About marymargaretripley

I am a professional Bakery Manager at a privately owned grocery store. I also owned my own bakery for over four years. I have been baking for 15+ years professionally. I also teach canning and preserving classes and have been gardening since I was 5 years old. I live in Western, NY with my husband, teenage son, Bernie the Cat and Muffins the Hamster.

Week 15 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Buying on Autopilot

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As we get older we tend to get more forgetful they say. I say we are just getting more and more distracted by stuff around us.

We women especially have so many things going through our brains that we tend to do things on autopilot. Am I right ladies?

A great example of this autopilot thing is constantly misplacing my debit card. Yikes, right? Misplacing ones debit card is never good and trying to figure out where the hell you last had it is even worse.

I misplace my debit card at least once a month. I hate my debit card. I want to use cash again exclusively but that card is so darn convenient.

So how do I misplace my debit card so often you ask? Shouldn’t it be in my wallet which is in my purse? I hate purses and wallets too. I am a “carry it in my back pocket” kind of girl. I wouldn’t even own a purse if I didn’t need it to carry my chapstick and gum.

Here in lies the problem. I take my debit card out to pay for something on-line and forget to put it back. I take it out to pay for my lunch at the store because I don’t want to lug my purse with me into the breakroom then I forget to put it back. Then it gets washed because I forget to take it out of my pocket at the end of the day and God forbid but my husband refuses to check pockets before he puts things in the washing machine. Yes, I know it’s my own fault.

The other day after missing it for almost a week I found it in a pair of pants I didn’t even wear because I was too lazy to iron them. I have no idea why I would even put it in those pants but it happened. And then I lost it again a week later but found it in my stupid purse in a pocket I swear I checked at least three times. I think God just thinks it’s a hoot watching me search for it.

So what does this all have to do with debt other than it’s funny hearing about my debit card follies?

Going through life, especially when it comes to managing your debt on autopilot is part of our debt problem. We are not paying attention to our money. We have no idea sometimes where it goes or what we have spent it on.

Sometimes I ask my husband where the money went that he had yesterday and he usually says he has no idea. In fact he took a friend to breakfast a few weeks ago and when I saw the bill it was over $50. For breakfast? What the heck did you eat?? I asked him. We tried to figure out what would have cost that much and seriously couldn’t figure it out. How easy was it to just swipe that debit card? He was just on autopilot, probably chatting away and just added a tip and signed his name, not even looking at the bill.

We all spend our money frivolously and on autopilot at times. Every day we go to the same coffee shop, and buy our gas at the same gas station or take our books back to the library and pay a $1 fine and not think a thing of it.

I think that’s why when we talk about debt we aren’t spending money on large purchases most of the time. It’s the autopilot purchases that really get us into trouble. Large purchases we think about first and plan for and try to get the best price. Our vacations, vehicles, homes and furniture are planned items.

I have been seeing posts on Instagram lately from people that are using cash envelopes for their monthly spending. We used to use cash envelopes and it worked great. We were mostly debt free too. However, this was before easy access to on-line shopping and smart phones, which are huge contributing factors to debt for all of us.

Here is a challenge for you: when you are buying something, anything, pay attention to what you are doing. Just be aware. Don’t buy your groceries while talking to your best friend on your cell phone. Don’t go shopping at the mall and get up to the counter to pay for that new sweater all the while searching for your husband’s Christmas gift on Amazon on your phone. In fact put your phone in your purse and say hello to the cashier and pay attention to what you are buying and how much it costs.

I will have to attach a large key chain to my debit card like the ones you get at a gas station when you want to use the bathroom. Seriously!

restroom keychain

See you next time! -MM

Week 14 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – October 2018 Results

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October has been a much more productive month in terms of paying down our debt.

In September we had to pay our school taxes and when you are living paycheck to paycheck saving for them is tough.

With those taxes behind us for another year I was able to make bigger payments on that darn Old Navy balance. Not quite what I was hoping for but still a huge amount for us!

Here we go, the results!

Last month our Old Navy balance ended as $4,410. This month our balanced is now down to $2900!! We got $1510 paid off in 31 days!

