July 25th, 2010 at 04:19 am
Two weeks ago we sent in our final payment on our car, making our goal of being debt-free by our final Financial Peace University class! I know that if we had not had the concrete goal we would still be paying on it. It was so nice to celebrate with everyone at our closing dinner.
We had a potluck dinner before viewing the final lesson together. My husband has a co-worker that makes cakes so we asked her to make us a credit card cake that everyone could cut a piece out of for dessert. Everyone loved it! Here's the cake:
It sort of seems anti-climatic to be debt-free now. Maybe it hasn't sunk in because I haven't had the chance to enjoy NOT writing that monthly check.
We are now started on our fully funded emergency fund. We have a little over half of a month's worth of expenses so far. I'm anxious to watch that balance grow.
March 3rd, 2010 at 06:13 pm
Well, once again it's been several months since I've been here. It's been a busy time. I'm still taking classes toward an accounting degree. This semester has been particularly tough.
A couple of weeks ago DH and I chaperoned our youth group on a trip to NYC to work with The Relief Bus. It's a mobile soup kitchen based out of Newark, NJ that provides soup, bread and clothing to the poor and homeless in NYC. They also refer them to shelters, job opportunities, health care and counseling centers. It was a really neat few days. It was awesome to see the youth in our group (2 of them our own) step out of their comfort zone and reach out to those less fortunate than themselves. We were all blessed, probably far more than those to whom we ministered.
And some exciting news for us: In 3 weeks DH and I will be facilitating our first Financial Peace University class at our church! This has been a dream of mine for a long time and I'm so excited to finally be getting to do it. We have 20 families signed up so far. I am really looking forward to it. If it changes one family's life as much as it has ours, it will be so worth it!
We are getting so close to being debt-free (except the house)! I can't wait!!!
August 15th, 2009 at 03:53 pm
Thanks to LuxLiving for checking on me. We are alive and well. Last month was a bit of a strain, mostly emotionally.
On July 2nd our middle son (19), who is an EMT in a city 2.5 hours from us, was cleaning some basement walls in his fiance's house and ended up spilling ammonia in both eyes. He had set the bottle up on a pillar above him and when he grabbed the bottle it tilted and poured in his face. He was alone but managed to flush his eyes and dial 911. The ER sent him to a specialist who assured him that the vision would return in 48 hours. 48 hours later the vision was worse. The vision in the right eye was totally gone and the left eye could only see vague shapes. He was referred to a 2nd specialist who also could not find any reason that the vision had not returned.
Finally, on the 3rd week the vision did start to come back slowly. They still wanted to know why it was taking so long to heal so we made a trip to the Cleveland Clinic to be seen at the Vision Clinic. By the time we made that trip the vision was back to 20/20 and only some cloudiness remained on the cornea, which we were told would clear up. I'm thrilled to say that it is all totally clear now. Some of you may remember the accident this same son had a month before his high school graduation when he fell asleep at the wheel, rolled his vehicle 5 times and was lifeflighted to a major trauma center. If anything is going to happen in our family, it will be this child to whom it will happen.
The funny thing is that at the time of the accident he already had an interview set up with the ambulance service that took him to the ER for the following week. He went to the interview BLIND and they HIRED HIM to drive ambulance! I told him that he is the only person I know who could pull that off! By the time he was scheduled to begin work his sight was back.
Now for our 2nd Murphy visit: On July 8th someone hacked into my email and from there, got into my Paypal and Ebay accounts which I haven't used in years. They proceeded to order an iphone and a Louis Vuitton wallet for a combined total of $1500. The Paypal account was hooked directly to both of our checking accounts, but I found out just in time to put freezes on them so that no money was ever removed from our accounts. The crazy thing is that the Louis Vuitton wallet was actually mailed to me from Australia! I refused the package and sent it right back on its way to Australia. I filed a police report but hear that they seldom actually ever do anything. We had the address where they requested the iphone be delivered. It was a medical building in Memphis, TN.
I am happy to report that, besides the mortgage, we are working on our last debt. We owe just a bit over $7,000 and hope to have it paid off early next year, if not before. I am working 2 nights a week and applying all of that income toward this debt. I can't wait to start on a fully-funded emergency fund.
January 9th, 2009 at 03:39 pm
My last post expressed my frustration over not being able to snowball as much as we thought we could from the beginning of this year. Well, I decided tonight to run the numbers I am going to be able to apply toward our 2 debts and found out that we should still be out of debt (except the big mortgage) at the end of next year. That really encouraged me. That's not THAT far away!
January 7th, 2009 at 04:02 pm
DH and I are going through FPU and we had decided that we are finally ready to take the step of stopping our retirement contributions temporarily so we can apply that money to the debt snowball. I had no problem stopping mine at work since I'm the one that does the payroll. DH went into his payroll department and was told that he can't stop his contributions until the beginning of the next quarter.
It's just very frustrating to finally have him on board and now we can't do this. It will really slow the debt snowball down. I guess I'm just anxious to get it done and get a fully-funded emergency fund.
January 1st, 2009 at 04:17 pm
Wow, has it been a long time since I've written on this blog! Lots of changes for us in the past 7 months.
