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Insurance Check

January 29th, 2008 at 09:55 am

DH received an insurance check in the mail for a significant amount of money. About a year ago he was injured at work and spent months in pain. We tried physical therapy to no avail...it acutally made the pain consistently worse.

We're a little worried that this money might be the company's attempt to buy us off and wash their hands of the injury. We're in the process of finding out more information, but at the same time planning what we might do with the money.

DH, the big spender, has always wanted a rolex. I would like to pay off the debt. I feel a tightening in my chest when I think about him getting a rolex...I can't think of anything more ridiculous. To me it is frivolous and ostentatious, but for some reason it has always been a goal of his to get one. Some times it is all I can do be supportive (I don't want anyone shooting down my dream!). At the same time, I thought we were on the same page for our financial goals. Kinda frustrating.

How I was able to save money by...

November 6th, 2007 at 07:35 pm

learning to keep an open mind.

As DH and I took a walk while MIL watched the kids, I pondered out loud how much I had changed in the last year and even in the last 5 to 10 years.

When we were first married, I never cooked. I didn't really know how and I didn't know what to cook. Nothing seemed to turn out well. I believe this is the second biggest cause of our current debt.
The first cause is poor financial planning while attending graduate school.

Since the inception of our budget last November, we've changed drastically. I got tired of DH complaining about us not being on a budget, his implications that I was the cause of our money problems, and tired of the same old..."well, we'll just spend less money this month!" So I took a day off work, and put all our financial info. into Mvelopes. We stopped using Mvelopes after about 2 months because I still didn't feel in control of the money. Then I started handrecording our expenses.

Then I happened upon a book called "The Tightwad Gazette." Although this book could be thought of as radical in some ways, it opened my mind to possibilities. I began to wonder why I was using baggies for everything, why I never turned off lights when I left the room, and why I never learned to cook. I spent a lot of time researching and reading.

I forced myself to keep an open mind. Since then, I've learned a lot about cooking and we eat things that I NEVER would have considered even a year ago. My sister thinks I'm absolutely insane for eating beans! Once I read that some people hang out their laundry, I was dumbfounded. It never occurred to me to do this. Now I've used the dryer twice since August. I cook in bulk and really enjoy it! I love providing homemade items like waffles, breakfast burritos, and other dishes for my family and doing this provides a real sense of accomplishment. I stopped buying all the convenience foods and saved a ton of money. I'm taking sewing classes. Once I opened my mind, I found liking things wasn't as hard as I imagined. It's really just a mindset that I developed growing up.

I look back a year and say WOW..I've really changed. I look back 5 years ago and say "What in the &*^$ was I thinking?"

A powerful lesson is learned. Be willing to try things you never imagined.

A Money Leap

September 10th, 2007 at 02:10 pm

I was able to pay 1200.00 toward CC2 this past week since I got my deposit back from our rental house. So our total debt is down a little over 1600.00 since last month. We set a new goal to pay off CC2 by next July. I'm hoping to do it sooner, but I want to be realistic.

I've done several things this past week to help our money situation. I got a $25 sign on bonus at ING savings. I'll use that account to accrue money to pay my son's college tuition bill next August (he is 4 yrs old and has the prepaid college tuition). I also spent time putting some clothes on Craigslist, signed up for a focus group, at e-rewards, and American Consumer Opinion. I'm considering offering services to high school or college students who need editing work and even considering babysitting during the weeknights.

My husband seems a little more positive about paying off the debt as I think he might be starting to see that there's only one way out of this debt misery...PAY IT OFF!!

I need a goal

August 16th, 2007 at 07:45 am

Thanks so much for all the nice comments everyone! I think this blog is going to be the perfect tool for me. I just can't go wrong with all this support here!

My first triumph...last night DH wanted to go to Olive Garden for dinner and I talked him into staying home.

I think it would be appropriate for me to set some financial goals. Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to do that realistically as I mentioned previously we just bought a house. We didn't have a mortgage payment this first month so the budget is kind of out of whack. I also recently did a lot of switching credit card balances to take advantage of the 0% interest. I think things will be more clear next month when I have a mortgage payment and I'm sure of the credit card balances, their due dates, and minimum payments.

Our general rule is to make minimum payments on all our cards except for one. I know what you're thinking! What does she mean by "general"? Well, we were trying to save up for a house; we were determined to pay for our own closing costs so we dedicated pretty much all extra money to savings instead of the credit card.

My preliminary thoughts on a goal is I'd like to pay off one card balance by the end of the year. That balance is about $3,000. I don't think that would be too hard. I'd like to pay off our credit cards first, then my student loans, then the house. Our cars are paid off and we are lucky enough to be in a position where we don't need credit cards to pay for anything. So we're not accumulating more debt.

Our main obstacles include the price of our babysitter. There's not much I can do about that though. Also the temptation to buy things for our new house is much greater than I anticipated. We've had the same furniture since we were in college. My husband graduated in '95 and I in '97. That doesn't sound too bad until you factor in two children who've taken their toll on the furniture. Plus, it was used when we got it. Now that I'm writing this, for the first time I feel so shallow for wanting new furniture when I've got all this debt to pay off. WOW! I've decided to take one room at a time, and do my best to stay within my "household" budget each month of $175.

On another note, I rewatched "SuperSize Me" last night. Makes you not want to give your money to any fast food chain. I also ordered a book called "Not Buying it" off Half.com about a person who didn't buy anything for one full year. Ought to be interesting!

I don't know what I'm doing

August 15th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

About 8 months ago, I decided to get my family's finances under control. Since then, I've developed a detailed budget and better yet a detailed way to keep track of it. We've made some progress, but have lots more progress to make. We just bought a house about a month ago.

Why did I decide to begin a blog? I need motivation and a place of accountability. While we scrimp in many places on the budget, I question overspending in other areas. For example, why do I bother hanging clothes out to dry when I give into my husband's wishes to eat out...and not just cheap fast food!

I feel like I'm too old to be doing this. I'm ashamed of my debts because I think I know better. Why did it take so long for me to truly understand the burden debt really causes? I want to be free of these debts!