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Wear, wash, repeat

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I feel like my days are on a serious repeat cycle and this post could pretty much be a duplicate of last weeks, with one MAJOR difference. I am anticipating a check today that will be the last payment towards my consumer debt…July 1st deadline goal met (almost as it hasn’t gotten here yet.) I feel like I should be doing some sort of happy dance or woot, wooting, but really I am just ready to keep plugging along.

I am really enjoying having choices with my money, rather than just looking at what bill is due next. And I really like the idea of not having to fork over a large portion of my money to debt anymore, but I do still have a ways to go. I have picked my next debt goal and am looking at the timeline now so will post that soon.

Now the news from this week…

The housing question is still looming. I have until the 24th of this month to let my apartments know if I am moving out at the end of my lease to avoid any addition fees. I also have the option to go month to month at that time or sign a shorter lease or another year long lease. I know I will not be signing another year long lease, but everything else is still up in the air. So more on that later too.

I’m continuing to do daily chauffeur duties to swim team practice, day camps (this week the littles are at a free VBS,) and gymnastics practice. I feel like I never have a solid block of time at home or if I do it’s at night when I’m exhausted, so not being as productive as I hoped. That is something that I need to change as I continue to try and build my business!

I’ve two extra kids staying with us this week, 8 year old twins. They are from a single mom family and she is really struggling financially so hasn’t been able to afford to run her air conditioner or hire a sitter for them. I just couldn’t stomach the idea of them staying alone day in and day out in a hot house, so voila they are here. They live about 3 hours from us, so she will come on the weekend and we will evaluate the situation for next week. (One of my twins is gone for the week at Ministry and Leadership Training, so it hasn’t been quite as tight as it would have been. Plus, these twins get along like gang busters with Little Gymnast so they are having a blast together.)

Speaking of Little Gymnast, today is his birthday. Now that’s something I can get excited about. When he found out he would not be getting his iPad screen fixed for his birthday, he gave me a revised frugal list…he’s getting everything he asked for: 1 gallon of grape juice, silly string, Reeses Pieces and a new blanket. (His Thomas the Train comforter is on it’s last stuffing!) We will go out to dinner tonight with his dad to celebrate…he’s chosen Golden Corral for the unlimited food and chocolate fountain!

So I’ve got lots of news, but nothing definite. Expect detailed posts coming on:
1. The next payoff goal and timeline.
2. A new, maybe not so extreme budget…maybe. We’ve gotten used to this one and it really hasn’t been that bad.
3. Details on our new family car.
4. A decision on housing as soon as I make one, lots still going on around this so can’t even hint to what the outcome will be.

I hope you are well and enjoying your summer and staying cool. The heat has been stifling and these last few days have been our first break from 90+ degree weather, so I’m dreading seeing what my electric bill will be. But I am oh, so grateful to be a in place where I can run it without worrying about being able to pay the bill. And run it to my comfort. I know that many people can’t do that. We have much to be grateful for, even on our strict budget.


Weekly Debt Update #16- Memorial Day Fun

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Happy Thursday everyone!

I hope everybody is having a great (and short) week thus far!

As I originally intended to post this on Tuesday, I want to talk about what we did for Memorial Day. Over the weekend, we decided to have my parents down for a couple days to celebrate. Originally, when I talked to my parents about coming down back in April, they were going to stay for one day (Saturday) and night. We ended up having such a good time that it turned into 2 days (Saturday and Sunday) and 2 nights.

To prepare for our plans, which was to have a picnic, I ended up using a good portion of my monthly “fun” money ($50) to help out. I used this money to purchase the food we “needed” for some picnics. GF also pitched in by paying for 1/2 the picnic supplies plus beer. My folks got down to Erie on Saturday where we just hung out, talked and ate stuff we had around our house. We love having fires, so we spent a good part of the evening and most of the night just drinking beer and relaxing by the fire while our dogs played in the back yard.

Sunday was picnic day. Since Erie has such nice beaches, we were going to have our picnic down on the beach and hang out by the water and soak up some sun. Plans changed pretty quickly that morning. Erie has a very quaint little amusement park down by the water called Waldemeer. My mother thought it would be a great idea to have our picnic there and treat everyone to rides as a thank you for letting them spend the weekend with us. The park ride tickets aren’t expensive ($20-ish for all you can ride) and there’s never a wait to get on, which makes it a perfect place to spent a few hours. Here’s my and GF in the park:

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Half way through our stay, I grilled out hog dogs, had some pasta salad and fruit that I got at the store the day before. It was an excellent way to spend time with my family. Later that evening, we had dinner and returned to the park to watch their Memorial Day fireworks (which everyone in Erie goes to watch).

On the actual holiday, the GF and I planted our garden/did some yard work while her mom visited and we had…another cookout! We finally used up the food we bought at the beginning of the weekend. All in all, I ended up only spending $30 for the picnic stuff plus gas to host our families. Last summer was our first experiment with gardening, and we seemed to overload the small plot with too many plants. This year, we’ve stuck to just our favorites: tomatoes, hot peppers, and cucumbers. Here’s a picture of the finished product:

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Not only do we love our vegetables, but it’s also a financial save since we tend to go through a lot.

For anyone interested in my debt numbers since last week, here they are:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid OffPaid Since Last Week
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$23,896.61$3,940.63$88.62
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$18,750.50$3,449.52$69.94
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
$20,692.10$0.00
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$7,339.83$3,010.35$67.81
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$0.00$4,840.64$0.00
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00$0.00
AES6.8$9,000.00$0.00$9,000.00$0.00
TOTALS$110,587.66$49,986.94$60,600.72$226.37

Like I posted last week- I reached the under $50,000 milestone! Something, I didn’t think I would ever reach!!

Have a great weekend!