June 16, 2008

Budget Busters or Blessings?

Budgeting is something I have never really had to do. There always seemed to be enough money to pay the bills, and that was all that mattered. Money came in. Money went out. Not a whole lot went into savings, but we were getting by very comfortably.

Around the beginning of this year, we had decided that the fact that we were still paying on school loans given our income was kind of silly and we really just need to get rid of them. To that end, we have been making substantial additional payments each month. I am proud to announce that we paid off Scott's loan as of last month! WOOHOO, does that ever feel good! We still have two of mine to go and I was all ready to put the additional monthly payment toward the next loan...but...

we had a car scare on the way home from a trip to NC two weeks ago...think 105 degree heat, I-95, no AC, a car that won't go above 30, a toddler, and a baby. You get the idea...not pretty. The car that we were planning to replace in about a year became the car that now must be replaced in a month.

Fast forward through an entire week of car dealership hell...don't get me started--I don't even want to go there...and we are now the proud new owner of a 2005 Ford Expedition.

Sooo, now the real question comes back to the budget...you remember, that never-to-be-written-down style of financial planning that has sufficed for the first 5 years of our marriage...I think I might have to pick up the pen and paper and do some work. Can we manage the car payment in addition to the additional payment we are sending to school loans? Are we willing to give up anything to continue to afford both? How in the world were we even doing the extra payment before?

I am a truly blessed person to even be faced with this dilemma...as I write down a budget for our family for the first time in my life, I will be in thankful prayer to God, asking for the best way to use the blessings He has provided.

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