creating a debt free life

Posts tagged ‘work’

What does wealth mean to me /you ?

 

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Another blogger posed the question, what does wealth look like, or mean to  you. I did not have to think long. She suggested some things, among them nice cars or house, but to us, that is not what we are going for.

 

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Wealth to us, my husband and I means security. Freedom. When you owe money, you are in many  ways, working for the  company you owe. You work for them, not yourself. You have to plan your life around work you have to do to pay those debts every day. Now, I know there is money you make that does not go to them. But  if you have substantial debt, you have a lot of hands held out each month and often times, when you include your mortage, they get a lot more  of your check than you do. Period the end.

We have dreams of course. We want to pay off our house and we want to buy a building downtown to start a business. With no mortgage, that is possible. With a mortgage, possible but stressful and not probable.

Retirement for us  has never meant to stop working and just play golf and sit around be lazy. Quite the opposite. We want a business to run, something we love to do when he retires from where he works now,  so we keep active and busy . We want reasons to get up every morning. A purpose. We want to be part of the community and get involved with community events and enjoy being out in the world.

David will never retire from working. He is very vocal about that. He saw his own father retire and sit in a recliner and die. He refuses to own a recliner. They are not allowed in the house. He will retire from the company he works for between 70 and 75 years old.. What age depends on where we are on this plan. How much is saved, do we have our building already, how much security do we have in place.  We have just over 18 years until he is 70. We cannot waste any time. We have  to get our debt and house paid off asap so we can make the  decisions that affect the quality of our golden years. Now a days  you can expect to live into your nineties and maybe even 100 and that is our goal, we joke we want to live until at least 110 , and we will try to do that , but we want to live until the day we die, not  be in a  nursing home or sick, so we are working on our health as well.

Some things are out of our hands, but we are grabbing  what we can control. We are working to get thinner and healthier. Can we prevent anything from happening, no, no one can, but we are thinking positive and planning for a long full life. We CAN pay off all our debt. We CAN save up a huge nest egg both for emergency and retirement. We CAN walk and eat right. So, we CAN do a lot. We also CAN plan and plot and come up with a great retirement business that will keep us alive and happy and excited to get up every morning.  Something we can do together.

So, this is step one, which is very critical. Pay off our debt.  Every single dime, including the house. Then save. Save money like squirrels save acorns.

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Once we have an 8 month emergency fund and have enough money going into the 401k, then we start saving again for our business. There is nothing romantic about our plans. Nothing edgy. It is just staying the course and making sure we do what we need to do to make things happen the way we want them to happen.

We recently read a quote that said something to the effect of , dreams without plans are wishes. I have no clue who to give the credit to, but it is so true. If you dream, but never make a plan for that dream, it really is just a wish. It will probably never come true.

Things happen and that is okay. As long as we have our emergency fund, it is all good. Occasionally our savings will be  redirected to emergency to rebuild if something like a blown water heater, or air condiioner malfunction happen, but then we just rebuild what we had to spend and, once done, back to where we were at. Simple. Easy to follow.

Lets face it. Budgets and diets are both alike in many ways and people resist them for the same reason. It is more fun to not do them. Eating and spending what you want sounds like fun, but is it really ? At the end of the day you are fat and/ or broke and that is certainly not fun.

We had  50 grand in the bank once. Years ago.  An inheritance. What an amazing feeling that was. But getting laid off and being out of work for months before he had the job he has now,  and having to do major overhauls on two baths that were close to unusable, and some foundation repair and put up fences, and and loaning to our grown kids who were in need at the time, who did pay back every cent within a few years, just kind of ate it up. Very sad.

I want that feeling again. It was so fun to walk into a store and KNOW y ou could buy anything you wanted cash, but are choosing not to. It was fun to know we could pay cash for a car, but did not !! We loved that feeling and cannot wait to have it again.

So, we know how it feels, so we are working toward that feeling  of security that money gave us at the time.  Wealth to us is many things, but not fancy cars and houses. If we have those one day great, but they are not high on our list no matter how wonderful they are !!

So, what does wealth mean to you ? How do you define it ? It can be a very defining question !!!!

Hope you enjoyed my scrabble piece and chain  play and my modge podged acorns, I love playing and making things to put on my blog !!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to come by, it  means a lot to me !!!

Stephie

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Living the lifestyle

I have not been posting much and for that I appologize. Not much to write about honestly. We are  just doing what we are  supposed to be doing. Making minimums and paying off the next bill on the list. Four down and five credit cards to go, so that is very exciting !!

We have had our share of emergencies. Close to 2 grand in car repairs, weather warming up and we both realized we are at our biggest weight and needed some clothes , and some repairs that have to be completed on our house.

