Not Impressed with our Debt – Week 12

Looking back on September it has been a big month. My husband gets paid weekly and I get paid bi-weekly. In September there were 5 paychecks for him and 3 paychecks for me. That means it should have been easy for us to meet our $1200 goal of paying down our debt in September, right?

To be honest is was a bit tight this month. Seems ridiculous considering the extra paychecks we earned this month doesn’t it? I’ll have to go back and really see where our money went but I do know we booked a little weekend getaway and paid half down on it and the hubs bought a new dresser which he really needed and the dreaded school taxes were due this month. Those three things took more than a third of our income for September.

Looking back the important thing for us to remember is we had the money to pay those things without charging it to our credit cards and we still had enough money to meet our goals. That’s a big win for us!

At the end of Week 12 we are at $31,034.89 for debt amount and $700.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $289.26 in debt and $50 increase in savings!

Here’s the breakdown for the month of September:

  • Week 8 – $32,343.54
  • Weeks 9 and 10 – $31,897.69
  • Week 11 – $31,324.15
  • Week 12 – $31,034.89

Total debt paid off in September $1308.65 with a goal of $1,200 and total saved was $200 with a goal of $100

Since we restarted 12 weeks ago we have paid down our debt a whopping $4,065.11 and put $700 away for savings. Not too shabby!

Next update and new goal October 4th – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Week 11

It was a good week last week!

At the end of Week 11 we are at $31,324.15 for debt amount and $650.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $573.54 in debt and $120 increase in savings!

Here’s the breakdown for the month of September so far:

  • Week 8 – $32,343.54
  • Weeks 9 and 10 – $31,897.69
  • Week 11 – $31,324.15

Just $180.61 left to meet September’s debt goal and we have exceeded September’s savings goal!

Let’s have a conversation about savings. At the point we save $1,000 I want to do something with it. I want to get more bang for our bucks so to speak. The best rate for a CD I found was about .55% for 9 months. The reality of a CD is that unless you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to put into a CD it just isn’t worth it. After calculating we would get a whopping $3.75 after 9 months. Why bother right?

I have had other advice about investing our money which I love to learn about and hear from people but none of those ways of earning are my style.

After seeing the return we would get from a CD I thought to myself why wouldn’t I invest in myself and in my own business? I could take even $500 of the $1000 savings and turn it around in a month and make 10,000 more percent than a CD. In other words I would invest in myself and in my Etsy shop. I can even track that $500 I spend on inventory for my shop by having a series of SKUs that correspond to that original $500 I invest which can then be analyzed weekly.

I’ll talk more about this in the future but for now that is how we intend to increase our savings even more.

Hope you have a great week!

Next update September 27th – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Weeks 9 and 10

Last update I reported that we had met our monthly goal for August with some crafty extra sales in my Etsy shop.

This month so far has been almost as good for Etsy sales so I think we are still on track to meet our goal of paying off another $1200 in debt and adding another $100 to our savings.

At the end of Week 10 we are at $31,897.69 for debt amount and $530.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $445.85 in debt and $30 increase in savings.

Here’s the breakdown for the month of September so far:

  • Week 8 – $32,343.54
  • Weeks 9 and 10 – $31,897.69

Just $754.15 left to meet September’s debt goal and just $70 left to meet September’s savings goal.

Next update September 20th! – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Week 8 – We Did it!

Last update I reported that we had $733 left to go to meet this month’s goal of paying off $1500 in debt for August. I really didn’t have much hope in hitting that goal because I knew we still had bills to pay the last week in August and I only get paid bi-weekly so this would have been impossible with only one paycheck for the week.

But I consider myself resourceful so I got to work last week and started getting more items listed in my Etsy shop and pushed these listings on my Instagram page and by then end of the week I had made up that $733.00. Yes 14 listings sold!

So I did it! $1500 in debt paid this month and I increased our savings to $500. Both goals met.

At the end of Week 8 we are at $32,343.54 for debt amount and $500.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $733 in debt and $60 increase in savings.

Here’s the breakdown for the month of August:

  • Week 4 – $33,843.33
  • Week 5 – $33,376.54
  • Week 6 and 7 – $33,076.54
  • Week 8 – $32,343.54

Since re-starting our debt paydown in July we have paid off a whopping $2756 in debt. We still have an enormous amount of debt to pay off and we will probably always have some kind of debt but the two credit cards we have need to go for good. That’s the ultimate goal.

Goal for September is $1200 in debt paid off and another $100 in savings. I am shooting a little lower this time because we have school taxes to pay this month.

Next update September 6th! – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Back at it Week 6 and 7

There was nothing new to post on Monday so I skipped an update for week 6. I do have more to report for week 7 though!

At the end of Week 7 we are at $33,076.54 for debt amount and still at $440.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $300 in debt and zero change in savings.

Here’s the breakdown so far this month:

  • Week 4 – $33,843.33
  • Week 5 – $33,376.54
  • Week 6 and 7 – $33,076.54

Goal for August is $1,500 in total debt paid off so another $733.21 left to go and goal for savings is another $140 saved so just $60 left to achieve that goal. With only one more week left to reach our goal for the month I unfortunately don’t see it happening, but hey you never know right?

