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Monthly Financial Check-up

Due to the wedding and our vacation last week, I'm a little behind in getting the Monthly Financial Check-up [1] posted. But I couldn't skip it, because we had a really good month last month and I am thrilled to be able to share this update.

We began July at 50% of our house savings goal [2] and we ended the month at 57.8%!

Yes, that's a big leap and we are ecstatic to be moving closer and closer to our goal of paying 100% down on a house. In fact, we've started looking at houses on a casual level right now–just to feel out the market–and it is so incredible to look at many of them and realize we're almost able to pay the full price for some of them in cash.

Every month recently when we've run the numbers, my husband and I are amazed. We well remember those difficult law school days [3] when we could barely afford to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. We remember going without so many things, trying to make the most of the little we had, pinching our pennies, and praying heartily that God would somehow make the money stretch to the end of the month so we could pay all of our bills.

It was so hard to not know how we were going to be able to pay for our rent or to only have $17 to spend at the store for our entire week's worth of groceries. It required a tremendous amount of determination to not lose sight of our goal (to make it through law school without any debt) and to keep living like no one else–even when we were really tired of doing so.

But you know what? All that scrimping and saving has paid off in bigger dividends than we could have ever imagined. And by the grace of God, we are only months away from paying 100% down in cash on our very first home.

I share this with you all, not to set ourselves up on a pedestal. We've made plenty of mistakes and we will make plenty more in the future. I share this with you to encourage you that–no matter what financial position you may be in today–don't lose hope and don't lose heart.

Success requires sacrifice. You will never get
anywhere financially if you are not willing to do something: to get up,
get moving, set goals, and see them through.
It requires effort, commitment, dedication, and determination.

it takes time.
Getting out of debt or saving up to pay cash for
something is not usually an instantaneous thing; it takes many months
or years of work and sacrifice. But it does pay off.

So set goals, stay focused, and stick with it and you, too, will reap the rewards of discipline, determination, and hard work.

If you want to read more about our lean law school years and a few of the lessons we learned through those difficult years, be sure to check out this post [3].

How did you do in July? Whether
or not you posted financial goals for 2009, please take a moment to
post about your financial successes and/or failures in July and, if you'd like, the areas
you hope to improve in August. Then, come back here and leave your link
below. If you don't have a blog or would rather share anonymously, feel
free to leave your update in a comment. Let's all keep each other
accountable to be better stewards of
our resources!