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Updates & Coordinating a Financial Peace University Class!

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!!!

Introducing Ramsey...

September 30th, 2009 at 03:33 am

We added a new member to our family in March. His name is Ramsey and he has really livened up our household. He's a 4-pound Yorkshire Terrier. When we got him he was only 1.6 pounds, so he's really filled out since then!



I have always wanted a Yorkie and so when DS#3's girlfriend's dog had puppies and they said they'd only charge us half-price, I started saving my blow money. Slowly, but surely, it added up until I had just enough by the time the puppies were ready to come home.

I couldn't make up my mind which of them I wanted. There were 2 girls and a boy in the litter. I was pretty sure I wanted a girl, but which one? On the way home from church one night DS#3 mentioned that he really liked the boy puppy and if we didn't take him, his girlfriend's parents were going to keep him just because he was so lovable. I told him that I didn't have a name for a boy though. I had a couple of names picked out for a girl. DH replied that I should name him Dave Ramsey since I listen to him all the time. And so that is how Ramsey became a part of our family.

New Hobby

September 25th, 2009 at 02:21 am


DH and I have stumbled upon a new hobby that we enjoy. It's even better because we can do it together and it's not very expensive.

I was wracking my brain for a birthday gift for him last spring and a friend suggested a GPS unit so we could go geocaching. I had never heard of geocaching until about a year ago. I thought it sounded interesting so I did a little bit of research. Now, I am a big fan of the TV show Amazing Race, but we could never do that together because we would either kill each other or get divorced. Too much pressure! But, geocaching I thought we could handle.

So I found someone that wanted to upgrade to a better GPS unit and bought their used one from them for us to give this a try. We are now hooked! All it costs us is our gasoline and money for a meal if we decide to eat out.

For those that don't know what geocaching is, it's a sort of treasure hunt. We go to
Text is geocaching.com and Link is www.geocaching.com
geocaching.com and download coordinates for the caches we want to find into our GPS unit and off we go. We drive to the area where the cache is hidden and then follow the GPS to within a few feet and then the hunt begins.

A cache can be very small (think medicine container) or rather large. Quite often they are in ammunition boxes. When you find the cache, there is a log to sign and goodies that you can trade. We carry a bag with odds and ends in it to leave in the caches. Quite often, I get a Happy Meal at McDonald's so that I can leave the toy that comes in it.

We have found 75 geocaches so far. Right now we are working on a series of caches for which we will earn medallions when we are done.

A few of the kids have gone geocaching with us when they were able and have enjoyed it also. It's a great recreational activity for the whole family. It gets you out to places that you might not otherwise ever see and you get exercise while doing it.

Blown Engine

September 24th, 2009 at 06:10 am



LuxLiving tells me that I need to update, so here I am. :-) I do mean to post here more often, but it just doesn't seem to happen.

We are doing fairly well. We did have some excitement this past Tuesday. Son # 2 (of course!) called and asked us to come pick him up. He was on the interstate and his engine blew! He said that oil sprayed everywhere and the compartment filled up with black smoke so that he couldn't see to pull over. He slowed and edged over until he felt the rumble strip and managed to get off the road. By the time we'd gotten to where he was stranded, he had the car at a salvage yard and made arrangements to send them the title to scrap it. So he is without a car once again. This was the 6th car since he started driving 3 years ago that has bit the dust!

We are still whittling away at debt. We have just over $6,000 left on the car and then we will be on to working on a fully-funded emergency fund.

I did quit my 2 evening jobs. It was getting to be too much with taking 2 classes and DD's volleyball season starting up. I got to figuring that by the time I bought my dinner those nights and took into account how much I spent on gasoline, I really wasn't making anything anyway. It's been a huge relief. I am still doing bookkeeping for one library as a side job though.

Guess that's all I can think of that's happened lately. Hopefully I'll get back here before Lux has to tell me it's time. :-)

Murphy Strikes

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.

Frustrated

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.

Long Overdue Update

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.

Bad Day

March 6th, 2008 at 04:21 pm


Today was not my day. It started out by me forgetting to take my lunch to work so I had to end up buying a slice of pizza while I was on the road doing a delivery.

Got to the library. Got out of the car and slipped on the ice and fell flat on my left side. Both hands were full so I couldn't even break my fall. Get into the library, and since it's Thursday and the library director works, our lights were not on. (She can't be bothered to flip on the 2 switches at the end of the row that she turns on). Marched up front and turned the lights on and told her I'd fallen. She laughed. That really made me happy. It is her responsibility to call the borough and get them out to sand. She didn't bother.

