We did it!! We did it!!....our first big debt free purchase.
We bought me a newer snowmobile. We paid $4280 he wanted $4,500. We also had another $400 for the taxes.
Boy, it's hard for me to find the words to describe the feelings around all this . But I know some of you already know and many of you will know in time.
Here is me on my new snowmobile
We did it!! We did it!!....our first big debt free purchase.
Just thought I would share how we do our money week by week.
Every Friday when my dh gets paid I take out $400 for that week. We start our week on Friday, because we like to have lots of money to spend on the weekend then scrimp during the week. AND when that money is gone, we only take more money out if we really really really need something. I know this might not be strict enough for most but it has got us out of debt .
We are *DEBT FREE as of this morning. I paid the last $1,000 just hours ago. Who would have thought two years ago this girl would ever be standing here. AND it all started with one little computer click of "Living beneath your means", and the adventure had began.
Now we are going to get me a newer snowmobile. Our income tax return will be $2,500 and next month we will have another $2,000 from my paycheck to go with it. Crossfire here I come.
Then we will start putting $500 away every month to take everyone to Disneyland or Disney words. It will only take two years and we will have $12,000 to help take everyone the see M I C K E Y M O U S E.
AND I know One Day at a Time, we will never be in debt again because this last two years have taught us tons.
*Except our house. Which we owe under $55,000 on, with an interest rate of 4.78%. We will start paying a little extra each month on it.
Just in case you might like to know what's happened with me and my Living Beneath my Means money adventure....Here Goes....
Here are the bills we had when I started my journey
-$11,000 CC at 0%interest for next 10 months with large possibility of keeping it 0% until paid off
-$18,000 car loan at 6.99% (paid $100 in interest this month and last month)
-$8,000 car loan at 6.24% (paid $50 in interest this month and last month)
New money stuff
-$3,500 for new hearing aides (also paid off during my year away.
-$1,000 to our son to help with wedding
For a grand total of $41,500 plus lots of interest.
OK where are we now (medium size drum roll please) We are now almost completely debt free (except our house which we will work on next). Everything is paid off except the last $1,000 dollars on the 0% interest CC. And that will be paid off by Febuary if not sooner.
Soooooooooooo, I figure we have paid off about $50,000 including interest in just under two years. AND we still lived pretty good during that time.
It's really important for me to "Feel Good in almost all situations No Matter What"
But I find it really hard to feel good when I feel I might have wasted money or been taken advantage of where money is concerned. However, feeling bad has never helped me....it just causes disease inside me.
So I thought I would write about it to help me feel better....
I took my DM to the car testing place to get her car tested and it did not pass.
Thus, I offered to get it fixed for her because her income is very limited. As we were having a bite to eat waiting for the car to get fixed. She mentions my brother called her and said be sure you run the heck out of the car before getting it tested and that maybe it would have passed if we had done that.
Okay you all get how that might have hit me like a ton of bricks!!! And I couldn't get mad at my mom because she felt bad enough as it was.
This all cost me just under 200 dollars of possibly wasted money. Money that I might still have if she would have just share with me what my brother said???
But letting this bother me only hurts me and my health. And in the scheme of things this is not a biggie...I keep reminding myself.
For me, itís important to have a bottom line. A bottom line keeps things in perspective. This is what guarantees the ďAnd Loving it part of my journey.
The bottom line for me is do not charge. Anything other than that is just ďOh Wellď. This kind of thinking keeps a smile on my face no matter what happens. Some Oh Wells that I have faced recently are:
Washer repairs (Oh Well)
Chimney repairs when I thought it only need cleaned. (Oh well)
Little truck car repairs. (Oh Well)
Couldn't put any extra on the focus loan (Oh Well)
Had to use part of our EF (Oh Well)
Because of having established a bottom line itís easier to say Oh Well.
Do you have a bottom line in your money journey?
I have tried for ever to get my DH to help me with the finances, but it just does not seem to be his thing.
