Total Money Makeover Recap

This past week was difficult for me. The past two have felt like failure at the grocery store, even though I did as I planned and spent what I had meant to spend. Compared to the $5 Dinner Mom, who feeds a family of 5 on $60 a week, I feel like a failure for not being able to feed 2 on that amount.

Well, I guess, the thing to remember is that you start where you are and move forward from there since the past can’t be undone. It’s all baby steps, anyway. Each week is progress – lunches taken instead eaten out, meals planned and thought ought, taking the lunch break to walk down the street and back.

Also, the exciting prospect -besides being debt free – is the fact that we’re changing the family tree…we’re able to show Burly Man’s kids that we can go do things that are fun that don’t cost anything, like Sunday afternoon in the park, watching the sailboats in Charleston Harbor, watching the sun come up over Sullivan’s Island, or walking through the neighborhood and seeing how many different wildflowers (weeds) we can find. This weekend visit, we’re going over the envelope system, and we’re creating one for Blackbeard’s Cove. We’re making the kids contribute to it, too, so they can see that if they want to do something ‘big’ that has a price tag, we have to plan for it. and then when we’ve saved enough, we can go have fun. We’re also doing the ‘plasticomy’, i.e., cutting up the credit cards, with the kids this weekend, too. I want to do for these kids what my parents didn’t do for me: teach me how to be wise about money.

The first week doing the cash-only envelope system was overwhelming. This week, I find it much more easy to accomplish, and I’m amazed that we’ve been able to put what we have into the emergency fund without really trying. Truly, if you take the money for savings first, there still is room left for everything else. I haven’t had to put it towards a light bill or anything. Amazing.


  • weeks without eating out: 6
  • weeks on the envelope system: 4
  • emergency fund: $480

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