On my delivery I came around a bend and was face to face with a semi. A state truck was pulled off the road on the opposite side with it's 4-ways on so the semi had come into my lane to go around it. Thank goodness the System Jeep has good brakes!

Get to my delivery place, unload all the books and audio books onto my cart. Start up the ramp into the library and get halfway up and slip on ice. Managed to catch myself so that I and the cart didn't go sliding to the bottom.

Yes, it was an exciting day. Not one I'd care to repeat again. I hope I'm able to get out of bed tomorrow. I'm already feeling the effects of the fall.

I did have to sort of chuckle at my one delivery stop. I was checking in the books and realized that the radio station that was on was playing
Text is Bad Day and Link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIcFgl6zf3A
Bad Day by Daniel Powter. Couldn't have been more appropriate.

Car Repairs

February 14th, 2008 at 05:59 am


I have had my Equinox to the shop at least 5 times over the past 3 weeks. It has a bad strut that they believe is a result of my accident several months ago. Well, each time I've taken it up and left it, the strut that they are going to put on it hasn't fit. After trying to force 2 of them to fit and ruining them in the process, they finally contacted the manufacturer. They had tried to make them universal so that they would fit either side. Someone wasn't thinking too clearly because the place where they fasten on is on the wrong side if you are trying to do the driver's side. So now they have recalled ALL of those struts!

The shop found one factory strut in a dealership near us, but the cost is over twice as much as after-market struts. They are trying to turn this into my car insurance and get it covered since they also found that the strut plate was bent and it's on the side that ended up in the ditch. So we are waiting to hear whether it will be covered or not. If not, it's going to cost us over $500 if they have to put the factory strut on! That's about what I have in the car repair budget, but that was being saved to get DH's paint job done on his truck that keeps getting put off.

Getting Lost in Lost

February 2nd, 2008 at 01:15 pm


I've spent way too much time the past 2 days watching repeats of
Text is Lost and Link is http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing?lid=ABCCOMGlobalMenu&lpos=FEP
Lost. I had watched it when it first began but didn't see any of last year's episodes. I decided I wanted to get back into it again, especially when I saw that you can watch all of the previous episodes on-line for free.

So yesterday I began with the pilot episode and am making my way through season 1.

I figured this is a much cheaper way to do it than buying the DVDs for all 3 seasons!

Not What I Wanted

January 31st, 2008 at 04:15 am


I sat down this morning to figure out how much I could pay on the mortgage payment that is due tomorrow. I want to pay $604.16, but looks like I'll only be able to pay $307.48, maybe a bit more depending on how much overtime is in DH's paycheck. But that's more than the minimum I have to pay of $235.34 so I guess that's better than nothing. The oven repair set me back this month and then the unexpected ER visit and DD#2's new medicine that she's taking for migraines.

I should be getting my first paycheck for the new bookkeeping job in a couple of weeks, so I'm planning on putting that on the mortgage.

And I've been told that I may be getting another bookkeeping job. I guess the librarian at the library just across the border in NY state is pushing for me to do their books for them. I went over a couple of weeks ago and helped her treasurer get their QuickBooks set up. When she heard that I do a monthly report for the libraries so that they know what they're spending, she was interested. Right now they pay an accountant to do their books. All he does is figure payroll and then inputs the yearly information into the annual report. He doesn't give them a monthly report so she never knows exactly how much she's spent on collection items or anything else for that matter. So keep your fingers crossed that she can convince her board to hire me!

Expensive 2 Days

January 29th, 2008 at 03:55 pm


We've had 2 expensive days in a row. Yesterday we spent $46 on a new prescription for DD#2. She's been having migraines lately and the doctor wanted her to try a couple of new medicines. So a trip to the drug store resulted in being $46 poorer.

Then, of course, the ER trip last night wasn't cheap either. We haven't paid anything yet, but we have a $55 co-pay so that bill will be coming in the mail, plus any fees from the doctor that we'll have to pay $20 toward.

Today we had to have a repairman come and fix our oven. It needed a new ignitor. I was thinking it would be about $65 or so. Ha! Just to have him come out was $85 and the part brought the total to over $150!!!

Guess my first paycheck from my new library bookkeeping job will go to pay for the oven. Bummer!