Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 22 -23 -Rearranging

It’s been an interesting two weeks. I didn’t think I would get much extra debt paid off this month because I have Town/County taxes to pay, our planes tickets for our trip to Ireland to save for and now these medical bills which just got bigger today.

But get this… we had an unexpected surge of cash this week which lent me to paying our taxes in full (Thank you to Him!), that’s one off the list. We have saved about $500 for plane tickets so far and from the advice of our pastor I am going to apply for a grant through the hospital to help pay for the medical bills from that emergency room visit. We will see what happens.

Remember when I posted about reading all the mail you get? A few weeks ago I got another set of checks from our credit card company where I could use the checks to pay off anything I wanted and the interest rate would be just 2.99% for a full year.

I thought a lot about those checks and I even called the credit card company which was through our credit union and asked about the details. They were in fact valid checks and I could use them for anything.

So after really thinking about it, I decided to sit down with my favorite Credit Union rep yesterday and I asked her what she thought about paying off our Home Equity Line of Credit with one of the checks.

She said “well it would certainly save you a lot of money in interest.” The interest rate on the loan was 15% and the amount I owed was still the exact same amount ($5000) since I took it out 8 years ago. I took the line of credit out in 2010 to pay for the equipment to start my bakery and I still owed the same amount because I kept drawing from it.

Without even thinking about it anymore I told her to do it. I wrote the check and she gave me my receipt and I paid it off. In my mind it’s one more thing that’s done. Yes, it’s on a “credit card” but if you use them correctly they can actually set you free of debt. I have one year to pay it off before the interest rate goes up and believe me I intend to do just that.

Every day I work on our debt. Every day. You have to stay on top of things my friends. Keep working and using your magic to get out of debt. There will never be a dull moment!

See you next week! -MM

 

Not Impressed With Our Debt -Weeks 18 -21

I survived the holiday baking season. The only thing I can say without going into details is that it was awful by the end and I am so glad it’s over! Terrible to say that isn’t it?

During that time though I am happy to report a very good thing and very bummed to report a very not so great thing.

Here is the very good thing:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=547540485763700&id=1455853581377715

I paid off the Old Navy card!! All $2048.00 left on it. In full. Felt amazing!

Now for the not so great news… Remember that emergency room visit I had in November? I am getting a whopping bill for over $3500 from the hospital from it. That’s after insurance took care of only about a $1000 of it. Gotta love that high deductible plan we all have right?

I was devastated at first but not for long. We have to keep going. I will get that $3500 paid off next is all. I am not worrying a single second about it. Yes it sucks but the Old Navy is gone and it’s never coming back.

We accomplished paying off $6500 in debt in 5 months. That’s a reason to celebrate in my book!

I hope you all had a very Happy Christmas and please enjoy your New Year. It’s always a new beginning. -MM

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Week 16 & 17 – Take Care of Yourself

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The last two weeks have been eye opening for me. If you have not suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and/or had large amounts of stress in your life consider yourself lucky.

While working to pay down our debt (which is stressful enough) Life has thrown us multiple curve balls since September.

When people are under large amounts of stress we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Doctor’s appointments get missed, we don’t eat right, we certainly don’t get enough sleep and our families, God bless them, get the brunt of our stress and frustration full on.

Two weeks ago I landed myself in the emergency room for uncontrolled nausea and stomach discomfort. I couldn’t stop shaking and I couldn’t get warm. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. It got worse if I tried to lay down. I was crying and miserable and my husband, the wonderful man, was trying his best to calm me down.

After multiple tests and pumping fluids into my system the only thing they came up with was slightly low potassium. They handed me 4 potassium pills and miraculously within an hour the shaking, nausea and discomfort subsided. Hmm..

They aren’t really sure what caused all of this because my levels were all pretty good. What I suspect? Panic attacks, anxiety, and pure stress. My body is just shot from all of it. I can’t seem to handle any kind of stress right now, which is a real bummer because I have always considered myself a very strong person.

I am making some changes in my life that should drastically cut down on my stress level after the new year.

I plan on taking care of myself better and work harder to make sure my marriage stays strong and that my boys are all happy, well fed and feel loved.

I will not stop trying to pay off our debt. It is still my number one goal for the new year but goals are different than priorities.

Goals are future but priorities are now. -MM

Next week: November results!

 

 

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.