Pre starting my "Living Beneath our Means and Loving it Journey",my DH would use his credit card for lunch every day. Since I have started us on this journey, he has only used it a handful of times.......so he is NOT fighting me. He just does not seem to want to live it and breath it, with me.....LOL....But then on the other hand maybe I should not live it and breath it quite so much. lol
BUT I think I have found a trick that has brought him on board. A few weeks ago I started putting up on the fridge a running tally of where I was spending his weekly check. This weeks Looked like this
$687 Week of 8-1
-87 snowmobile account
-30 DH's allowance
-25 Wife lunch with sis
-21 wiper blades little truck
-38 little truck gas
111 walmart groc + round up
-20 cash 10 adams birthday
-42 big truck gas +ice
-10 adj ( not sure what happen
-20 lake cruise tickets
-25 stevia order
- 60 grand daughter school clothes
-17 wife walkman
-25 deer tag
-17 grand daughter toy/flowers for wife
$ 86 left
This system has brought him on board...I just heard him the other day talking to DSIL about how he and DD might want to do it. The down side to this is he sometimes now........questions one of my expenditure. lol
I have noticed I have control issues. I sometimes use "my getting the money in order" as an excuse to control my dh. He's not big on taking care of the money, he's happy to let me make most of the decisions. But once in a while he has opinions about what should be done with the money and I find myself fibbing
and making excuses as to why we have to do it my way. I have heard admitting something is half the battle and at least I'm will to admit I have control issues.
I have never felt like I feel now about money. Everything about money use to have me tied in knots.
I think money caused most of my achy body too. Since starting my Living Beneath my Means journey most of my body aches have miraculously disappeared.
I use to think I would end up using a walker by the time I was 65 and that was only 10 years away. Now I feel like I could dance all night every night until I'm at least 100.
We seem to have tons of money. I am certainly revelling in all this. I feel better now then when we had refinanced our house 5 years ago and took out a few Thousand to play with.
We paid off our first focus loan this morning. That's a little over $8000 in 6 months, Who would have thought, not this girl.(Boy am I dancing the hurray I'm on my way to being debt free dance)
The most exciting part is now we can put atleast $1000 a month on my car. It's the bigger of the two that are feft but it's at almost 7% interest and the smaller one is at 0% interest.
We will be saving tons of interest because for every regular payment $100 still goes to interest. This is so much fun. And we can still afford to get everything we need and tons of things we really really really want.
We aren't going exactly gazelle intensity more like giraffe intensity.
The loan we paid off was our truck and beings it now owned by us we can get the full coverage taken off it and save even more money.
Our lawn mower went out a few weeks ago, and we have been using my daughters while I researched what to get.
We have gone through two high end self propelled mowers in the last 6 years. With that in mind, as I researched many articles said the manual machines had much less breaking down. Being I'm also into exercise....I can consider mowing with a manual machine one of my upper body workouts for the week.
So today I bit the bullet and got a new machine, I had also looked at used machines but that did not seem like the "inspired action" (I'm very
into "inspired action") so I went new. Being we had the money in our EF. (yah for EFs) I spend $217 with tax got a Troy Built with a big engine. My research also said get a big engine. I loooooooove mowing. I'm sure me and my baby will spend tons of content hours mowing together. Here is my little machine.
We went out to lunch yesterday. I wanted nachos. I don't eat that kind of food often, so if I was going to indulge I wanted great nachos. Hence I went to the last place I had great nachos....They had quite serving nachos, but they had something close so I ordered it. We had an OK lunch.
We will not be going out to lunch again anytime soon. We don't go out to lunch often and now I remember why; It's a waste of money. Boy have I changed. We use to go out all the time in our last life.
I don't feel quilty because we make good money and can aford to go out to eat if we want. I just feel like I wasted $32 that could have been spent in a more fun way. I could make a list of other things I would rather have done.
The craziest part is I just waited two weeks for my DH's paycheck to come so we could buy a new tubing tube.
Then turned around and wasted half the price of the tube again on going out to lunch, which was good but not that good.
Oh well not a big deal. And it cool to see how much we have changed, since we became. Living beneath our means fiends.
Also I just started keeping a running tally on the fridge of where my DH weekly check goes, so I will have to look at the silly $32 we threw away at going out to lunch.
We have been doing DR for a few months now, and I find that when I listen to him I have to run it through "my truth o meter" before deciding what is right for me. In the beginning I needed to take what he said as gosple because "my truth o meter" in regards to money was broken......but now it's not. So I still love DR and agree with tons of what he says but not all.....at least for my situation.
DR "strongly" suggests everyone pay off there debt at what he calls "gazelle" intensity. And we all know gazelles are really, really, really fast. In the beginning, I was obsessed (using gazelle or at least deer intensity) with paying off our first focus loan and I think that was a good choice for me and I will continue that until that loan is gone, which will be very soon. But after that I will side step from one of DR's golden rules
DR has what he calls baby steps, baby step 1 is to get a $1000 emergency fund, which we have accomplished. Baby step 2 is to pay off debt at "gazelle" speed which I agree with to a degree. Baby step 3 is to increase the emergency fund to cover at least 3 months expenses. This is where I will be side stepping. After we pay off the first debt we will start using any extra money we have to up our emergency fund to about $3000. I am doing this because it feels like a better choice for me. (And I have learned in the past to always go with my gut feelings) Then we will return to using "giraffe" intensity to pay off our other two loans.