Now to the total debt for the month.

We started off the month with a total debt of $32,483.00. Right now on the 31st (Happy Halloween by the way!) our total debt is down to $30,531.00. We paid off $1,952.

Not bad!

Since we started this debt pay down journey in August we have paid off a whopping $5393 in just 14 weeks!

Seems pretty amazing to me since, like I said, we are used to living paycheck to paycheck.

I wish we could have paid off more. Even when we commit to paying down debt things still come up in life we don’t expect and for my family the past couple of month have been exhausting and a bit heartbreaking.

As they always say though, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Last week on Week 13 I took a break and did not post. Not much to really report but I plan on plowing through the next few weeks with more info and hopefully some videos!

Have a great rest of your week and try not to eat all of your children’s candy tonight.-MM

 

Week 12 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Wardrobe Problems

Ladies, has your husband or significant other ever packed your things for a trip? We were participating in a friend’s wedding this weekend and like usual I got hung up at the bakery and didn’t have time to pack anything for myself the night before.

Scott had to pack for me (he is such a good sport), I rushed home from work, jumped in the car with him and we took off for our three hour drive to the rehearsal, with me still clothed in bakery stained work attire.

I have to admit he did a pretty good job throwing all of my make-up and clothes in a bag for me. He even remembered the phone chargers!

But I groaned a bit when I saw the underwear he grabbed for me. Not that anyone but him was going to see me in them, but the elastic is shot on them and well, they are not one of my go to pairs if you know what I mean.

Then I thought to myself, why the hell do I still have them then?

Why do we keep ill fitting clothes? The faded, stretched out, torn, elastic shot clothes that we would be mortified if someone saw us wearing them?

I don’t really have an answer for that. Maybe we just dont want to be wasteful?

I have struggled with clothes lately. Because of our debt pay down plan I have had tremendous guilt about buying anything for myself.

With my new second job as a legal secretary though I need to have some decent clothes so I tried one of those home delivery box services where they send you clothes to your specifications and individual tastes.

The reason why I decided to try the home delivery is that going to the malls is too time consuming working seven days a week, the clothes never fit me properly and the styles malls offer lack imagination. The thrift stores, while cheap, still limit me greatly.

I have to say I was completely impressed with what the home delivery sent me. I got a pair of jeans a shirt, a blouse, a bracelet and a long sweater.

The cost of the box was more than what I am used to paying, but then again I have also been getting my clothes from thrift stores mostly.

I felt great going to work in my new clothes and you know what? I don’t feel too guilty about it. I kept all the clothes because I loved all of them and I will do it again!

Hubby also got a new pair of shoes for the wedding which he really needed and we took advantage of the huge store closing sale at our Bed, Bath and Beyond store to invest in some decent sheet sets because of course ours were torn and stretched out and scratchy.

But the good news is that I didn’t use the credit card to buy any of it. We used our debit card and I still got a large payment made to the Old Navy card this week and we are able to double our contribution to our 401k which our employer matches.

I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to pay off this debt quickly but I have to remind myself that there are going to be things we need to take advantage of when we can to save money in the long run.

We are getting there! See you next week -MM

p.s. congratulations John and Beth!

Week 11 of 80 – Not Impressed with our Debt – Monthly Payment Schedule

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You may wonder if we use a written budget to stay on track with our debt.

I have tried many things over the years and while a written budget with fancy spreadsheets or instant calculation apps are exciting at first, they lose their excitement for me after a few weeks.

The only thing that has worked for me is a good old fashioned hand written notebook. I love lined notebooks. I love the potential of what can be written down on those blank pages.

Each month I write down by week what I need to pay when, taking into consideration due dates and the amounts of the payments.

Here is a generic example of what my schedule looks like this month:

Pay days for us are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Having four jobs and all different paydays helps us feel like we are not living paycheck to paycheck.

You may notice that our mortgage is weekly. This is because with so many other big payments its easier to save weekly for our mortgage rather than pay it in one large sum.

Old Navy will be paid four times this month. I plan on sticking to that unless something else comes up that is an emergency.

