Monday, December 27, 2010

End of Year Round Up

Almost there
I always spoke of my husband as "Mr. Doomsday".  Y2K?  Oh, yeah... he expected the world to close down. The Gas Crisis, The Economy is Tanking, Buy Gold, The Banks are all Going to Close Down, I've heard everything.  I try to stay positive minded even if it does mean that I'm ignoring the inevitable.  I refuse to live in a negative mindset waiting for something bad to happen.  Unfortunately, even though the worst hasn't happened - it's the media that can make or break my happy joy joy concept.  I'm about a month away from having enough money to pay off my car.... VERY EARLY!  Shortly after that, I should have enough to pay off my final debt and that would have me screaming, "I'M DEBT FREE" - but hold the phone.  If the economy tanks. If my husband's hours get cut back again like they did on 2008. If. If. If.... we'll need that money to make the ends meet.  I'm in a rock and a hard place.  Of course, paying the car and that last credit card would free up about $425 a month from our budget, but will that be enough?  I'm chomping at the bit.  It's every Dave Ramsey follower's dream to make the call to tell Dave that I'm debt free!   Long story short - we're almost there!

Debt Free Christmas
What do you know - we paid cash AGAIN for Christmas this year!  We stayed under $1000 for everyone (and that includes my son's 19th birthday which falls in there too)  $1000 is probably about $200 more than we spent last year I think, so it felt like we hit the lottery and betcha believe that I used coupons, hit sales, comparison shopped via Internet like you wouldn't believe. My motto - NEVER PAY FULL PRICE!!

Goals for 2011
Oh, I will be debt free this year.  That's not even a question.  We have our 20th anniversary and we WILL be celebrating that ....with CASH someplace nice, romantic and not HERE!   If all bodes well, I will be well into BS3 by the end of the year.

Baby Steps
Baby Step Four - Retirement.     That one's got a big "YEAH RIGHT" attached to it.  We're so far behind in saving for retirement, and with the markets the way they are - I'm not too gung ho for this step at all...
Baby Step Five - College.   My son just decided to go to school.  He'll be starting his freshman year at a state college.  Very proud of him.  Very happy to see that a lot of what money he has been gifted through his life will come close to paying for it, and he will be coming up with the rest. Or such is the game plan currently.

Where do you put this?
Is there a Baby Step Sub Category for this or is it just a budget line. Once this debt is gone, Once BS3 is complete, I want to save money for another car.  Husband's car is going on 7 years.  Not bad for a Hyundai. It could last for several more years {God willing}, but his inner child went looking at cars and is somehow figuring that 2012 is the death date of the Elantra.  We have a difference of opinion on that - but having a nest egg would be nice. 

The more things change the more they stay the same
Cash. Coupons. Envelopes. Budgets.  - the plan works if you stick to it!  Looking back at the debt we've paid off - well over $45k, I'm quite proud of how far we've come, HOWEVER - I don't feel comfortable trusting myself without our plan, without a budget -we'd fail.  by allowing the use of credit cards - we'd fail miserably.  Stick to the plan, Stan and have a Happy 2011! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Been a long long time ....

Looks like I haven't posted on my blog in over a year.  Wow, that's REALLY good, Wendy!  It's been a whirlwind year, that I can promise you.  So let's backtrack just a touch.  Rewind to July 2010.

Gazelle?  No.  Steady?  Yes.  We entered our third year of getting out of debt by STILL using envelopes, STILL sticking to a monthly written budget, STILL paying cash, NO new debt and plugging away at that last credit card with the almost 0% for life APR and the loan on the Mazda. Monetarily, life was steadily moving forward.  Should we be out of debt by now?  Sure.  Could we have been?  Possibly.  Three envelopes got a little extra money than they had in the past:  Dining, Grocery and ENTERTAINMENT and the additional money placed in those envelopes could have helped out the debt.  To that I add: "ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES WENDY A DULL GIRL"

Not the best of news but with a definite silver lining -
Writing on the wall:  Felt it coming.  Oh boy, did I ever feel it coming.  So much so that I was actually relieved to hear the words: "We're going to lay you off, Wendy."  It came at a good time.  While monetarily everything was working right, so many more aspects of life were not.  This time off is giving me the ability to work on getting everything on an even keel.  Meanwhile, on DH's workfront - several raises and a promotion since I last posted.  Our "storm cloud savings" has us set with a pretty good buffer for my off time. So much so that I could actually pay off the credit card, but with the cloud still looming. I'm waiting it out.  Quick thinking had me save for Christmas PRIOR to the layoff, so I had my 3rd Debt Free Christmas.

Have had a lot more time to play the coupon game a little more, and have been on so many great blogs and message boards so I am back to saving some serious coin on groceries.  My stockpile has increased again.  It's amazing what a comfort it is having that stockpile.  It's like a safety net. 

Here's a few of the great places that I've been hanging out lately:

A Full Cup - Message Boards for just about ANY store you'd go to!
Couponers Welcome - Message Boards like above
Jill Cataldo - OMG! She's amazing!

So all in all, would Dave Ramsey be proud of me?  Not entirely.  He'd probably yank my ear and tell me we're dragging our feet and it shouldn't take this long to become debt free and that doesn't even begin to talk about retirement savings. I'm proud of how far out of the pit we've climbed, but there's always someone to tell me I'm doing it wrong. ;)