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My Thoughts About My Month Off

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I hope everyone is having a fantastic start to their week, even after the bad news we all got (Ashley’s Father). Ashley- if you’re reading this, my heart goes out to you and your family during this time.

Writing this post seems pretty trivial after this weekend, but now it’s nearing the end of my month off from paying off any debt, I want to provide everyone with my what my feelings have been during this time:

  • I felt like I had more money than ever before. Which was true- I’ve never been able to spend like I spent this month without incurring extra. And even with this fact in mind, the money is all gone, sorta- I put $500 into my savings.  But I can plainly see how people’s expenses can grow to meet their income, and it a lot of cases, exceed their income, without a good deal of oversight.
  • I felt good spending the money. It was awesome (and greatly needed) that I bought new clothes. It felt good to be able to spend “freely” in Disney. We’ve certainly enjoyed eating out and going for ice cream and the other activities we did that we normally wouldn’t have.
  • But I don’t want to make it a habit. I had a ton of money to spend, I spent it, it felt pretty good spending it, but I don’t want to make it a habit. In the short term- I have the goal of paying off debt while saving as much as I can for retirement. In the long term, I may be debt free, but I don’t want to live with a mountain of stuff only because I’ll have the money available. I think this may be obvious to a lot of you that I wouldn’t want to end up this way after spending so many years tackling this debt, but I want to reiterate it here for my own peace of mind after all the spending I did this month. It was a fun month but not the lifestyle I want to live.
  • And at the end I’m no happier than I was. At the end of this month, with all the money I spent, I didn’t leave this month any happier than it began. It may be because I still have a mountain of debt to payoff, or it may be because after all the “stuff” I bought, it couldn’t buy me happiness, just like the cliche saying. The Disney trip made me unbelievable happy and I’ll always have those memories- but it was over in an instant and we we’re back to everyday lives, albeit with some added post-Disney depression.
  • However, it did make me ready to go again for more payoff. I think this was the biggest outcome I got from the month off. TBH- I was feeling very mentally drained towards the end of June, which I think you could all tell, so this allowed me a little bit of R&R. But now, I’m READY to get back into it! Like an athlete that had to sit out a year due to injury, I’m going to hit the next half of my payoff with a full head of steam, (while still having that oh so important life/payoff balance :))

What are your thoughts concerning my month off? Have you done anything similar? Was it worth it or did you regret it? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll have one more week of my month off (but I pay my mortgage this week, so it won’t feel like it), at which point I’ll be back with my weekly debt updates and my month ending reviews.

Have a great rest of your week!


Pretty Torn Down

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I truly appreciate the thought out comments on my last post (The Next Step.) I have read every single one of them. But frankly, this time, the “doormat” “enabling” etc. comments just tore at me. I realize that I signed up for this but more importantly, I realize that it’s a lot easier to stand on the sidelines and yell direction then it is to actually be in the middle of it where the action is actually happening. I wonder if some of you realize that…

I have contemplated not returning, but I’ve never been one to shy from a fight, so after a couple of weeks of licking my wounds.  I am back.

So to follow up on that last post…

1. I am not doing anything illegal nor am I committing insurance fraud.  The car has sat with occasional driving when I needed it or when he would visit the kids.  He has another car with one seat in it he uses on a daily basis.

2. While it may be in my name, etc. it is HIS car and HIS debt.  That is spelled out clearly in our divorce decree and I do not think it would be right to discuss HIS debt here.  Thus, no numbers were mentioned in that post.  I just wanted to get your feedback on that being the next course of action.  From the responses, I would say everyone overwhelmingly agreed with my desire to rid my name of that debt although many differed on how it should be done.

3. Hiring a lawyer to do this, that or the other.  No offense to the lawyers who may be reading this, but are you crazy?  Have you gone through a divorce where there are kids and property?  Well, I see/hear about it EVERY day from other of my single mom acquaintances…$20K and counting in legal fees, , chasing and waiting for child support, limited child support based on his income and it never stops until the kids reach 18.  I paid $75 and did my own divorce paperwork.  I got exactly what I wanted…full legal and physical custody of the kids.  He got the car to finish paying off.  I also got a relationship with him where I could say “the kids need” and he was willing to work with me on money without feeling like I was coming after him.  And I don’t have to go back to court  every time things change or chase him down for child support via more court appointments.  I have seen the results of that many times over and do not want it for me, my kids or even him.  Sorry if you don’t agree, but I KNOW this was the right decision.

4. You like reading Ashley…great!  I like reading Ashley too.  Life was definitely much more simple when I had two little kids and a husband helping pay the bills, and had a corporate job.  But that’s not my life anymore and frankly, despite the hardships of the last years I LOVE my life.  I love spending every day with kids, seeing them evolve and grow with every new experience and “lightbulb” learning experience.  I love my clients and the flexibility I have to work when and where I want and do work that challenges me.  The absolute only thing I am missing these days from life is having a couple more bedrooms…but you know what, that will come.

I have read Blogging Away Debt since the very beginning.  I would check back daily for new posts and was sad when there were days or weeks between them.  But I was most interested in reading about the different bloggers life – challenges, successes and yes, sometimes even failures.  It inspired me.  So that’s how I write.  While the blog updates with charts and numbers are great, they are not my style.  If you don’t like it…that’s okay, there are two other bloggers.  I can’t/won’t be everyone’s style.  But I would like to share a quote my parents taught me growing up “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything” and always “Silence is golden.”

More to come this afternoon…


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