One quick thing I want to add this week. It’s something I discovered a few weeks ago that may affect some of you if you have been hired at a new job in the last year and a half.

I recently discovered that there has been no income tax being taken out of my paycheck. State or Federal. In January 2020 the tax laws changed and most people did not know this part. The payroll company the Town works with said now, as employees, we have to tell them how much we want withheld from our paychecks weekly, they no longer do that for us. Really?? That would have been nice to know, right? Luckily I caught this after only about 2 pay periods but my boss hadn’t had anything taken out all year! So look closely at the deductions on your next pay stub and make sure you are getting federal and state taxes withheld. The payroll company said it does not affect employees that have not switched jobs before January 2020. They are still on the old W-4 system. Let me know how you make out!

Next update August 30th – MM

Drying Home Grown Herbs

Growing your own herbs in and of itself is rewarding but preserving them to extend their usefulness is even more rewarding!

I grow and preserve my main staple herbs like basil, parsley, chives, lavender, lemon balm, oregano, sage and thyme. I also like to grow and preserve things like my own sweet pepper powder, rose and celery leaf powder.

Honestly it has been a long time since I have had to buy any of these herbs and powders.

I have found that my preferred method of preserving most of these herbs is NOT the dehydrator. Other than the sweet pepper powder, everything I have tried dehydrating seems to lose it’s distinctive flavor.

So how do I dry these herbs then? I hang them to dry.  Yes it may take a week or two to dry them but the flavor in my opinion is much better.

Here is my process;

I hope this helps inspire you to grow and preserve your own culinary herbs. As an added note I also grow and preserve my own herbal tea and medicinal herbs like rose, lemon balm, lavender, nettle, and echinacea and more! The possibilities are endless really.

Do you grown and preserve your own herbs? I would love to hear from you -MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Back at it Week 5

Financially we had a pretty darn good week last week!

At the end of Week 5 we are at $33,376.54 for debt amount and $440.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $466.79 in debt and an increase of $80 in savings.

I would have added more to savings this week but we decided happily to explore the Lake Ontario area and paid cash for our dinner last night which we most definitely deserved!

Here’s the breakdown so far this month:

  • Week 4 – $33,843.33
  • Week 5 – $33,376.54

Goal for August is $1,500 in total debt paid off so just another $1,033.21 left to go and goal for savings is another $140 saved so just $60 left to achieve that goal!

Next update August 16th – MM

Ripley Victory Garden Week 9

Today is weigh in day! Let’s see how many pounds of produce we have harvested in the last nine weeks.

Last update was 73.5 lbs of fruits and veggies picked.

Total as of yesterday is 181 lbs 10 oz!

That’s over 100 lbs picked in the last 2 weeks, and the garden hasn’t even hit it’s full stride yet!

Here are some pics from around the garden this week:

I have taken the month of August off from baking to get my garden chores and canning done. The hubs and I feel the way the world is right now that anything we can do to set ourselves up for self sufficiency is top priority for us.

Next update August 10th – See you then! -MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Back at it Week 4

Once again it was an even busier week than it was last week, if that is even possible.

At the end of Week 4 we are at $33,843.33 for debt amount and $360.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $395.13 in debt and zero change in savings.

My goal for the month of July was $1000 in total debt paid off and an increase in our savings. Below is this month’s final breakdown.

  • Week 1 – $35,100
  • Week 2 – $34,838.65
  • Week 3 – $34,238.46
  • Week 4 – $33,843.33
  • Total debt paid off for July $1,256.67

We reached our goal for the month and then some!

Goal for August is $1500 in total debt paid off and another $140 saved for a total of $500 in savings.

Next update August 9th – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Back at it Week 3

It was a busy week last week but I still managed to make a sizeable dent in our debt and savings.

At the end of Week 3 we are at $34,238.46 for debt amount and $360.00 in savings. That’s a decrease of $600.19 in debt and an increase in $110 in savings!

My goal for us this month is $1000 in total debt paid off and an increase in our savings. Below is this month’s breakdown thus far.

  • Week 1 – $35,100
  • Week 2 – $34,838.65
  • Week 3 – $34,238.46
  • Total debt paid off so far this month $861.54

Just $138.46 left to go to reach July’s goal and I am already happy with our savings increase.

Since I started posting our debt shenanigans again I have had a few of you tell me that you appreciate the honesty about our money and debt journey and how we are handling it. Debt and money management is not easy. There are all sorts of reasons why people fall into debt and I am betting most of the time it’s not because of misspending.

We didn’t get into debt because we were taking lavish vacations and buying toys and things we didn’t need. We got into debt because of divorce, a failed business and having crappy medical insurance. Seriously, all from things that just happen in life. But when bills add up to more than what we bring home in our paychecks that’s when debt builds plain and simple.

Keep the comments coming. I love hearing from you!

Next update August 2nd – MM

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