Debt is Dumb| June

Conserving Liberty

Where do I begin?

June has been a very busy full month, it literally flew by!  It’s now July and I thought I had better post a little progress report on our debt free journey.

Let me just start out with saying what has gone on behind the budgeting and trying to stay on point with our budget.  I have had weekly doctor appointments and ultrasounds for our Little Miss due in September.

Little Miss at 30 weeks
Little Miss at 30 weeks

Our baby girl is being monitored for fetal anemia, which has been a little stressful with all the trying not to worry business everyone says to do.  I have had appointments all over the southern regions of the state in regards to Little Miss, and it’s quite exhausting when you are 7 months pregnant and have to go to these appointments alone or with a 3-year-old.  (Hubs works full-time and we can’t afford for him to take time off… boo)

We have worked hard at getting the kids shared bedroom in order.  We painted the room, set up the crib, Crib set upchanging table, Changing table set upmoved Reds bed to the other side of the room… rearranged the closet, and even set up a play room upstairs.  I have gone through all of Reds old baby clothes, some I am wondering why I saved to begin with!  Some of his old clothes are being donated to charity, some are being sent off to family who could use them and the rest is being sold at a kids consignment store.  I have tried to do Ebay with kids clothes and I do not know what the secret is to making a sale, so I have given up on that option.  I still have quite a bit left to do in the kids room, like put art on the wall, and new curtains that can’t be pulled down by a baby.  And we need a new ceiling light fixture, the current one is an old school light bulb in a socket.  Running out of time and money!

Now down to business…

My goals for June were to:

  1. Get current on past due bills
  2. Start shopping with coupons
  3. Start our emergency fund
  4. Stick to our budget
  5. Sell old truck

Well…

For the most part we are current on our past due snafu we had happen in the spring.  I went in for dental work prior to getting on board with our debt free journey, and when it came time to pay the bill I put it on the credit card.  In return we maxed out said credit cart and went over the limit, and it has literally taken us months to get us under the maxed out credit card status. And to top it all off our insurance didn’t cover the procedure as the dentist billing person told us it would be, so we still owe over $800 for dental work. UGH!!! WILL IT EVER END?!!

I have started to coupon shop more, but I have found that sticking with store brand products is cheaper in most cases then using a coupon with name brand items.  I have shopped at the dollar store for household items and a few toiletries.  I am quickly learning what to buy and not to buy at the dollar store.  (That is a whole blog post in its self)  I have also been using the ibota app,  I have earned back $27.25 in cash by using this app.  When you save $20, you can request that the cash be deposited directly into your PayPal account, or they can send you gift cards.  I prefer the cash back option myself.  If you are interested in ibotta, and haven’t tried it yet you can use the code obvdnmk  when you sign up and after you redeem your first rebate you will get $10 automatically credited to your account, and I will get $5… winner, winner chicken dinner!

In June we were unable to set aside money for our emergency fund, due to our huge maxed out credit card bill.  I am hoping that in July we will be able to put SOMETHING into the fund!  My husband and I did a little recap of what we spent in June, we both thought that we did really well…BUT…  Somehow we ended up spending $60 eating out and we didn’t even budget for it, and we went over our food budget by $60.  Honestly I had no idea that we spent $120 extra then we had planned… how is that even possible when we are paying cash for everything?

Lastly, we did not sell my husbands old truck. Personally I think he is asking too much for it because he has put a little blood, sweat, and tears into it… all I can say is babe let it go! But he isn’t ready, what can a wife do?

After all is said and done, for the month of June we were able to put $1356 towards our total debt, that is our credit carts, car, and mortgage, and I feel good about that number.  Our goals for July, are to start saving for our emergency fund, and to start Financial Peace University, as well as continuing to chip away at our debts.  July is our wedding anniversary month and we decided that we would give ourselves the at home Financial Peace course.  I am looking forward to diving deeper into the process of becoming debt free.

 

 

 

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Debt is Dumb | Monthly Progress for May

Achiving goals

It has nearly taken us our whole lives to figure out that debt is dumb.  Tired of feeling like we are on the verge of drowning, we finally start taking the steps to become debt free.Achiving goals

 On April 29 we learned that James was going to start working for a new company and he would be starting on the 16th of May.  A new job, this is what we had hoped for, wished for, and prayed for. Over the last year we had our fingers crossed for a better job for James, a job that would allow us to have more income and for the hubs to be home every night.  Last year he had several prospective jobs, but nothing was a right fit, and now, GLORY, GLORY our dreams are becoming realities!!  With that being said we knew his last paychecks and his first new paychecks were going to throw our budget off a bit, off in a good way though.  We are able to get current with our bills for the month of May, thanks to basically having two extra paychecks.  I am a little sad that we couldn’t put the extra income in savings for our emergency fund, but we are taking baby steps, and before we can save money we need to get current with our creditors and our regular monthly bills.

Despite starting the month off deep in the hole, roughly $700 in the red we were able to pay our bills, get back in the black, and pay off $751 in debt! I would say that the month of May was a good first solid month of working on our budget.  We made it through our first month of NOT putting anything on a credit card, that alone feels like it needs to be celebrated, I would like a margarita in honor of the occasion, but I wont because I am pregnant and one day when I am debt free I will drink all the margaritas… maybe on a beach vacation, paid in cash! So, here I am drinking my ice water and day-dreaming, cheers to being debt free!

During the month of May we did do a bit of Adulting with our baby steps.  We rolled over my old 401K  into an IRA, and shopped for cheaper car and homeowners insurance, if that isn’t adulting I don’t know what is!?  We also completed one of our first steps to financial freedom, which is a small list of tasks to take care of before you get serious and down to business with your money.

