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It’s Good to Be Back


I’m so excited to be writing here again. I was shocked when Ashley’s post mentioned we had been writing here for 3 1/2 years now (we started the same week.) I feel like I need to go back and re-read where I’ve been sometime soon to prove how far I’ve come. Just a recap of what comes to mind:

  • We lost our home and moved into a tiny apartment.

    Not sure what we would do without board games. Between work, gymnastics training and school, board games keep us sane!

  • We sold our giant van.
  • We lived survived and thrived living in 900 square feet with all five of us and our 4 animals.
  • I lost my primary source of income.
  • We spent 9 months ‘glamping’ when I could no longer afford our apartment. I’m grateful for the gift, it kept us from becoming truly homeless or spending a single night in a shelter.
  • We had to say good-bye to all our animals in one way or another, but enjoyed raising chickens while we were glamping.
  • We moved to another state earlier this year and in with my grandmother.
  • I got a great new job.
  • I continue to work 2 part time jobs and a variety of odd jobs.
  • We rented our very own home in Georgia, leaving one of the twins in Virginia, and now we each have our own bedroom after 3 years of tiny living.
  • For the first time in a LONG time, we are not living paycheck to paycheck.  But I still have a long way to go in learning to make better money choices and becoming truly debt free.
  • And this is where we begin today.

So much has happened during my life on BAD. I can’t wait to see where we go next. I write this as Irma rages outside. I was so grateful to be able to work from home today and tomorrow while she moves on through. We’ve had some limbs fall on the roof, one took out our backside neighbors brand new fence. We will wander out when it’s over and see the damage, but for now I’m just grateful for a cozy home.

I’ve made some terrible financial decisions lately. And it’s huge for me to be able to just say that. I even said as must out loud to a friend this past weekend when we went out for chips and dip. Thinking with my heart instead of my head. More on those coming soon. But I definitely recognize that I have a problem.


  • Reply Jasmine |

    I’m glad both of you are staying. I was one of the other applicants for the blogging gig when you guys were chosen, so I’ve been following you all from the beginning. It’s been quite the journey for both of you, and I’m glad we get to see more of it.

    As for the bad choices, I’ve noticed that I have the tendency to think very short-term when money flows in more than usual. It becomes much easier to justify that fast food (or chips and dip) purchase because it’s only $10 bucks. I’ve been working on overcoming that with two things: 1) I delay the ‘want’ for 1 hr. If I still really want it in an hour, I’ll reconsider. 2) If I find that the urge for something has gone away, I’ll go in and transfer the amount I was planning to spend over to savings.

    • Reply Hope |

      I like the delay idea, especially for 1 hour vs 30 days as so many of the larger purchases recommend! I’ve just done my budget based on my steady income and anticipated bills through July 1 of next year to help me start thinking more long term. I’ll share more on that later.

  • Reply Nicole |

    Try checking into community recreation programs. Even outside your own town/village/city. My husband did Tae Kwan Do for years (quit right before black belt) through a local village program. It was around $25 for an 8 week session, one night per week (extra charge for uniform, competitions, belt testing, etc.) Even if you didn’t live in that village, it was about $35. Several parent friends have enrolled their kids in the program, and they have many sports options as well.

    • Reply Nicole |

      Oops, the above comment was supposed to be on Ashley’s post. Sorry!

      I’m so glad you’re still blogging here. You’ve got to be proud of yourself when you look at all that you’ve overcome and accomplished. Now you’re in a position to make huge forward progress. With your determination and all that you’ve learned, you can do great things for yourself and your family.

  • Reply Megan |

    I think you were living day to day and month to month for so long that it totally makes sense that now the money isn’t as tightly a concern that you went a little off-track. It happens. But now you can work on finding what your new financially responsible normal should be. It is a good opportunity to continue to model good financial choices for your kids.

  • Reply Jean |

    Welcome Back, Hope! You’ve had quite the journey over the past 3-1/2 years. Now that you have a steady income and have settled into your new home/routine, it will be easier to “reset” and move forward with paying off debt and building up reserves (emergency fund, retirement). I would suggest setting up your budget based on ONLY your full-time job – because speaking from experience, a part-time job along with a full-time job and family responsibilities typically isn’t sustainable for the long-term. You might be able to continue with SOME part-time work, but not at the pace you’re going now. Use the part-time income to throw more at your debt and build up your reserves quicker. And allow some room in your budget for FUN!

    I look forward to cheering you on as you continue on your journey to debt freedom.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks for that advice, Jean! Right now, I have every dime I earn budgeted to keep me accountable. But you are right, I would like to set it up with just my full time income. Definitely a good shorter term goal for me to consider!

  • Reply Kili |

    Thanks for the recap
    Gosh, a lot has happened since you first started.
    It’s been mentioned on one of Marie’s posts: making sure your money is directly put into a specific account may make the impulsive/regretful spending harder.

    But you’ve limited yourself for so long, don’t be too hard on yourself

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I agree with using different accounts. I have found that limiting my “free” money to cash helps limit me.

  • Reply Margaret |

    I am glad you are back. Remember that it is okay to forgive yourself. Sometimes it is hard to think with the head and not the heart. Other comments have given you great advice on ways to keep heart spending in check. Again, I am so glad you are back.

So, what do you think ?