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Hello there!

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Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

My name is Amy and I am joining the bloggers here in the BAD community! I am so looking forward to the support that this community offers, and hope that we can encourage and inspire each other!

My relationship with money really began in my childhood. I grew up in a family where money was always an issue. I remember being in elementary school and being afraid to ask for poster board for a school project because of the cost and always being aware that there was more month than money. This type of childhood had both advantages and disadvantages. I certainly learned how to work and how to stretch a dollar, but I also never developed saving habits (because there was never money to save!). I also have a tendency to feel like we are doing well as long as bills are paid on time, regardless of how much is left in the bank. The concepts of going without and delayed gratification are also very difficult for me, My teen years were tumultuous, and filled with my first job and what felt like endless amounts of money, coupled with no guidance on what to do with that money. To say that I developed some bad spending habits is a bit of an understatement! While I feel like I have mostly turned those habits around, I am sure that you all will help be find even more room for improvement!

I married my sweetheart M at the ripe old age of 20, and we are still happily married thirteen years later, but have no children. We certainly want children, and a chunk of our existing debt is a result of paying for fertility treatments. Another large chunk is student loans. We were both students when the economy crashed, and ended up living off of students loans for a time after M was layed off from his job. We also have a car payment, appliance loan and a mortgage. I will be outlining the details of our financial situation in a post a few days from now.

M has a steady job that he loves, that puts us firmly in the middle class for our area, but he works long, demanding hours, I am currently a homemaker (I can hear the calls of “get a job” already!) I do have some medical issues that have led me to not having a job, but I am not opposed to going back to work. In the mean time, I make a little bit on the side by babysitting and renting out a spare bedroom in our home.

Our reasons for needing to scale Mount Paymore are relatively simple… freedom! We want to be able to make decisions without monetary concerns taking as large of a role as they do now. I want to live a life where a car repair doesn’t have the potential to be catastrophic. M would like to go back to school someday, and we would like to possibly pursue adoption, both things that we don’t feel comfortable doing because of where our finances are right now.

I will have all the nitty gritty details of our financial situation up sometime Monday. In the mean time, Do you have any questions you would like me to cover?


Tips to Expedite Paying off Debt

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Anyone that is burdened with a whole load of personal debt will know just what a negative impact this can have on life. Naturally, you don’t want to be carrying around the burden of debt for years to come but at the same time, you may not be in a financial position to pay if off any quicker.

Dealing with debt on a long-term basis can have a negative impact on everything from your mental and physical health through to your relationships, productivity at work, and overall quality of life. This is why you need to look at ways in which you may be able to expedite paying off your debt so you can start enjoying a more stress-free life.

Some tips to help with debt repayment

There are a number of ways in which you could reduce your debt levels, and this can really help to ease the financial strain. Some tips that could help include:

  • Cut back on going out: Some people spend a fortune on going out, but there are ways of enjoying entertainment far more cheaply. This then leaves you with more money to throw at your debts. For example, rather than paying a fortune for a meal out at a posh restaurant with your partner, enjoy a home cooked meal by candlelight to create an intimate and romantic atmosphere. If you enjoy watching movies, don’t pay ticket prices at the theater. Instead, use live streaming sites and movie sites to enjoy a huge variety of content free of charge.
  • Rent out a room: If you have a large house, you can consider renting out a spare room. There are always people on the lookout for affordable rentals, particularly if you are located near to facilities such as universities or hospitals. If you have items in the room that you want to rent out, you can find storage units in which you can stash these for as long as you need to. The cost of paying storage costs will be more than covered by the rent you receive. You can then put the money from the rent towards paying off your debt.
  • Consider consolidating: If you have a lot of unsecured debts with high rates of interest, such as credit cards and high-interest loans, you may want to consider debt consolidation loans. If you can find a low cost consolidation loan and pay off all of the high-interest debts, you will reduce the amount you have to pay on your borrowing. In addition, you will only have to deal with one creditor, which makes household budgeting more manageable.
  • Earn a second income: For those who already work, there is the option of earning a second income with another job. You can find a second job working for a company at weekends or in the evening. You can also consider doing something part-time on a freelance basis, as this means that you can work from home.

There are various options to consider when it comes to paying off your debts more quickly, so it is well worth looking at the ones that could prove suitable for you.


Can’t Do It All

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We can’t do it all. Everyone knows that. But sometimes we still try. Maybe try to convince ourselves that we’re exempt from the cold hard truth.

Guys. I don’t know if I can keep my part-time job much longer. My goal was to keep it for another full academic year (being done at the end of next summer), but I am really struggling. I’m barely keeping afloat of my responsibilities and the whole house-hunting process has almost pushed me over the edge (Why is there so.much.paperwork!? We were done – and then it’s a new month so now they want MORE paperwork! Argh! PS: Still in negotiations over a house).

