:::: MENU ::::

Looking Back and It’s Okay

by

Last week I wrote about looking forward to the end of my debt payoff journey and the possibility of being completely debt free in just two years! I also decided, on a whim, that we would be doing a #nospendjanuary.

In having these discussions with the kids this week, we’ve also looked back at all the changes in our lives over the last few years. Some of them were intentional with the goal of getting out of debt and some of them were forced due to job loss, house loss and big moves.

I thought I might highlight some of the big changes as a bit of nostalgia for me and maybe to update some of the new readers on the roller coaster that has been my life these last few years:

  • We sold our 15 passenger van that had a substantial loan tied to and downsized to an old paid off Honda Accord for 6 months. (And I had to learn how to drive a stick shift – yikes!)
    • I was able to save enough in that 6 months to purchase a used Ford Flex as a family car and the Accord became the twins first car as they got their licenses.
  • We were forced to move from our home of 4 years with little notice and took it as the opportunity to downsize and try apartment living with the 5 of us, 3 dogs and a cat.
    • We sold most everything when we moved from 1,800 square feet to 900 square feet. I truly embraced minimalist living and still function that way for the most part.
  • During our apartment stint, my business pretty much folded as my largest two clients downsized. And things got really desperate…we ended up on food stamps and it took me almost 2 years to get back on solid ground.
    • We had to move out of the apartment and another family graciously let us live on their land in their camper/trailer. We stayed there for 9 months and were able to experience farm life with raising chickens in our kitchen. We also discovered that I HATE ‘glamping.’ I may have already known that but this really pushed it home.
  • After just over a year of mostly unemployment, we made a big move to GA after the camper we were living in was damaged while we were out of town and became unlivable. By the time we completed the move and were living with my Grandmother, I had a full time job offer and I returned to the corporate world after 10 years as an entrepreneur. This is where the tides began to turn for us. This was March, 2017.
    • That brings us to present day with the rebirth of my business going well, almost 2 years in our cozy rental home and the kids doing really well in their schooling!

Our debt journey has been a true roller coaster ride. And it has been really hard the last few years. But you know what…we can all look back now and appreciate what we have been through and have found tons of fun things to laugh and smile about.

What we thought were the darkest days, taught us so much. And now, I really can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to be debt free. I am really going to get there.

By the way, coming to the end of the first week, admittedly not a full week, we have not spent an extra cent! Go us!!!!


Motivated and Brutal

by

I know many of the BAD readers would say it’s time, or even way past time. But as I committed to #nospendjanuary like never before yesterday, I went over the forecasted spending for the next four months with a fine tooth comb.

The Chopping Block

I am committed to cutting any “fat” out of my budget, both personal and professional. And 3 2 things immediately ended up on the chopping block.

  • Netflix is gone again. I renewed it sometime this fall and it was included in our Entertainment line item of our budget at $11 a month. It is no more. We don’t have cable or Hulu, but we do have high speed internet. So we are now to Amazon Prime for “TV” type entertainment now.
  • Skype minute subscription is gone. This is a business expense. I pay for a Skype number for my business and this fall I did need to use that line to make phone calls and receive phone calls. But at this time, I do not need it. It was $9 per quarter for unlimited minutes. It is gone effective immediately. I still have my number as it is an annual cost, and I can use it via the web, just can’t have the calls forwarded to my cell phone or call landlines from it now.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud was almost gone. This is a business expense. I have used Adobe for years and years and I love their tools. But at $20 per month for the subscription to the software I needed, I decided I could cut it and make due with other software. But when I logged on to cancel it, found out that because of my “deal” I would incur a early termination fee. Have decided to hold off for now, but may revisit this in the future.

I am still looking for other costs I can cut. They will most likely be from the business side since our personal budget is pretty lean and tight based on past spending and predicted needs. But even freeing up this $20 this month, $60 over the next quarter feels like a baby step in the right direction.

I do really like the idea of being debt free in 2021!