KOA aND TRU
Growing up I was never taught how to save, use or budget money. When I was young and needed money, the only response was, "Get a job". When I was old enough, I did just that. I had a car that I bought with money I had inherited and I was living rent free with my mother, step-father, and younger siblings. My only bill was paying for the gas in my car. Every paycheck went to buying things for my siblings and taking them out to the movies or going out. Of course, a majority of it, I spent on myself in ways of eating out, going to clubs, going out on dates... I remember my mother asking me once or twice, "What do you mean you don't have any money. Where is all your money going son?" All I could do was shrug and respond with the typical, "I don't know". I knew was spending it by going out but I had no idea where it was going and how much of it that I was spending. I had a debit card and as long as there was money in the bank, I used it every where I went. I was not seeing the money actually leaving my hand or bank account. With a lack of bookkeeping skills, I had a lot of over draft fees, which ranged anywhere from 1 to 3 times a month. Which, of course, added up, and they all added up quickly.
Fast forward a decade... or two, I met with Tru. By that time as some of you may have guessed, my credit score was horrendous. It was so bad that I could not even get a credit card. I had to apply for one of those cards that you put your own money into to start building up my score again. Even though her credit score was really good, It turned out that we both had the bad habit of spending frivolously. This, in turn, made our own spending habits worse and we kept on feeding off of each other and buying things for each other. I want to say that about half of the time, it was on things that we needed, but for large purchases, it was on a want basis.
It was not until recently, around 2018-2019, that we started watching shows and videos based on saving money like, Extreme Cheapskate, Extreme Couponing, Gail Vaz-Oxlade on Til Debt Do U$ Part, Money Moron, etc.. and radio host Dave Ramsey. It was then that we realized that we really needed to get our act together.
After listening to Dave Rasmey and watching Gail Vaz-Oxlade, we created our own budget by first looking at what we were spending on fixed bills and variable expenses. Then, we really trimmed down on the fat and only put in some bare bones budget for wants, such as dining out and going out to the movies. Nowadays, we are looking at a budget of around $300 a week compared to roughly $1,000 that we were spending per week. The die were cast and things were sent into motion.
Could two middle aged adults change their spending habits?
We have cleared our consumer debt of credit cards and the current car loan (Koa's Car). We finally can start saving for various goals such as home ownership!