So I’m going to my boss at my full-time job. I’m asking for a pretty significant raise. I’m also asking for fewer classes in my course-load. And then I’m providing a long list of all the things I will be doing as the program coordinator (and time it takes) to maintain excellence within our program. I don’t know what will happen, but I can’t continue to pile on my plate more and more and more without any additional compensation or power. So something has to change. And then if things go my way, maybe I’ll be able to leave my part-time job. It’s just so, so, so hard to walk away from the money. I make so much money from the part-time job it’s disgusting. Like, triple the national average for adjunct-teaching. But it’s more work. And I really can’t keep up with the grading and provide detailed, responsive feedback like I want.

It all comes down to the one undeniable fact. I can’t do it all.

Thoughts?

Suggestions on how to approach my boss? FYI, she’s insanely busy right now so I was thinking of typing up an initial proposal with everything I’d like and everything I’d provide and then we can set a meeting to go from there (but at least she’d already know what I’m asking for, etc.). Is that a weird way to do it???  Help me because I’m drowning over here!


Explore The Immense Benefits of Credit Cards Payments!

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Many of us like traveling. We enjoy discovering new places and sights. These days tourism and traveling form a huge sector of the economy. Traveling requires transport, warranties, accommodation and many other services. Smart people know that there is always a possibility to get good discounts for all those or even enjoy them for free!

Learn some tips on how to choose your travel credit card and enjoy immense benefits! It will make your traveling easier and help you cut back on your expenses! Today credit card insurance companies offer very attractive packages along with their regular offers. To learn about them go to effectify website, the online portal where you can have an overview of the hottest deals!

Overview of your Travel Credit Card Possibilities!

If you choose your credit card right, you will greatly economize on accommodation, insurance costs, and much more! Here are some suggestions.

  • Collect the points. When you pay with your credit card, you automatically get miles or points. Having collected enough, you can pay less for your travel ticket.
  • Get exclusive hotel offers. Choose a good travel credit card, and you will get accommodation at your desired hotel with a great reduction in price or even for free.  Banks sign the contract with hotels. You pay with a card, get points and then convert them into dollars. For example, you can get a family trip to Disneyland (flight cost and accommodation covered). If you are single, enjoy surfing in Hawaii, with this deal you cut back up to 1200 dollars.
  • Use a credit card and get entertainment for free. Offers for credit card usage include not only traveling but cultural events. Enjoy Governors Ball Music Festival for two!
  • Get hot deals on insurance.

Find a Way to Economize!

  • Using your credit card, you can greatly economize on warranty!
  • Protect your luggage for a cheaper price!
  • You can secure your luggage for a total of 3 000 dollars!
  • Get trip delay insurance! It is a very valuable offer! Especially it is beneficial if you travel a lot! You can compensate the unpredictable costs in case your flight delays!
  • Buy protection of your items! Usually, banks can reimburse up to 1000 dollars for each item lost or stolen!

Explore the immense benefits you receive if you pay with credit cards! Check new offers on reliable websites! Follow e-resources as bbc.com. Visit the website to get the latest news in banking sector! Make your traveling more comfortable and less expensive!


Peeking in to say Hello!

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After a whirlwind trip to Utah (one full day up; one full day back; only 2 days there), I’m back in Tucson and back at work.

I am eternally grateful that all of these issues are popping up during summer when I have a pretty flexible schedule. Even so, it’s been tough to keep up with work, as I missed 3 days the first week of June (for my grandmother’s funeral), had one solid week back at work, then missed another 3 days last week for my Dad’s house clear out. This week is also a short week, as my Mom flies in on Thursday to help celebrate the girls’ 4th birthday with us this weekend. I’m still treading water, but just barely.

Also, hubs just received word this morning that his grandfather has passed away (if you read this post, you know that this was expected as his grandfather has been on hospice and not doing well). Fortunately (if you can even call these things “fortunate”???), his grandfather specifically requested to be cremated and have no funeral. His only wish was to have his ashes spread on his family land out in Luling, Texas. My husband plans to go back to Texas to be with his mom at that time, but it will be awhile. Basically, my mother-in-law is in the process of buying a home right now (her closing date is set on July 15), and she wants to wait until she’s closed on the house to spread the ashes because she wants my husband to do some flooring work in her new house (remember, hubs is a flooring contractor), and it just makes his life easier to make one trip (for the ashes AND floors at same time) rather than having to make multiple/separate trips. It’s a bit unconventional, but mom-in-law was an only child so there’s no one opposing the plan and it’s what works best for her so I guess that will be happening in about a month. We haven’t decided yet for sure, but I believe the girls and I will stay in Tucson at that time (of course, the family makes a plea for us to go back any chance we get, but – well, work. Like, that thing that pays our bills and keeps a roof over our heads. So, yeah.)

The passing of hubs’ grandfather does have a (very) small monetary benefit to us. He wrote in his will that each of the grandchildren should receive $1,000 from his estate. Hey, every little bit helps, right?

For those who asked about the estate sale, let me give a super quick update.

