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June Debt Update June 30, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free — gotta love scrappin' @ 7:37 pm

My June has looked alot like my April.  Not a lot saved.  I am upset a little about that because I had to take the remainder of the balance on the trip out of savings because it was due on June 11.  I am still hoping to put that money back before our trip in July.  

Mortgage: 2%

Vacation: 84%

I would like to be at 10 % on the mortgage before October.  I feel this is a realistic goal for me.  I need to buckle down and put back.   I feel after this vacation is over I will be able to get back on track.  July will hold family reunions and lots of travel with the vacation and all. 

I will be taking a bloggy break for a couple of weeks.  Hopefully my creative juices will come back after my trip. 

XO,

Becky

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Live a little June 15, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free — gotta love scrappin' @ 10:44 am

A comment was made not directly to me but it made me think. 

“Live a little.  You only live once.” 

 

Again, I am STEPPING on TOES but I make no apologies.  You have an opinion and mine is different.

 

I don’t need to have the best of something.  I don’t have a flat screen television, a blackberry, a brand new car.  My furniture is still mismatched in the bedrooms.  I am still using the furniture I got when I was a teenager. I am good with that. 

I thought I might have wanted a new car. But boy did I quickly change my mind. 

I do want to say, I do feel like we live well.  We still have “fun” money.  We have never been a family to go out to an expensive restaurant every weekend.   On occasion we do and for special events we do and don’t blink an eye now.  I go out with friends for girl nights several times a year.  Now look our “girl nights” usually consist of a movie and dinner and lots of talking, LOTS.OF.TALKING. sigh  

By paying off debt and living debt free, I do not mean you have to stop “having fun and living”.    I had that same perception too before I started this journey.  We didn’t! I really changed my mind about that very quickly. It is really funny because I feel like I am living more today than I was 2 years ago.  I am only 6 months into this debt free journey and have paid over $8,000 + off.  What a relief.  Plus I am saving for a vacation of a lifetime which has not been counted in that total.  I haven’t saved it all yet but looking at the preliminary numbers for June, it is 77 percent.  Not too shabby.  We leave in a month or so. 

 I am working on getting the house paid off now.  I am off to a slow start but am still determined to do it.  I have 7 years left!  I have always paid extra on it.  We bought our house in 2001.  I really wish that I had found this journey before now.    I could have already paid that off. 

The great thing about being debt free; I am NOT living paycheck to paycheck like I was 9 months ago.  I really enjoy being able to go and get what I need or want without a worry of what I was going to have to sacrifice to get it.  I am eating healthier because I am watching what goes onto our plates.  I am learning new things everyday about cooking, storing food and stretching our dollars.    

Life is short.  Do you really want to be in debt the rest of it?

XO,

Becky

 

May Update June 1, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free — gotta love scrappin' @ 9:20 pm

May Update

May has been a month where I didn’t know where we are going or coming.  Looking back is that really a change.  May is a very unpleasant month for me, personally.  The temperatures are just about right for planting the garden, the grass is green and grows and grows, the bugs and snakes are coming out, school is coming to an end, all the end of year gatherings and field trips etc., homework just keeps getting worse getting ready for the next grade, it is light outside at bed time and NO ONE wants to go to bed, the farm work is just getting started so it is late nights for farmer.  My list just goes on and on.  I don’t have another month that urks me quite like this one does.  Oh and I forgot it holds the ONE weekend where the farmer is on a campout is in May too.  It just messes our routine up so bad! HAHAHA.  Did I say that the snakes and ticks are out and about.  My child can walk on pavement touch one blade of grass and find a tick crawling on him.  We are “deticked” nightly.  NO JOKE.  They terrify me although I am able to kill them unlike a snake. 

I didn’t do too badly on the budget this month.  I stayed within or below my $50 a week goal for grocery/household items.  I got money saved and started the new house payment.  I didn’t save as much as I wanted but it is okay.  Once I get in the new house payment routine I will be able to watch more be put up into savings.  I am hopeful for that. 

Consumer loan #1        100%

Consumer loan #2        100%

Consumer loan #3        100%

Vacation Savings          63%

Mortgage                       1% Jaw dropping!  Will I ever move more one percent a month?  Sure after July 31st.  I pray!

June I hope to be able to CLEAN OUT the clutter!  I can’t do it in the “Spring”!  We have too much other stuff to do for this working mom referring back to the massive list in the first paragraph.   I also want to have a big garage/yard sale too before our big trip.  What doesn’t go I want to take to good will or have a “free” sale just to make sure it doesn’t go in the landfill.  It will not come back home with me.   Hopefully this will generate some more spending money for the trip.  I want little farmer to be able to get some souvenirs of the trip…so this should help a little.  Counting down the days already. 

We have a couple of little trips planned for the month of June.  Hopefully Farmer can take off and jump on a mini vacation with us.  Who knows. 

XO,

Becky

 

Menu Plan Eat out of the Pantry May 24, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free,Meal plan — gotta love scrappin' @ 7:43 pm
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Meal Plan for Week of the 24th

Monday  Broccoli and Garlic Pasta with Chicken added

Tuesday Hamburger Steaks with veggies

Wednesday  Italian Chicken, baked potatoes, green beans.

Thursday Leftovers

Friday Pasta?  TBD

For more menu plans visit OrgJunkie.org

All of this is coming out of my pantry minus any last minute needs.  So yeah that much more saved for our trip.

Have a great week!

XO,

Becky

 

Mid Month Update May 23, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free,Meal plan — gotta love scrappin' @ 7:42 pm

Meal Planning for May.

Well I have to admit that May’s Month started out a lot like April. 