DS#1 is in his last semester of college. He is pursuing an art degree. DD#1 is taking a semester off of college and working to save money. DS#2 graduated high school and is now in paramedic school. He's working as an EMT and loves it. DS#3 is a junior in high school and working on getting his driver's license. DD#2 is in the 8th grade and is growing up way too fast!
DH and I are going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We bought the home kit and just finished the Dumping Debt lesson. We are no longer using credit cards. We should have mortgage #1 paid off this year and the car paid off next year. DH is really getting into it now that he sees it's not boring and it does work.
Our 24th anniversary is this Sunday. We celebrated by buying Walmart's cheapest DVD player ($30) because the Playstation 2 that we'd been using will not play the newer DVDs. We'll go out for dinner on Sunday and use gift cards that we received for Christmas.
I completed 2 more semesters towards my accounting degree. I have 6 more to go. This past semester I took 2 classes instead of just a single and it really worked out well so I'm doing the same this semester.
I have also met my weight goal with Weight Watchers in June and became a Lifetime member in July. Soon after I began working for them as a receptionist. I normally work one meeting a week, but sometimes substitute for others an manage to earn a bit more money. I really enjoy helping other people meet their weight goals.
All in all, 2008 was a pretty good year for our family. I'm hoping 2009 brings a lot of financial advances for us as we strive to pay off the debt.
March 4th, 2008 at 04:28 pm
As I was working in Quicken tonight with DH's profit share check I was listening to my songs I've bought on ITunes and Casting Crowns song, "American Dream", came on. I had to put aside what I was doing for a while and listen to it.
What we discuss here about personal finance is all very important, but there are more important things in life. How many of us are so busy trying to get out of debt that we tend to neglect our families? Just something to think about.
Take a look at the video on YouTube:
. I think it will give you something to think about.
February 21st, 2008 at 04:07 am
I'm getting a little nervous about only having $1000 in my emergency fund. I know the reason that Dave Ramsey recommends that amount is because most emergencies will be under $1000. But with the car repairs (if the insurance hadn't covered them) being over $500 just for struts, that's a little too close for comfort for me.
I also think he recommends the $1000 so that it will spur you on to getting baby step #2 (pay off debts) done faster. I just feel like we're not really making much headway there because there always seems to be something else coming up.
I would really like to save another $1000 just to have a higher comfort level, but then it would be putting off getting the mortgage paid off even longer.
February 7th, 2008 at 01:10 pm
The past few weeks I have felt a sense of urgency to get out of debt that I have not felt before.
I have been working on it steadily for about a year and a half now, but the crisis in the housing market and other economic indicators have really gotten me focused on getting out of debt as soon as possible.
The more I observe what is going on around me and hear the horror stories of couples hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, the more thankful I am that our debt is only $65,000.
I really want to get the debt out of the way and get a fully funded emergency fund built up, just in case.
January 25th, 2008 at 04:15 am
Okay, so this morning I hear for sure that the max that a household is going to get from the stimulus pacakge is $1200. So I had to revise my Quicken Debt Reduction Planner.
With only $1200 put down on the mortgage it extends the payoff date to January 2009. At the end of the year there will only be a balance of $550 left on it though. I'm betting that I can find an extra $550 somewhere this year so that it can be paid off. That will be my challenge to myself.
DH also wants to buy a coal stove for the main part of the house to replace the wood pellet stove. We have found that the coal stove in the kitchen puts off much more heat and is more reliable than the pellet stove. So the money I save each week out of his paycheck will probably end up going for that.
We will probably also need to put a new roof on the main section of the house this year. The garage roof also needs replaced. Ack! So many expensive projects. It's going to make it a real challenge to pay off that mortgage, but I keep telling myself that it will be well worth it.
January 24th, 2008 at 04:04 pm
According to Voice of America
DH and I could be getting $2700 we weren't counting on this year. That's banking on reports that it would be $300 per child, with no limit to the number of children.
I reran my Quicken debt reduction planner, and if that is correct, mortgage #1 can be paid off this November and the car payment could be retired November of 2009.
January 10th, 2008 at 04:04 am
Today is my 41st birthday and it's nice knowing that I'm in better financial shape this year than I was last year at this time.
I really have this site to thank for that. I may not post as often as I used to, but I still check it out from time to time and get encouraged to keep on plugging along paying off those debts.
Thanks to all of you for the encouragment that you offer to others!
January 3rd, 2008 at 05:28 am
I updated my goals and debt totals for the new year. I decided to focus on only 2 goals this year: get total debt below $60,000 and get the smaller mortgage paid down to only $3,000. Wouldn't it be great if it was totally paid off this year! That gives me something to really strive for.
I've picked up an extra bookkeeping job this week for one of the libraries in the area and have the possibility of another that I'm going to find out more about this week. That will give me extra money to apply to the mortgage each month.
My bookkeeping business has tripled in the past couple of weeks! Either word of mouth is going around or treasurers are getting desparate and realizing that with the end of the year passing they need to get their books in order for Annual Reports to the state! LOL! So I'm putting in a lot of hours at home on these part-time jobs.
The first library that asked me to do their books had not even balanced their checking account in at least 2 years! It took me 6 hours to get them straightened out and so far, another 5 to get a financial report designed to meet their needs. The treasurer told me that she didn't pay the 3rd quarter payroll taxes because she "doesn't understand them". What????!!!!! You don't just NOT pay the government!!! Yikes!!!