Basically, it went “okay.” I was so terrified of a potentially huge turnout that I didn’t advertise widely. I only put it on a single Facebook yard sale site (with 3500 members) and advertised it as being Thursday night and Friday morning. I was able to have a friend babysit the girls on Thursday night, but it was for naught, as only 4 people came that evening. On Friday I was able to convince a cousin to come help us in exchange for some free goods (being that EVERYTHING that didn’t sell was literally going to be thrown away or donated anyway). All day Friday was pretty steady (from 7am-9pm), but it was never crazy. As the day wore on I kept posting reductions in prices on items, etc. By the end of the day we’d barely made $600. To be fair, a lot of the big/pricey items had been moved when my Dad moved, but this low number also reflects the fact that we were practically giving items away (again – we didn’t have the luxury of time on our side, so we couldn’t be choosy or hold out for better offers).

That being said, by 4pm on Friday we were still overwhelmed with the amount of items still laying around. We ended up calling a local company (Everything Goez) and paid them $500 to clear all the remaining property items. So in the end we had made just a teeny tiny profit of about $100. Next-to-nothing.

That being said, the #1 objective of our trip to Utah was to clear out the property. When I got there and realized how much remained, I was worried about what would happen. My sister and I were on the phone a lot and talking about additional trips, etc. I didn’t feel good about that (plus don’t have time for extra trips and more time off work), so in the end I thought this was the best possible solution. My siblings aren’t thrilled with the lack of money made at the estate sale, but I think we all realize that the alternative would have been even more costly (again, given the time off work, additional travel expenses, and longer time that this house is sitting vacant and costing us money). So in the end, paying to have the place cleared was the right move for us. I went with one goal (= clear out property), and I accomplished that goal (albeit, only by paying people to help us).

The house, garage, and yard are all now completely empty and ready for a professional cleaning and to be placed on the market. I met with a property management company while in town and got some pretty bad news about rental prices. I’ve since then called to get another quote (actually 3 in total), and it looks like we might not be able to make as much from renting as we’d originally thought. That means (fingers crossed), I may be able to talk the siblings into just selling the property, as I’ve wanted from the beginning. There’s not a lot of equity in the property, but enough that we wouldn’t lose any money. Plus, I literally had 3 separate groups of people offer to buy the house while they were going through and looking at items to purchase. One family (across-the-street neighbors) offered to pay cash with a quick close. We have a sibling conference call planned this week so we’ll see what happens (for newer readers, my brother & sister are both proponents of keeping it as a rental. I’m the only one in favor of selling, but I respect the majority vote so there are no hard feelings one way or another. I just don’t want to deal with this out-of-state property anymore).

So that’s about it. I have to apologize for my lack of numbers posts lately. I’ve still had it in the back of my mind that I need to do a budget update from last month (May), but by the time I have a chance to write it we’ll likely be ready for a June budget update. With all the balls I’m juggling I just have to do what I can and that may mean a missed numbers post here or there.

That being said, June should be a good month for us. My full-time job paycheck is higher because I have fewer deductions (I work at a university where most are on 9-month contracts, so during the Spring semester the deductions are higher to account for summer months. But since I’m actually working over the summer, too, I get my full without those deductions since they were essentially “pre-paid”). My part-time job paycheck is higher, too (since I only get paid in 2 lump sums:  June and July. Though that means I get no paycheck at all in May or August).

I’ve really got to get our emergency fund back up after raiding it last month (which I mention here), coupled with the fact that we were hoping to buy a house soon! For those wondering, we haven’t even started looking yet! With all the health crises and emergencies we’ve been experiencing, we’ve talked about the possibility of pushing our house hunt back into the Fall (we’d always planned to start hunting this summer). We could start in late summer, though, so that’s a possibility too. We’ve got to save more for our downpayment and need to get a bit beefier safety net (in terms of the EF). So that’s what’s going on with that. I’m still searching Zillow all the time and grabbing flyers from desirable areas whenever I see them – just for reference (and for fun). But no official looking yet. I’ll keep you posted on that.

I hope you all have a great week! Talk to you soon!

 


Staying On Top of Finances

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Has anyone seen this vine that’s floating around the interwebs?

Luckily it’s been awhile since we’ve felt that underwater (knock on wood). But it still made me chuckle, thinking of all the times when this video would have been VERY true for describing our financial lives. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully it’ll make you smile, too.

 


I’m On A Boat!

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Or….a cruise ship, to be more precise! ; )

I just wanted to pop in briefly to say HI!!!! We’re having a blast and loving life right now!

I’ve got a post I’ve written and scheduled to go live on Monday because I won’t be back into town until late Sunday night and then…you know…work. All that good stuff. : )

But I’m taking mental notes of all the fun things I want to share! How we’ve been able to do cruising right while still saving money! Plus so many regular posts I need to share (our April debt update, which will have to wait until May because I’m not checking my bank account records using public wifi; our April budget update, etc. etc. etc.)

In the meantime, I hope you’re all doing well! Sorry for the radio silence in the comments section. I’ll reply to comments when I return to main-land!

Have a great rest of the week!

~Ashley