Please keep in mind this is only the payments that are due each month. I don’t consider this a budget. This does not include school lunches and haircuts and doctor visits and repairs and entertainment and gifts, etc.

This schedule tells me what I HAVE to pay.  As one debt goes away it frees us up to put more into savings and repairs and such. After the Old Navy is paid my husband and I will be redirecting some of that money into more savings and retirement.

Well that’s about it. This is what I look at every Wednesday to see what needs to be paid first before we do other things.

I am used to it so it doesn’t scare me anymore!

What do you do for a schedule to pay your bills? Do you do something similar?

See you again in week 12! -MM

Week 10 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – October Dinners – Meal Planning

October is already 7 days in, but here is what I am planning for dinner for the rest of October.

Oct 7th                            Oct 8th                   Oct 9th        Oct 10th              Oct 11th

Smoked Pork Chops    Chicken Salad     Breakfast     Crock Pot            Soup & Garlic Bread

Oct 12th                 Oct 13th                 Oct 14th             Oct 15th              Oct 16th

Wing it                Rot. Chicken            Pork Roast         Stuffed Shells       Tacos

Oct 17th                Oct 18th                Oct 19th             Oct 20th              Oct 21st

Burgers                   Soup                    Wedding             Wedding                Pot Pie

Oct 22nd              Oct 23rd               Oct 24th             Oct 25th               Oct 26th

Subs           Pork chops & mushrms   Crock Pot             Pizza                  Night Out

Oct 27th                  Oct 28th                Oct 29th            Oct 30th             Oct 31st

Stuffed Peppers    Veggie Stir Fry       Left Overs            Soup                  Wing it

There are a couple of things to note: We have a wedding we are participating in so dinners those two days are already covered and when I put generic meals like “burgers” I don’t just serve meat and cheese on a bun. We go all out for burgers, particularly because I prefer real ground turkey breast for my burgers and the boys like their beef burgers. We try all kinds of toppings; cheeses, bacon, mushrooms, etc.

Also pot pie in our home is made from scratch. No processed frozen pies. Homemade crust and many times veggies from our garden plus either beef or chicken. It’s soooo good!

I will try to get some videos done of a few of the meals that we make this month or at least some recipe posts with step by step. If you are interested in some of the things I grow, check out the live feed I did from Facebook a couple of days ago of my Garden Harvest

Oh and by the way, I paid another double payment to that pesky Old Navy card this week!

See you next time 🙂 – MM

Next Week’s Post – What our monthly bill payment schedule looks like.

 

Week 9 of 80 – Not impressed With Our Debt – September the Results

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I knew September would be a difficult month for getting any extra debt paid off because our school taxes were due.

Amazingly for the first time in about 8 years we not only paid our school taxes in full and on time but we also got some debt paid too!

Our Old Navy balance started this month with $4710. I only got $300 paid down on it so right now its balance is $4410.

Last month we ended the month with $33,387 in debt and after all the payments we had including the Old Navy payment, we paid off $903.00 in debt. So our ending balance this month is $32,483.

Not bad considering it was school tax time!

Total paid since starting this journey 9 weeks ago – $3441!

I am thrilled about this month’s progress even though I always want more paid off haha!

How are you doing on your debt? See you next week! -MM

Next week – Week 10 – October Dinner Meal Planning

 

 

Week 8 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt -Testing Our Resolve

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I wanted to give up many times this week. So many things have come up and have tested my resolve about paying off our debt, but we have pushed past those feelings of doubt for now.

Part of our problem was we were weary from working so hard and not having a day off. It’s hard work paying off our debt but I want to keep going.

Work issues, family issues and maintenance issues on our home have become overwhelming so taking a step back to think about them before reacting has been helpful.

It’s funny though every time I want to say “forget it!” something unexpected happens and I tell myself to keep going.

That unexpected thing this week was a little something extra in one of our paychecks for a job well done. It was a boost to our spirits for sure!

Next week will be a better week. I even plan on paying the school taxes tomorrow. Yes!

Next week is the September monthly update. See you then. -MM