This month we:

  • Committed to NEVER borrow EVER for ANYTHING – We will not dig ourselves and our children into a bigger financial mess, we want to be free!
  • My husband and I talked about our finances and got onto the same page – I do not know why it has taken us so long to get onto the same page with our money, maybe denial?
  • We created a written budget, and plan on maintaining it – My husband and I are a team, and we now sit down together monthly to budget and pay our bills
  • We have temporarily stopped all retirement contributions – We will start contributing as soon as we are on baby step number 4
  • We got current on the basics, food, utilities, shelter, and transportation –  We have always been current with the basics,  although sometimes we don’t seem to have enough food.
  • Got rid of “toys” – We don’t have any toys that are costing us a monthly fee, however we still do have a few items we could sell to put a few dollars into our emergency fund.
  • Cut our lifestyle – We haven’t had a lifestyle in years, we don’t eat out, or even go to see a new movie in the theater.
  • Got current with ALL of our bills.  – This was hard we were behind a payment and over the limit to boot.

Tony Robins Quote - Conserving Liberty- debt is dumb

We completed 8 simple tasks this month, and now we are officially on baby step number one: Save $1000.00 for our emergency fund.  As of now we haven’t set a goal of when to have our $1000, but I am hoping it is with in the next three months.  I am incredibly proud of ourselves this month, we survived the month of May without putting anything on a credit card!

 

 

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Season of My Life

Mom Life

The season of my life.  We all grow and change as we age and experience life, and some phases are harder than others.

When I was twenty-something, life for me was all about having a good time, over spending, and being well, selfish.  I didn’t think much about anyone but myself, I was immature and on the wrong path in life and I couldn’t see my life getting any better financially.  I just kept digging myself a bigger hole, and being in debt was just my lot in life, so I thought.  I didn’t know that I was being a normal dumb idiot, living for today, and not planning for tomorrow.

After my son was born, in 2012 I became a stay at home mom. I had given up so much of myself and my needs, to care for my sweet baby, and was a shock to my whole existence.  I was resentful, tired and I felt alone.  My husband was driving truck for the first 6 months of our sons life and we literally had no friends or family near by us to support us mentally or physically.  I was depressed, and after some soul-searching I decided that I would get off of the pity party train and start thinking positive about the season my life was in. Almost instantly my life started to get better, I started to embrace being a mom, and my husband got a new job where he would be home a bit more.  Life was starting to look up.

Now we are here, almost four years after Red was born.  We own our own home, and my husband has yet another new job with better work hours.  We are expecting our second baby, and we are 110% committed to being debt free in a few years.  I have learned to lay in the bed I have made, if I don’t I will never grow and get ahead and achieve the dreams I have for myself and my family.  I still am taking life one day at a time, living slower and with more thought and intention.  Being present, nurturing my garden, feeding my soul. I am now thirty-something and have learned that it is okay to take care of myself in order to take care of the ones I love, and I don’t need to spend money to show I love myself or others.  I have learned to enjoy the season that my life is in, and that is a mom, quite literally the hardest and most rewarding ‘job’ I have ever had.

I have learned in the last ten years to embrace life, and the moment, and not to try to rush or push for things to go my way.

When I was 20, I thought I was 30 – but I was so far from it. When you’re young, you want everything to happen now. As you mature, you can look back and see all the great things you achieved with time and patience.
Elisha Cuthbert
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A new face

A new face

A new face, and a new beginning.

A new face, and a new begining
Little Miss

This is the face of Little Miss at 21 weeks.   I am now six months pregnant, and I feel blessed to have a second baby, and be a mom again.  I can not wait to meet the little girl who will soon take over our lives at Liberty Acre.  My son Red, who will be 4 when little miss arrives in September, is excited about meeting his little sister.  Red will cuddle up to me with his head on my belly and say he is listening to her, and then he will remind me that he still wants a little brother too. I would love for him to have a little brother, but I am 36 now and the thought of physically having a third baby at this age makes me feel… old?  I am most looking forward to seeing the bond between my son and daughter grow in the coming year, and years after that.

Having a baby does raise a question, how are we going to afford to live after the birth of Little Miss?  Money is super tight, but with James new job things are looking really good and doable in the future.  (If you haven’t yet, please read more about our story .)  I have sold Reds old baby clothes and buying new baby girl clothes with the money, I have also been saving some of his old clothes.  Little Miss now has a closet full of tomboy clothes, and tons of toys I saved from when Red was a baby.  My in-laws generously gave us money that has allowed us to buy a new infant car seat, and a new crib.  I don’t really have much stuff I need to buy for a new baby, just a few odds and ends, and that feels really good.

Red and Little Miss are sharing a room for a few years and I have had a hard time coming up with a new theme that will work for a shared boy/girl room.  Red wants a space themed room and I want a nature theme, I think somehow I can blend the two.  I’ve gone “shopping” at my house for items that I can use in their shared space.  I have cleaned up, and painted an old cabinet I used to store craft supplies in, I will be keeping lotions, powders, creams and what ever other baby potions I might need.  Now I am on the look out for some small glass knobs to replace the old white ceramic ones on the doors of the cabinet.  I have also found two little pictures, one is a saved greeting card, and the Jackalope is from an etsy shop called Nest and Burrow.  Also a vintage seed packet from my grandparents (that still has seeds in it btw) that I plan on using for a gallery wall on Little Misses side of the room.

DIY baby decor

baby nursery decor
For the gallery wall

Memorial weekend we plan on painting the kids room, setting up the crib and hopefully hanging up some decorations on the wall, I can’t wait to share my version of a shared kids room on a budget.  This is a really exciting time in our lives right now as we close the door to our old spending ways, and open a new door with our daughter in just a few short months!

*This post was inspired by the WordPress photo blog prompt “Face

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