I got an itch at a new car.  What was I thinking?  I was quickly reminded of how badly I hate dealing with car salesmen.  I got over the new car itch quite fast.   Man it’s terrible when you ball up your fist and your knuckles turn white in pure and absolute anger toward the other person you are talking too.  Thankfully, I was not in front of the gentleman.   All I have to say is answer my questions about the CAR I WANT and leave all the other hundreds of vehicles out of it.  I have done my research and these are the ones I want not that one.  OK my tangent is over (I HOPE)!  I also hope that the want for a new car goes away too…

I wanted to do some meal planning at the beginning of the month.  Well that just didn’t happen.  By the end of Week 2 I was getting antsy to say the least, so I scoped the sales and paired my coupons and went to it.   I did well.  I kept under my $50 weekly budget.  Yes I am posting this end week because I was afraid I would falter on the actual menu.  This what we come up with!

Monday           Chicken and rice dinner $2.50

Tuesday           Italian chicken, vegetable stir-fry $4.50 I had to buy the veggies.

Wednesday      Frozen meatloaf (new recipe not so good), Mac & cheese, biscuits $4.25

Thursday          Steaks from the beef we had worked up, salad and corn on the cob $3.75

Friday              Leftovers and or another vegetable stir-fry.  Should be ZERO.

My veggie stir-fry is super easy peasy.

Slice your veggies (what ever you have on hand)

Mine usually has Broccoli, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and green peppers in it.  Put a stick over butter over top (more or less depending on how healthy you want to be).   Place in oven at 375 for 30-50 minutes depending on how thick your slices were.

You can season this too. I have done a little of everything.   But is great just like that.  Maybe I like plain food. IDK!  This a great way to use up those summer veggies coming up too.  I could eat as a meal in itself.

By shopping the sales I was able to keep my suppers WELL under $5 a piece.  Not bad!  This coming up week there aren’t many sales that really jumped out to get me.   So I will be taking advantage of cleaning out the pantry/freezer.  I have been restocking and have lots of food hanging out.    Yes shopping the sales have really help overstock my pantry.

Do you have questions or comments?  Let me know…..I love hearing from my readers!

XO,

Becky

 

Insurance May 13, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free — gotta love scrappin' @ 1:48 am
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Let me voice my opinion.  First let me say that this is my opinion and it should not be seen as any opinions of anyone else including my employer or any of its affiliates.  

  

Insurance is protection.  I have home, auto, health and life insurance and are thinking about some others like cancer, long term care and an umbrella policy.  Yes I may be over-insured fine by me.  I am not a risk taker so I have insurance to protect against perils (A danger or hazard that can cause a loss, for example, a car collision with an object, or a fire.).  I have insurance on my family.  I want my child/children to be taken care of if something should ever happen to me before he/she is an adult.  In my budget, I have always has money set aside for the monthly/yearly payments of life insurance because I believe in it.

  

Even though I am striving to live a debt free life; there will always be bills that have to be paid whether I am alive or not.  I do have a small mortgage left to pay and have 7 years on it.  I want very much so to pay this off and live debt free.  I am a realist as a friend told me the other day.  I know that cars don’t last forever.  I know that bills come up.  I know that expenses can surprise you when you least expect it too.  I am realizing that it might be better to save up money for the car/other debts instead of paying the house off early.   We have a great interest rate and monthly payments that we can afford.  Still yet, I don’t want my child/children to be burdened with a mortgage payment his/her caretaker wouldn’t be able to afford either so I have TERM and WHOLE Life policies to cover my expenses if something was to happen to me. 

Do you?

  

Think about what you can afford per month?  Your agent can talk to you about your needs and what he or she has to offer. 

 

I am also not one to jump around to a different insurance company every other year or so just to save a buck or two.  I want a trusted company that will help their clients in every possible way; be friendly when I call in or have a claim that is important to me.  I do not want to be just a number or just another customer to have to deal with.  I want to be able to go in and pay instead of mailing the check or having to do it online.  I want the personal touch per say.  I stay in touch with the agent and get to know them.  I want someone to handle my affairs that know who I am. 

 Like I said before THESE ARE MY OPINIONS.  I want my child/children to be taken care of by the caretaker without extra burdens added to them. I can not be any clearer that this is what I believe to be important to us not necessarily what you need for your family. In the very least I hope you can think about the benefits of insurance.  I am not a risk taker and believe in insurance.  I have personally seen how it affects people lives whether you see a tragedy coming or if it is unexpected.

  

XO,

Becky

 

Hand Me Downs May 6, 2010

Filed under: Learning to Live Debt Free — gotta love scrappin' @ 9:06 pm

Little Farmer cringed when I told him that with summer coming we were going to go yard selling to find some clothes because he is growing out of his current stash.  Well Mama had to have a little chat with him about once we washed them they became his and if he really wanted his trip in the summer he was going to go with me so I could hold the clothes up and try what I need to one, etc.  We need to save as much as possible to be able to bring home some souvenirs from our big trip.   

So a dear classmate is a full size bigger than little farmer; so his mama and  I were chatting about clothes and she said that they had just graduated to a bigger size.  YES for little farmer!  She brought me 2 big shopping bags.  She is so generous.  He couldn’t wait to get home and go through them.   Funny thing is he doesn’t even think of them as ever being someone elses.  She had told me that they were some pants that need patching because the knees were busted out of them.  Little Farmer was the MOST EXCITED about those pants so I told him he could wear them around here. 

So are you lucky enough to have a friend that shares?  In return, do share for free your stuff not necessarily clothes that you don’t use and more?  I always try to pass clothes down the line whether to family, friends, or even strangers.

XO,

Becky