DR also "strongly" suggests supending your retirement contributions to use in paying off your debt. I don't agree with this in my situation. I'm 54 and even thought I love my job and I mean LOOOOOOOOOVE my job, I still will want to retire some day. Furthermore, I believe with the market down right now I would be stupid to not take advantage of buying at such cheap prices.
Things are going spectacular..just got back from our non-scrimping camping trip that we had more than enough to pay cash for.
So now we're back and focusing on living below our means again so I can pay $350 plus $100 *daycare for the **class I'm taking next week without using our EF. I know we can do this we just need to only buy that which we really need this week and next.
Right now we have $470 in our general bank account. And my dh gets paid at least $500 tomorrow. So we just need to not buy any wants even really really wants for about a week. Were up to the challenge!!!
*The daycare is for my grand daughter who is keeping grandma company a lot this summer.
**I need to take this class because I'm a teacher and need it to top out on the pay scale.
We are going camping for the 4th and taking and paying for my daughter, her hubby and three kiddies.
I love being able to do this and not charge anything and splurge a little and still not charge. I started to write what we had spent so far but I decided I did not want to think about that right now. I am putting it in my budget though. We make good money and can easily afford it.
Paying tons on our focus loan is taking a back seat this month in order to not scrimp on camping. It's all a matter of balance. And "for me" life is all about having fun. Sometimes "my fun" is paying tons on our focus loan and other times it's not scrimping on camping. As soon as we get back from camping we will jump on the focus loan again. Even with the luxury camping we will have it paid of before the end of August at the latest.
It sure is a whole different feeling when a little emergency happens and we have the money in our emergency fund to easily cover it. Makes the emergency seem like next to nothing. Sure brings a whole new meaning to the saying "IT'S ONLY MONEY", when you have the money to cover it without robbing from "peter to pay paul".
Beings it's a womans prerogative to change her mind.......I've done just that. In fact, I'm a pro at it....... but only two have to do with my financial situation at this point. Hence, I'm going to share those with you. We have gone back to not charging anything...I use my debt card instead. I was listening to Mr. Ramsey and he was talking about the emotional conection that goes with charging "for most".......and I decided that I belong in that catagory.....the "for most" catagory. So for me not charging is the best for my emotionally.
The other turn around is with an emergency fund. I have started building an emergency fund. Now I still believe the happy I am the less emergencies that happen to me......but at times I let my happiness guard down and things break like the washing machine and the lawn mower. And it sure helps my peace of mind to have the money on hand to cover them.
My emergency fund is $1000 at this time and keeping it there is my number one priority.
Now I just want to brag a little about how well we are doing on paying off our focus loan we have paid an extra $5,000 since FEB.......That's 50 extra 100 dollar bills we have come up with in about 5 month (who would have thought it would be so easy....not this girl......or i would have started this long ago) And we are not living on exactly "beans and rice".
Well maybe not exactly steak and lobster either......well not every night anyway.
Everything has been going really well since in last posted. It's all becoming my new way of life. Here are the catogories I have settled on that work best for me when managing my money. I do this all on a free site called ezpiggy.
Auto boat insurance
(The above are all the ones that stay the same every month....next are the ones that I have a budget for but remain flexible with)
Auto Gas his $125
auto gas hers $125
Intertain and rec $500
Needs and really really really wants
This works great for my needs.
I can't even put into words how much better I feel since starting this journey. There is not a part of my life that it has not impacted. It's like a rubics cube (remember those) because when i make one even small move everything shifts.
Example I usually spend tons on flowers for the yard every spring. And this year I'm really into appreciating what is there already. I spent a couple dollars on seeds which are kind of coming up. and $4 on some fake flowers for my planter.
Now I have not said no flowers but it just has not seemed very important. My yard has tons of flowers in it anyway.........but I have been really really really enjoying everyones elses flowers more than ever.
I have not bought any new clothes since my journey started......again not because I have told myself no but because I have realized I already have tons of really cut clothes already.
Had an interesting experience today. Was wondering if any others have had it.
Needed to do some OK spending but was overwhelmed with feeling of youíre blowing it..............I'm a teacher and each year we have $250 that we need to spend by June 1 or we loose it......you spend your own money first then are reimbursed at the end of July for your purchases. Guess it freaked me out because I was buying fun items that I would not have bought without the school money combined with the lag between my paying for it and being reimbursed.
