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Take a financial break today…


I have been a bit disappointed this week thanks to year three of the salary freeze and have been spending quite a bit of time re-working my budget to see what I can cut. Unless I decide to sell my dogs, I’ve got nothing left to reduce (and no, I’m not planning to get rid of them). I’m stuck on this slow moving truck for 6 more months.

I went up to my parents’ house on Sunday to visit with my family. It was noisy, crowded, crazy, and…

Utterly relaxing.

We had smoked pork, bbq corn, scalloped potatoes, and grandma’s delicious green salad. Mom topped it off with homemade ice cream, berry cobbler, and oven fresh cookies.

At the end of the night, we donned huge sombreros and danced in the kitchen to the ‘Mexican Hat Dance’.

I couldn’t stop laughing.

When you focus all your energy on finances, you miss some truly valuable moments.

Stop. Breathe. Then dance in your kitchen while blaring the Mexican Hat Dance. Suddenly a salary freeze isn’t such a big deal.


  • Reply NY Girl |

    Thanks for your post Beks…. it’s good to be reminded about what’s REALLY important.

  • Reply David Bibby |


    I’m glad you found a way to live in the moment for awhile.

    Although you are in debt.. although you wish that auto loan was paid off now.. the fact remains that you still have x months to go before it’s done. Worrying about it won’t make the time go by faster.. but you know what will? Having FUN. Spending time with your family, doing the Mexican Hat Dance in the kitchen.

    You know you are going in the right direction. Don’t beat yourself up for the decisions you made that led you here.. don’t worry about the future.. just ENJOY being in this moment and KNOW that the direction you are going is the right one.

    Capture all those moments.


  • Reply RB |

    You are not alone in the category of third year of salary freeze. We also have a hiring freeze, even to replace positions that have become open. More work spread among fewer people for the same pay, but I rejoice that I still have a job.

    Where I am worried is next year. Assuming that our current do-nothing congress continues to do nothing, taxes will reset to the year 2000 rules. That means reduced child credit, higher tax rate, and marriage penalty. My taxes could easily double. Like you, I don’t know where else I can cut the budget to pay off debt fast enough to beat the tax man to the door.

  • Reply Matt |

    I’m finally about to get my first raise in three years next month. It was extremely tough to get through higher gas and food prices in 2008. The only thing that actually made it work is my debt reduction freeing up a good bit of money each month. Unfortunately instead of accelerating my debt reduction with that money, it went to things like higher rent, etc.

  • Reply JMK |

    When the debt is paid off in 6 months, you’ll be getting the effect of a raise. It will just come in the form of having the former debt reduction amount as part of your discresionary funds.

    When my youngest stopped going to daycare, I got a giant “raise”. When our line of credit was paid off, I got another “raise”.

    No it’s not the same as proper salary increase, but like a raise it does mean more money each month to put toward other things, whether it’s whacking down the mortgage, doing some long overdue home maintenance, or finally having a little money for something fun.

    Sorry the raise wasn’t approved, but focus on the DIY increase you’ll be getting in 6 months.

  • Reply Rose M |

    It’s good that you realized you need some balance. You can still live and enjoy life while getting your debts paid off. That car loan will be paid off before you know it and paying it off will feel wonderful.

  • Reply emmi |

    You’re doing so well, and while impatience is understandable (we call get it on our long-term projects, certainly) you need to pat yourself on the back for sticking with the process that works. Six months will go by like nothing, really it will. You sound like you’re beating yourself up and it’s not warranted.

  • Reply Kristi Dorson |

    Thank you for posting this. We’ve been having a lot of financial difficulties lately and I could really use that financial ‘break’ too. It’s hard to remember to TAKE the break sometimes, when everything is so overwhelming.

    Would you please share some information about bbq corn? Maybe a recipe? It sounds DELICIOUS!

  • Reply Mar |

    What a beautiful post. I love the attitude and am going to print it so I can remember it!

  • Reply John |

    The stress of debt can be overwhelming. Glad to see you are able to separate debt from the important things in life. Family, friends and health.

  • Reply mom |

    Awwwww. I wish your followers could have seen you in that hot sombrero! And the dancing that went with it was… hmmm… I’m trying to think of just the right word here…. incredible? Maybe it was the hand and arm movements that caught my attention. Well done Beks. I love it when all of you make your way up here. Love you, mom

  • Reply Pat |

    You’re right about focusing on other things. I’ve not had a paying job in three years and my hubby has been under a pay freeze for as long. His raise goes into effect in August and there was dental expenses we couldn’t put off any longer. Yesterday I went grocery shopping for essentials and had to put it on the regular cc. I’ve never, ever done that. Payday is at the end of this week. I felt humiliated. So, we have stalled out on extra payments to get rid of debt for the last three years. I still have hope that things will be better, though.

  • Reply Mary Flanagan Taylor |

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