I've been working my keister off these past few months, and managed to save up a considerable amount to pay my taxes, as I wasn't entirely sure how much I would owe. Turns out that I owed several thousand less than I'd anticipated. (I still owed several thousand. Just not *that* many thousands.) Which means I already have half of what I wanted to have saved up for emergencies.
What's more -- if my calculations are right, and we're frugal, I can have the rest of it by June.
So. Save the money. Then pay down the debt. Then save for the car and the house. That's the plan.
I've abandoned all else, but this past year has taught me that the bottom can and will be repeatedly kicked out from under me, and only an emergency fund will provide a stopgap for that. So. No more frivolous spending for an entire year (at least). I will buy presents for the children, of course, but other occasions will warrant token gifts or just cards. No luxury buys. No trips. No restaurant food. No outings. And it goes without saying no car or house. (We have a spare car; if R's car dies, he can fix whichever will be cheapest to patch up.) We are on lockdown until our finances are in order and I have a cushion started. I am not f-ing around with this anymore. My initial goal is to have 6 months of expenses saved up. Once I get that together, I may expand it.
Of course, I'm having to start with pocket change, so this is going to be slow going.