I also am getting ready to pay for the classes I will be taking this summer about $1000 worth. In fact that guard part of me is making me feel like I have to justify why I am spending this money. (well guard part the classes will eventually make me more money)
The really cool part is I will be able to pay cash for all of it........where as before I always charged it. Then had to really scramble to get it paid off before interest was charged.
Another thought as to why it might be bothering me.......I am on a real roll on paying on my focus loan and accumulating savings and these expenditures will slow that down momentarily. In fact the school stuff will came out of saving and be paid back in July.
PS with alittle of the $250 I bought a remote headset for my computer so I can listen to fun things while I do my planning. I also bought little recorders so the kidos can have fun recording themselves reading..........anything to get them to read and especially REREAD.
Oh well it's all part of the Fun Fun Fun journey.
Who would have ever known that controlling my money instead of it controlling me could be so much fun. AND we don't feel like we're doing without either. (guess that attests to how much money we were wasting.
We have been able in just one month to pay an extra $550 on our focus loan and put $400 in savings. And we have not gone without, nor have we gotten any extra money this month. In fact we budgeted $500 (and spent) for recreation and intertainment and still accomplished the above. I feel like I'm dancing on air most the time.
Everything that I think that I need to do is all only in order to propel me to some place that when I get there, I think I will be happier. So, everything that I am doing, no matter what it is, all of my lists of rights and wrongs about spending are all about me getting to a place that I believe I will then be happierÖ So I think I will just take a short cut and JUMP TO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!
It's important for me to be as happy as I can be while I'm on my journey. I don't want to be thinking I will be happier when this is paid off or that is paid off. My life is all about the journey. That is why I like to look at everything as a game. Right now I am having tons of fun playing the manage my money different game. And every day is like going to the circus it's so fun.
Grocery update........remember I said I would not buy food for last week unless it was something we needed. In fact I didn't even look at the food ads for last week. (Hurray for me.......I also like to cheerlead myself) Yesterday Sunday we started needing a few things. I had written a list as I notice we needed something. (Hurray again for writing a list) So I went and picked up some of things on my list. I only bought one thing that was not on my list and that was because the kind of butter I use was on almost half price and I remember I only have part of a tub left.
Also hubby got paid and we put another $100 on our focus loan and another $100 in savings.(happy drum roll) It just tickles me pink how much extra money we have not that I don't buy on a whim. And we are not having to deny ourselves anything we reaLLY REALLY REALLY WANT.
When ever I feel irritated itís always my fault. I can let things others do irritate me; but itís never their fault, itís always my fault. Since I started believing this my life has become a lot less complicated and happier. Sometimes I still forget. Then I remind myself no one can irritate you , sweetie, but yourself.
What I have found since I have started embracing this new knowledge is, I donít stay irritated long. Because if itís my fault Iím irritated, then I must have the power to pull myself out. I donĎt have to wait around for whoever I am irritated at to straighten up and do things my way. I just have to find something else to focus on until what ever I am letting irritate me passes.
Just thought I would share this beings I was letting my husband irritate me this morning and one of our dogs irritate me this evening. Then I remember it's all about JOY and feeling good and being irritated is as far away from feeling good as I can get. It also makes me want to spend and eat. Oh by the way this is my second NO SPEND DAY in a row.
Besides being irritated ages me twice as fast and JOY make the aging go in
SLOW-MOTION. And this girl does not mind getting older as long as she hardly shows her age. Joy is the fountain of youth.
A good friend of mine has just gotten back from an outrageous Seminar about something we are both really into that I would loooooooooooooove to go to. And the middle of May it's in Seattle, which is close to us. But the way money is right now we would have to charge without cash to back it. Sooooooo I have decided to buy the book for $17 and start getting my feet wet with the book. Now there is still a possiblity that we can go but only if all our ducks figure out how to get in a row on their own.
What was even more of a test was to pay our extra $100 on our focus loan and the $100 to our savings from this paycheck instead of using it to partically pay for the seminar. I'm getting stronger and it only hurt really bad for about an hour.
Went to albertsons and bought 20 for $20 then when you got to the register they subtracted another $8 only spent $12 for those items and $5 for a few more.
Next went to Rosauers half off sale and spent $19 for some great buys.
(Now remember I'm alergic to sugar, so most of what I bought was pretty healthy no junk but I did buy a few quick fixes because cooking is not my favorite thing.)
