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

 

 

Week 7 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – September Dinners – Meal Planning

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Already in September life in the bakery department has been brutal. Two huge weddings and one to go next week and an unexpected order for 50 cookie cakes this week have put me way behind in my personal life. However, I am still plugging away at our debt!

The thing that gets us into trouble the most with spending money is food. It will suck the money out of your wallet quicker than anything! To combat this you need to be organized and that means spending a little time thinking about meals.

Unfortunately it’s probably the same in your house as it is in ours, the question being, “what’s for dinner?” I ask it every afternoon to my husband and son and my son always says, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t care, whatever you want to make” and my husband says burgers or pizza.

*Sigh* Not too inspiring right?

I have tried meal planning before and I have even blogged many times with “What’s For Dinner” posts which I will link later but I still get frustrated and try too hard sometimes to make the perfect meal for us.

What I am going to show you is just a calendar of dinner ideas for the month of September for us. Each day I can look at it and see just “tacos” or “crock pot” or “baked chicken”. It just gives me something to go by for dinner. It’s not a complete meal plan by any means but sometimes you just need an idea. I even took a photo of the meal plan on my phone so I can reference it when I need to bring home the appropriate ingredients if I don’t have them. If I don’t like what I wrote down or it doesn’t fit our mood I just switch the day out with another. Again this just gives me ideas so I am not just standing there in Aisle #3 wondering what to make.

Here is our meal plan for the month:

Sept 4th                    Sept 5th            Sept 6th             Sept 7th                 Sept 8th

Rotiss Chicken         Crock Pot           Stir Fry               Wing it                    Tuna Noodle

Sept 9th                    Sept 10th           Sept 11th          Sept 12th               Sept 13th

Turkey Dinner          Grilled Sands.    Leftovers           Crockpot                Tacos 

Sept 14th                  Sept 15th           Sept 16th          Sept 17th               Sept 18th

Wing it                      Pot Luck              Chili                   Pizza Breads          Soup

Sept 19th                  Sept 20th            Sept 21st         Sept 22nd              Sept 23rd

Meatloaf                    Big Salads           Wing it              Rotiss Chicken      Pork Roast

Sept 24th                 Sept 25th              Sept 26th         Sept 27th              Sept 28th

Breakfast                 Pork chops             Crockpot           Chix Kiev             Wing it

Sept 29th                Sept 30th

Pot Luck                 Spaghetti 

I didn’t get started doing a meal plan as you can see until the 4th. Most of these are pretty generic. Soup could be anything that sounds good or that I have on hand at the time. Pot luck is just a reference for me that it is Euchre night at friends and I have to bring a dish to pass. Rotisserie chicken is something easy I can bring home from the store for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is most likely scrambled eggs and toast because it will just be the hubby and I that night.

Friday “Wing it” nights are nights we are just going to figure it out. Probably just a take out night or leftovers. Crock pot and stir fry are also whatever I want to go into the crock or frying pan.

As you can see this is just a reference. Something to look at and go by. It has already changed a lot so far but it helps me.

Hopefully by the end of this week I will have enough to pay our school taxes. Yay!! New York residents got our property tax rebates in the mail last week and it covers almost a third of the bill for us! I was not expecting it and it certainly was a blessing.

By next week we will be back to paying down the credit card.

Do you have a meal plan or any kind of food plan you use to make your life easier? I would love to hear about it! -MM

If you are interested in reading my previous blog posts about “What’s For Dinner” here are the links

What’s For Dinner Week 1

What’s For Dinner Week 2

What’s for Dinner Week 3

What’s For Dinner Week 4

What’s For Dinner Week 5