Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Its Hard to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

I'd be the old dog in this scenario. I'm one of those old dogs that eats at the exact same time everyday. Lays around for a specific amount of time and then wanders outdoors to poo at the exact same time everyday. You don't change my food. You don't expect me to go for a walk if it's not on the schedule. I'm not going to be nice to new people because I don't know them. I'd probably growl a bit if a vehicle drove by my home that I didn't recognize the sound of. I imagine I'd know a neighborhood squirrel (through the living room window) quite well and I'm sure I'd be aware of the time of day he always climbs the oak tree next door. Ok, so the new tricks would be learning how to live a financially responsible life after decades of the exact opposite but you get the idea.

Confessions: 1. I've used overdraft transfers a few times in the past several weeks. I'd love LOVE love to blame falling back into this nasty habit on my husband. Each time I've resorted to the transfer has been because he spent a ridiculous amount of money right before we got paid BUT if I were on top of things this wouldn't be happening. So, no blame applicable. 2. We've reverted back to eating out ALOT, virtually every night. It's due to pure laziness (and gluttony). It's horrible and there's no excuse for it.

I thought I had this old dog pretty well trained into the new way of doing things. Nope. It takes alot of work to stay on track, stay on task, and change a lifestyle. Hopefully now that I've confessed my short comings on this lovely (heavy) blog I'll try harder to stay on task.

Things I desperately need to work on in the short run:
Sticking to the awesome new budget.
Blogging regularly (it's crazy how much it helps to just sit down and spill about it every day)
Balancing the checkbook (tonites chore while my husband is out hanging with the guys)
Lessen the meals out on the town. Yes old dog, you must eat at home!


Today's lovely: An evening alone at home. Sometimes solitude is so wonderful.  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's gonna be difficult BUT sigh of relief... I can do this!

Writing yesterday's blog really helped (I should have done that at least a month ago).

All of your comments and support really helped! I'm going to take your advise. I'm going to pay off our littlest credit card. It has zero percent interest that ends in December. I really want to get it gone before the interest kicks back in. I'll feel great eliminating another card even if it's just a tiny one (without interest). That will leave us with four cards at the end of this year, 2011. We started the year with NINE..

The other cards are going to have to sit on the back burner. I've just worked out a budget for the next six months (headache) and even though it's a super tight penny pinching budget that's going to be very difficult to stick to it pays all the bills and saves enough money for me to take 8 weeks maternity leave without any worry. (Sorry about the run on sentences... my husband says I'm awful for that) I'd LOVE to take the full 12 weeks but right now I've got 8 weeks worked into the budget. I'm happy with that!

Fortunately the tax refund will come very near the same time our little one arrives. I can either use that for another 4 weeks leave or to put towards the hospital bills. I will cross that bridge when I get to it BUT at least I have that little honey jar sitting out there in the future. PLEASE DON'T RAISE THE TAX RATE US of A!!!

As for baby stuff I haven't bought anything... ok except a kids book. I've been slowly giving away my wonderful kids book collection as birthday gifts and such for the past few years as I've seen no kids coming our way and it was very practical. I felt REALLY good purchasing a new book for my dwindling collection knowing that we're going to have our own little one to read them to. Wow, getting a little teary eyed writing this.

We've already been given a few baby gifts. Honestly since we waited NINE years to have our first child (and everyone had almost given up on us) all of the family and friends are super excited and I'm pretty sure we'll be getting tons of baby stuff (and buying VERY little). One friend of mine recently brought over all her old maternity clothes. I genuinely don't plan on having to buy anymore YAY... THANK YOU BARN (thats her nickname)!!! Over the past year and a half I've gotten really good at NOT buying stuff. I don't think the new little addition to the family will change that.

Well this WAS going to be a quick short blog. Sorry about that... I'm finding my blogs sort of run on and on.  Sigh of relief: I'm really glad I FINALLY sat down, worked out the numbers and have a little plan. Now, thee most important and difficult thing of all is going to be sticking to it AND sticking to this blog because I tell you what I would NOT have made it through the first six months of this year and the $3000 credit card payoff without being able to vent everyday and receiving all of your wonderful support and advice. Thank-you blogging community! I love you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby, baby, money?

It was sooo easy when it was just the two of us and the credit card debt (SUPER amount of sarcasm there). I had a plan and I was pretty well following it: Pay off the credit cards and don't spend money.

I decided pretty much first thing that every extra penny would go towards the credit cards. At first I was debating between saving, paying down the car, paying down the credit cards, and other little monetary issues like fixing things around the house and so forth. I sat down made the decision and put everything on the back burner. The credit card debt NEEDED to be addressed first thing. Everything else would come in time. Once I had a plan I struggled but I knew where I was going. I always had an answer to the "where does this money go" question: THE CREDIT CARD DEBT!

