When Jay and I started paying off our $50,000 of debt in 2016… our total household salary for both of us before taxes, health insurance, 401k and all deductions was $65,000.

After? We were bringing home $43,000 per year.

At the time, we were stretched so thinly that we had about $28 per week leftover after we paid all of our bills and bought groceries/gas. In other terms, we had basically $25 as a margin of error for our ENTIRE financial life.

Do you know what costs more than $25?! High utility bills. Car repairs. Holiday spending. One single dinner per month for 2 after tip. A pair of shoes. A tank of gas.

That’s the reality we lived in. If we went over budget in any way, we drowned. More times than not, that’s exactly what happened. I remember it being NORMAL to take our mortgage payment money out of checking, spend it on groceries, then work overtime and try to replace it before the 1st. That was my life.

This same reality is were we stood for the first TWO YEARS of our debt freedom journey. We didn’t suddenly inherit money or get some amazing raise/bonus… we busted our asses to change everything about our finances. Don’t forget that my husband sold his (financed) luxury car in the middle of 2017 and bought a 13 year old paid-off car that is still sitting in my garage right this second. That’s a sacrifice.

My challenge for you this week and in 2020 is to stop acting like you’ve got it all together, and actually GET it together.

Get a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com and read that thing. Reduce your budget by starting with the most expensive things, first. Put that impulse buy back on the shelf. Start saving for Xmas 2020 right now ($25 a month = $300 in Dec 2020).

Do better in 2020.

If you need a cheerleader, comment below and tell me what you want to accomplish in 2020 and i’ll hold you to it.