Currently we are saving to move. We had moved up  by my husbands work to save money on gas but the combination of being so far away from everyone we know, a full hour plus and living in an apartment with a pretty bad upstairs neighbor, we are moving when the contract it up. I have reached my limit. Loud walking is one thing, but a kid leap frogging himself all over the apartment as late as eleven at night, we are done. It is so stressful, words cannot even describe it. No complaints have worked up to now. The manager sent them a letter right before we left for five days, so we will see if it worked. This kid is up until as late as one in the morning on school nights, it is crazy. We just  have to get through a few more months,  and hopefully by Aug 1 we can be in a house back in our home town. We will rent down there until our kids and our son in laws parents purchase a house together and we can move back into our house.

We both  cannot wait.

We have 1400 in savings. I had more but we just spent 1200 on the  lastest car repair. That one hurt. Manifold gasket and it needed a tune up very badly. Air was bad and we had them put dye in when they charged it last summer which allowed them to find and repair the leak. In North Texas, air conditioning in your car is not a luxury !! We replaced the car that was destroyed in Feb, no payment due until June. Hated to take on a payment, but we have to have a more energy efficent car or the gas once we move will be around 500 a month. the car cuts that in half so it only costs us the differance between what the gas was and what it is with the car. About 131 a month. Insurance is only another 39 a month. Great credit and great driving records. We had not planned to buy yet, but an end of month deal under the value of the car was just something we could not turn down at this point. We will need this car come Aug 1 if we do not want him driving his 15 year old full size pick up a 100 miles round trip a day.

Anyway. We are still doing good. Buttoning down our groceries at this time. Beans and rice for a bit, and I am being literal. Beans, rice, a bit of meat and veggies, that will be most dinners . We have to get about 4 grand in the bank, 1000 to 1200 first month rent for a house, and then the same amount as the deposit. We are hoping for less, but planning on the highter amount !! Then the amount we need to rent a U haul and move ourselves, which should not be a lot. Most of our stuff is still at our house. We have a good size storage barn, a gardening shed and a work shop. They are all full !!!

Big building in back is our storage barn, white buiding in back is our gardening shed. Cannot wait to move home, but it will be up to two years.

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just one side of the fence we have to repair. Only the posts are good, all the slats and stringers are bad. About 800 hundred bucks  to do the entire fence  when all is said and done, but about 30 bucks a section so just a bit at a time.  We hope to finish by the end of summer. When we bought the house eleven years ago we were told it was just lightly sprayed after it was put together, with nails So, raw wood on raw wood and the neighbors sprinkers just rotted this side completely . The other two sides are not as bad, but still pretty bad as the previous owner had all the sprinkers aimed at the fence. It was only a few years and we havce owned it 11 years, but the damage had already started.  So, we are doing it right this time, thick coats of paint on each piece before they are screwed together and put up with L brackets. It should last a lot longer this time. We will also be able to take off bad pickets easily and replace them and bad panels will be easy to remove in the future.

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The opposite side

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the front which is the best of the three but still pretty bad.

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We have two front windows, old sash windows that no longer are openable  and we have to replace them but that will not be much . We will replace for now with the  inexpensive windows the previous owner used on the rest of the house. Our dream one day is to replace them all with the old fashioned, but new dual paned  sash windows, but that is a ways away !! So many other things to do first. Really, once these two projects are done, the rest can wait until we move back into the house in a year or two. Debt paying will be our priorty and then that six to eight month emergency fund.

So, that is what we are up to. We took our entertainment, and  blow money , for the month and our weeks food and gas to drive out of state to my husbands cousins house, we are very close to them and had not seen them for five years. They had some wood and flooring they wanted us to pick up so they could clean out thier garage and it gave us some great stuff for the house. Win win. . We had a nice trip and did not have to spend a dime while we were there . We ate at home and the meal  we had to eat on the drives each way, were covered by the  money set aside. We had never really budgeted for a trip before so this was very exciting. It was the most relaxing and fun trip we have ever taken because we knew our budget and stuck to it.

So, anyway, this is what we are up to. I will make sure I post at least weekly. For now, work on house and save every penny When the savings is where we need it to move in three months, then back to attacking the debt . Five more cards to kill off and then a credit union loan. Very exciting !!

here is a couple of pretty pictures for our drive

We left at five thirty am, so we got to see the sun come up , so pretty !!

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just one of the amazing meals they served us, we were spoiled rotten by good home cooiking , thanks so much guys, you are the best !!

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drove into the sun set on the way home !!

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End of month one

I am so pleased with our first month of snowballing our debt. Even thought our official budget plan started last week, we were hitting the debt as hard as we could. I could not be much happier with our month one progress.

Two cards, and an old medical bill gone. We paid off a grand total of $1096 this month. I had filled out a survey for  Debt Movement and shortchanged our balance, so I was very happy to find where I had written the beginning balances down and it was much more than I thought we had  paid off.

Two bills I never have to pay again. The cards are gone, and when I paid off the second one yesterday, which will post today, they asked if my card was available and I said no. I just had to answer some security questions, lol !!

here are my cards in case you missed it,

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They are gone, cut up and I am working on something creative to do with all those little pieces !! The jewelry artist in me is going to come up with something fun !!

So, end of month one, I could not be happier to have such a great start, we are on our way.