It's been TWO WEEKS since my last blog post; two weeks of aimless spending and frustrated questioning. I really genuinely couldn't be happier about the little one we're planning to welcome six months from now. But I'm looking forward to these next six months less than any others I've ever faced. I don't get paid leave from work. I'm not sure if I can get some sort of disability insurance to cover the baby leave. I can't imagine even going back to work after I meet my little one but that's an entirely different blog altogether, it's something that has to be done, and I'm just going to try my hardest not to think about it. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Back to business, we have health insurance but the hospital bills for this new little bundle are going to be expensive, I'm estimating at least $2000.

Basically I don't know where to start. Do I go back to paying minimums on the debt and start saving for the hospital bills and work leave? Do I keep paying down the cards (tackling the ridiculous interest payments that go down every single month that I pay extra on the cards) and just worry about the new expense when it comes? Do I just declare bankruptcy, quite my job, get government assistance for my food and health care like  everyone else and live the stay at home mom dream? (That's a joke by the way. No matter how difficult life gets I'm not going to fall back on quitting responsible living... ok, maybe if we find out we're having triplets or something like that I'll consider it).

I don't handle change well. I'm really dysfunctional. I'm faced with a new scenario and instead of sitting down and trouble shooting I just let the cards fall and pretend that life isn't happening (and eat everything I can get my hands one). Geesh, this way of handling things is NOT working out. I've got a substantial amount of credit card debt as proof to the above statement. Any input is appreciated. I really cannot figure out the best thing to do here. I've wasted two months now wondering and coming to no conclusions. Keep paying down the cards? Start saving for baby? Cross the bridges once I get to them? Does anyone know anything about disability insurance?

Well... at least I've finally posted a new blog : )

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thee Best Budget Buster

Time to share the news...

This is our little guy sporting his brand new t-shirt

The past few months I've had to change things around a bit. Ramon noodles aren't really going to cut it anymore. I need to eat fruit and more veggies daily. I need vitamins, calcium; oh how the list goes on... Seriously the most welcome and exciting budget buster I've ever faced. I really couldn't be happier (or more completely and totally in shock). I really couldn't have been more thrown off my guard and totally knocked off the budget horse.

I've been re-thinking the budget for awhile now (while totally blowing half of June, all of July, and not doing so great in August) and I've decided to add an extra $3 a day for the peanut fund. It might not work. I NEED to buy healthier food than what I'd been living off of, no questions about it. I think I can do that on $3 a day. I'm going to try and get back to the $12 a day budget. Honestly I've got more of a reason now to get out of debt than I ever had before. But on top of the $12 a day budget I'm starting a $3 a day peanut fund strictly for the peanut.

Between now and February 2012 I've got a lot a praying to do, a lot of debt to tackle, a lot of saving to accomplish, and A LOT to look forward to!!!

I've wanted nothing more all my life than to be a mom. My dream come true would be to stay at home with my kids (yet to come) and adopt children (or a child) who need(s) a home and bring them into our family. This debt HAS GOT TO GO! I'm pretty sure I cannot say that often enough.

8.12 Lovely: Simply the fact that it's Friday. I'm so, so, so happy just for the weekend to be here! ahh sleep

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Butterflies and Banana Bread

Where has time gone??? I planned to post everyday no matter and it's been 10 days since my last post. oops.

You guys are WAY too easy on me by the way. I should NOT be going over budget. It's a super tight one BUT if I try I know I can stick to it. The only reason I'm going over is because I'm being lazy, having a pity party, and not focusing on the bigger picture: getting out of this debt mess.

That being said it's August now (yay for August) and I'm still behaving pretty badly. I think better than July but none the less NOT on budget. Additionally I got in a huge fight with the husband yesterday, I've had a migraine all day, and my hours at work have been getting cut short for the past few weeks... kind of makes it hard to pay the bills. That's my sob story but the only reason I said all that was to say that it's a BEAUTIFUL day today. It's been raining quite a bit lately and all the vegetation out of doors is green and flourishing. A cold front came in last night so the extreme heat just dipped a bit. There's a nice cool breeze in the air. The sky has been a brilliant blue all day. The days are beginning to shorten so the sun is making it's way a little southernly causing the shadows from the trees to be more noticeable to me.  The clouds speckling the blue sky have been magnificent all day. Frankly I'm quite surprised that I didn't ram into someone or drive off the highway this afternoon while I was gazing upwards. And this morning (since the days are shortening) I drove to work during the sun rise. The green fields backropped with trees and the amazing sky reminded me sooo much of the Ireland country side in November. Oooh, also I saw tons of butterflies today. It must be butterfly season or something.

To sumerize: I should be having an awful day but life is so unbelievably beautiful right now that nothing is really bothering me. I think I'm going to make some banana bread now and tomorrow I'll come to terms with reality/ FOCUS on my spending!