Then to the produce market when I got a box of scrumptious apples for 55 cents a pound and a few other things for a total of $20.
Now the plan is not to buy anymore food for at least the rest of this week and hopefully next unless its a have to have. I'll post here what I buy to keep myself accountable. I love playing the buy ahead because it's cheap game but I want to stay on or below budget also.
I definitely plan on finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I was setting up a Debt reduction tickler and I couldn't get my balance when subtracted from the total on the tickler to equal the same balance as my banks.
I kept re-adding and re-adding until I realized you're forgetting the interest, sweetie............all your payment does not go on your loan......You forgot that each time you make a payment some of it is eaten up by interest.
This little situation just went to show me how sneaky interest is. I sure am glad my new journey will only have me dealing with positive interest in the near future.
We went snowmobiing Friday and when we got up there the Artic Cat snowmobile tour machines were up there. So we got to pick a machine and do a demo ride. It was only suppose to be a 20 to 30 minute ride but........they had us out for 2.5 hours. AND I found out I could easily get use to riding a big machine......(when we can afford to pay cash of course). I did not feel tempted at all....I was able to enjoy it for what it was an exciting free ride and great gas savings. Because I still really love my little $800 machine and it loves me.
Me and my little machine......see how much fun we have together. Now I bet that big machine would not do this for me!!
Got my hair done. I was able to wait an extra 3 weeks this time. Usually I get my hair done every 8/9 weeks.......foil and cut for about $65. (use to spend over $100 for my hair when i use to get it done on the boulevard , but now that I get it done in the slums (close to where I live it's cheaper)).
Did not make myself wait, it just didn't seem to need done so soon. In fact I had scheduled the appointment when I last had it done and my hairdresser had to call me to tell me I had missed it. So i rescheduled then rescheduled again because it still look great.
Now its done and it really looks even more great. But it was nice not to feel like I looked like an old hag just before I went. And the new do is bringing me much JOY and you know how I feel about JOY,
Here's kind of what I look like with my new do.
Yah right......in my dreams maybe!!!
I also love grocery shopping and especially getting groceries for half price or almost. My new game is seeing how close to half price I can get things, then stocking up a little. I never buy things JUST because its half price though.
We hardly ever buy sweets or snacks because we eat very healthy not veggan or anything. In fact my dh is the almighty hunter and gatherer. But I am alergic to sugar and my dh is not a big sugar eater so that makes what we buy pretty healthy. Actually right now the only things snack like we have in the house our regular doritos, chex mix, and pudding. And all of those are pretty healthy as far as snacks go.
I set up a little extra area in the basement for my stock ups. All I have down there now are two boxes of taco shells that I got for 1$ a box.
I started getting the paper on Wednesday so I could have the food ads so I can see where what we need is the cheapest. I pass by all the stores on my way to work so it's not out of my way.
I love games and I know this one is going to really bring down our grocery bill and still have us eating great.
It's spring break for me. So that means it's get the yard ready for spring time. And the sun has shined for the last two days so.......out in the yard I have been.
I looooooooove working in the yard (but then I love most things) but i especially love working in the yard. It talks to my soul and brings me much joy. And if you read my blog regularly you know how important JOY is to me. (like the most important thing in my world.....what directs my every action)
It's cool how living beneath our means and JOY go hand in hand for me. I'm finding new joy in all my old things now that my focus is not what can I buy next. Besides I'm not denying myself that much because if its a need we get it and if its a really really really want we get it as soon as we have cash to get it. And so far we have had cash for all our really really really wants. The happier I am the happier I am.......
I think I'm about ready to start playing my charging game again.
We have a Southwest card that I use to run everything I can through to get those free flights. We regularly get two, almost free flights a year (I say almost because there is a $50 yearly fee on the card (and no they won't remove it I tried but it's still a great deal)).
And now that we have our finances straighened out and a plan in place, I think its time to jump back into that game.
This is my plan for playing the charging game again .... as soon as I charge an item I will record it as if the money is already spent......(which it is duh) I use a free program called ezpiggy to record everything.
Then instead of looking at my bank account balance to see how much money we have spent and have left, I will look at my ezpiggy account for that info.
We seem to have more money to spend now that we are not spending as much. Kind of a crazy "catch 22"
Here's some place I could go on one of my free flights.
As you can tell by my blog, pictures inspire me and bring me joy........so after a few day free trail of the My Photo slideshow Screensaver......which i throughly enjoyed.... i just paid $25 for my own copy. And it up and running on my CP. My grand kids love it too because most of the picts. are of them.
More picture inspiration.
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