We  have set some lofty goals for next month, but with money saved in the bank toward the largest bill for next month, the IRS, we just  might be able to pull it off. We recently finally, changed our deductions and should not have to pay the IRS anything other than payroll deductions ever again.

So, our  goals, with an almost 3 grand IRS are  $ 4773.35  I know that sounds like a very lofty goal, but we have money coming in from a car accident, ie, wage and medical bill reimbursement, and some debt being paid back by our kids, and most of the IRS is in savings, so I am shooting high and we will see how far we can get, but that is what I hope to pay off  next month, which would eliminate three more cards, an old electric bill and the IRS.

So, in a month I will let you know if we made it, but if we aim high, we have a better chance to hit and should do well regardless, but we are  sure going to work  hard to hit this goal !!

My husband and I are very excited and so ready to get this debt gone !! He is working hard to get all the overtime he can and I am working hard to fill my etsy store and make lots of sales . I believe I have a link to the side to at least my jewelry blog, if not my store, I have some  lovely wine charms and a mix of jewelry. Any money I earn, is going toward our debt snow ball. The jewelry blog has a link to my store. I hope you will check it out, I do custom work too, usually at no extra charge !!

I have to once again give our debt coaches Jeff and Robin Ehrlich over at Debt Squad huge thanks  for all thier support and knowledge. Having them work with us, has kept us accountable and helped us so much. I have thier  link on the side bar too, be sure and check out their website, they have so much amazing information there to help you get started and get your debt paid off !!

Well, off to work on some listings for Etsy, thanks for stopping by. I will be keeping this site updated and also work more this month on talking about how we are cutting our expenses and staying on track, I guess more of the process .

Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie

Breaking up with debt !!

Welcome to my new blog site. I have been blogging on my beading blog for a while and I am having fun there and will still be blogging there and working on my jewelry but I am starting this blog because I want a place to come to document our journey to being debt free.  My husband and I have gotten to the point in our lives where we want to be free of debt. We are tired of being broke because we have too many bills. It is a stupid way to live and we need to address it while we still have time . We are tired of living check to check. It is a rotten way to live. We do not want that to be our future, we want it to be our past.

We are in our early fifties and  have less than  twenty years until my husband will retire from his job. He has said for years he probably will never retire completely. He will retire from this job, but he and I both want to start a business and find something to do together to make money and keep us busy after he retires. We have to make sure we are debt free to have a secure retirement .

So, we decided to break up with debt. We are cutting our relaxtionship with debt off. We have cut up our cards and are going to take every penny we can make and throw it at this debt until it is gone. We are choosing to live a debt free life.

Can we do this overnight. Nope. In fact we have new debt to deal with. We recently bought a car. We had one car and I want a job so we bought a car. Did we need to buy as expensive a car as we did, 19 grand, but we bought a safe, certified used car, a service car only owned by the dealer ship and we wanted a safe, reliable car. Our payment is pretty high and honestly that is what kicked us in our back sides and got us looking at our debt. We have more month than money and we cannot live like this anymore.

We are very intelligent people, so why do we make such dumb decisions with money ? I do not know the answer. We pay all our bills and have a good credit score, which would be great if we were debt free. It is eye opening to be told you could have had a 2.25 percent car loan if our debt was paid off, and instead we have 4.8.  Good news is, get the debt paid, we can still get that great rate, so that got us going.

We are pretty typical . Some credit cards, a car loan, a signiture loan, furniture loan. Our debt is beginning to grow and once we really sat and looked at it, we got a bit worried. We are okay right now, but on the edge, it would not take much to topple us off that edge. That is no way to live.

So, we were lucky and got debt coaches and they are going to help us. We cut up our credit cards

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into tiny little bitty pieces and put them in this wine glass. I will keep them on display so I know every minute what I am working for. I even added a green wine charm  I made and even drew a money sign on with a gold sharpie  to symbolize our money  !! We are going to go at this debt with everything in us !! It does not stand a chance !!

We are going to be writing down in a notebook every dime we spend. Every single penny !!  We started that two days ago and have two entries already. Gasaline and a few groceries. Wrote them down, wrote they were debit card purchases and put the reciepts in a manilla evelope tucked into that notebook.

Starting this week on pay day we will take out cash for groceries and any spending money. Gas money is moved to a checking account we  use just for gasaline so my husband knows how much gas money he has for the week. All recipts go into the envelope and any purchases made written down in that book.

We have a lot to still learn. We have to sit down and talk to our coaches and will see what they advise us on our debt and emergency savings  and then go from there. We are just starting and taking baby steps. But cutting up our cards, writing it all down, and using cash that is predetermined for the weeks expenses is a start.

I will write about what we learn and the progress we are making. I will also write a post about our debt and what we owe but not today, I just want to get things started and get this blog up and public.

I hope to find other people out there who are paying off thier debt and  learn everything I can.

To quote Dave Ramsey,  Broke is normal, be weird,

We look forward to being werid !!