Mindful Budgeting Recap: January | Katie Proctor

My husband and I got into a pretty serious conversation today regarding what we want our life to look like. So many times it feels like we’re just running in circles and not leaving time for the things that really matter – our relationships. And when I think about the way society works, it’s really backwards.

Get a good job to earn money and buy things.
Get into debt buying things.
Go back to school to get a higher paying job to pay for more/better things.
Work more to pay off debt from going back to school…and still want more/better things.

We are programmed to want more/better from some of our earliest memories, when our friends come to school with the newest toy or brand name clothes. We think we should have these things, too, so we figure out a way to get them. And as an adult it gets even more complicated. Bigger house, nicer car, newer neighborhood and other things we just don’t need. Even the phone companies tell us we “need” a new one every few years.

And social media doesn’t make it any easier on us. I constantly see posts asking for recommendations on the “best” something or other {in my social circle these days, it seems to be strollers…}, and I have to wonder if they really meant to replace best with “most expensive” or “most impressive”.

Sure, I have my own things and labels. One might say I waste my money on expensive organic food and boutique fitness classes. Fine, you’d probably be right. But I’m really, really working on being a better steward of my own finances, which can include investing in yourself in areas that are important to you. I’d say health is a pretty big one!

Sorry for the rant, but it’s just been on my mind today. I really came here to celebrate a pretty huge accomplishment for our family.

In my intro post to mindful budgeting, I shared our goals using the debt snowball method. And I’m happy to announce that we paid off not one, but two, of the balances at the top of our list, totaling just over $2800. This is in addition to our monthly student loan minimum payments which are almost $1000, paying an unexpected medical bill of $500, two car payments, a mortgage and saving an additional $800 for taxes – just in case.

I don’t share this to brag, because everyone’s financial situation looks very different. Putting numbers out there actually makes me really uncomfortable, but my favorite “financial fitness” bloggers do the same and I’m hoping my transparency can help someone else like theirs helped me. I share because this month really opened my eyes to how LITTLE we actually need to live a very full life, that includes date nights. It also makes me wonder where the heck our money goes when we don’t keep an eye on it!

In February, we will be tackling our last credit card (which currently has a 0% APR) and the remaining balance on Aaron’s car loan. I know I’m being SUPER ambitious, but I’m hoping we can knock it all out next month. The extra income that I make from coaching has definitely helped us breathe easier when it comes to our monthly bills. I’m really looking forward to the day when we can stop feeling tied to our debts, start living more simply and give more freely. More to come on that!

This week, I also hit a huge milestone by working with a tax specialist to identify all the things that are now considered business expenses and can be deducted from my taxable income.

Workout programs
Monthly Shakeology
✔ Cell phone
✔ Mileage and meals spent with my team or customers
✔ Even part of our mortgage

When I first moved to Denver, I joined the fanciest gym in town {see what I mean about “keeping up”?!} that cost me $140 a month and DEFINITELY wasn’t a business expense. Now, my job is to stay healthy and help others do the same…and my fitness expenses are now my business expenses. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

 

Onward and upward!

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