporarily out of work. It is peace and security.
Another thing I want to bring up. Don't forget to treat yourself every once in a while. Put a little fun money into your budget. Just a little, not much, especially when you are still working the snowball. It can be a larger amount after all the bills are paid. About once a month or every other month, go out for an inexpensive dinner or a movie and enjoy it (and you really will because then it is super special). If you don't do this once in a while, you will really get bitter about the whole "getting out of debt" thing. It's a long journey, and it's hard work, so give yourself a reward every now and then (like after each bill is paid off and you check it off the list).
After the emergency fund is totally funded then the real fun begins. Investing and paying off the house (can you imagine not having a mortgage?). College funds or retirement. The goal is to put at very least 15% in retirement savings. It can be done easily when you have no bills to pay....
I have been debt free for a few years now. We are working to pay the house off early so we won't have to worry about it in retirement. We don't worry like most people do about if they can make the mortgage or how are they going to feed the kids. We haven't really even noticed this recession we are having. We are even going to do something this year that I've been wanting to do for the last 5 years. We are taking our grand daughter to Disney this year and it's paid for. We have been saving for it and can't wait to see her face when she sees all the Princesses. It was a hard road, becoming debt free (I married a man with a good bit of debt). Trust me, I would rather walk into a store and buy my cleaning products instead of making them. I would have liked to buy store bought cookies, but I made them. He would like to eat lunch out, but he brown bagged it. Funny thing is, now we could buy those things, but we don't want to. I love my frugal life.