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Archive for September, 2009

Updated sidebar

September 30th, 2009 at 05:13 pm

Well, I updated my sidebar...unfortunately we are currently $2,930.35 more in debt than we were one month ago. That is because we had an income tax bill come due and I paid it with a "courtesy check" with 1.9% financing. The total of that was $3,581.33. Had we not had to pay that we would have had $650.98 less debt. That was the only time we used the credit for the month.

I did let my husband know what we had for debt. He wasn't mad, but he was sad to know that we were going to be working for a long time to pay this debt off. I offered to get a job on weekends (seasonal) to help, and although he was appreciative, he said to hold off and we will sit down and find the root of the problem. (To me, that's easy. We don't bring in enough income to meet our expenses. He's not as black and white as that when it comes to money.) I'm more of a "jump right in and do what needs to be done" kind of person. He's concerned that I'm going to burn myself out too quickly, which is a valid concern, but if I need to work 60+ hours a week to help get rid of the debt, why not? Especially if it's only for a few months? I think I should take advantage of the opportunity while the stores will be hiring extra people.

I've been trying to be very cautious of our energy usage. I was talking with a friend about ways to cut back on electricity, and it helped remind me to unplug things like my computer modem at night (the plug heats up, so I know it's drawing electricity while I'm sleeping!). I've also begun hanging my laundry in the basement. It was humid for a month and the laundry wasn't drying very well and started to smell musty, so I had been using the dryer. I noticed a $30 increase in my electricity bill! Neither of us mind the stiff clothes, although I do end up ironing some things that I wouldn't normally need to do if I had used the dryer. Then again, if I didn't take the clothes out of the dryer in time, they would be wrinkled and I would be ironing them anyway. I actually don't mind ironing. I find it soothing in a strange sort of way.

I was able to stock up the freezer with some on-sale meats. I got a nice ham, some bottom round (for pot roasts) and chickens. Even though there is only 2 of us, we still do like to have a Sunday dinner together. We also do like to have leftovers during the week, and I can my own stocks, so none of it goes to waste. I wonder if that's part of the reason he doesn't want me to work weekends? He'll miss out on the feasts during the winter. I would miss them too. Maybe he's right. But I'm not going to tell him that.

Work and business ramblings.

September 14th, 2009 at 06:04 pm

DH has been concerned about his business. He's been stressing a lot for nearly the last year because of the lagging economy. Sometimes he wants to just throw in the towel and give up, othertimes he's very optimistic that things are going to go great. He never wanted to be a millionnaire, he just wanted to provide a comfortable living for us and for his employees. We've had more than our share of bumps down the road for this business, and hopefully things will turn profitable in the near future.

It's interesting how employees think that a business has a bottomless pit of money. That they should get raises when they've done nothing to improve themselves at work, or improve the state of the business: "it's time" for a raise, they say. But when you tell them "do x, y and z, and you'll be eligible for a raise" they don't want to do it. "Gimme the free money" is their attitude! Don't even get me started about the ones who think they are supposed to be getting a holiday bonus!

There are not many people out there with a good work ethic anymore. I see the same thing at my full time job. Everyone wants what the other person worked hard to get...and some people were adamant that they were "owed" whatever it was they were wanting because of the stress the job caused them. The only thing work "owes" you is a paycheck for the work you've done. Not to mention that in this economy, I would think that anyone who still has a job would be trying to go above and beyond to make sure they're the ones that keep their job if and when the time comes. But some people just take for granted that they'll have their job forever. Shame on them!

I know a guy who had an inkling that he was going to be let go from his high paying job. Instead of trying to be the best at his job, he decided that he was going to slack off, since he figured he was going to be let go anyway so why put in the effort? As it turns out, he was let go, but it was because of his poor performance, not for any other reason like he suspected. Now he's been out of work for nearly six months, and he hasn't been able to find a job. He's close to losing his house at this point, and his unemployment is going to run out soon.

I imagine it could go the other way, too. Knowing that an employee can't easily find a job, I'm sure there are employers who are taking unfair advantage of their workers. I'm happily not in that position. I do my best at my job, and I have respect from my peers and my bosses, but I am one of the few at my place of employment who is willing to put in a little extra work. It doesn't go unnoticed, and that's exactly the way I want it.

A fun evening out.

September 12th, 2009 at 06:07 pm

I went out to eat with friends and then we went shopping. I spent exactly $20 on dinner, and tried on a lot of shoes and outfits, but bought nothing. I couldn't buy anything - I smartly left all my credit cards and my debit card at home. I had another $10 on my after dinner (paid that in cash), but I didn't want to friviously throw that way. So it's nicely snuggled in my wallet. Smile

Thanks for all the support and motivation from everyone thus far in my journey. I really appreciate it!

As of 9/1/09....

September 10th, 2009 at 05:10 pm

Heres' where we stand. Although horrible to look at, I know getting out of this debt is do-able, although it won't be quick. I equate it to losing weight. If you only have to lose 10 pounds, it'll happen quickly. If you have to lose 100, well, that will take longer.

Savings: $184.35

Debts:
JC Penney: $913.60
Chase: $4,764.91
Discover: $11,871.42
AT&T: $13,705.87
Capital One: $11,027.24
Citibank: $24,547.54

Payments this month have been applied, and more money has been added to savings already this month. Following the baby steps, I need to build my baby EF first. I would prefer it to be over $1,000, but once I hit $1,000 in savings I will reassess.

Where did all this debt come from? We certainly don't live lavishly. Much of it was to bail out our business last fall due to the lagging economy (small family owned businesses weren't included in the gov't bailout, so we had to do it ourselves to stay afloat and meet our payroll obligations). DH had to cut some of his salary early in 2008, and I was paying credit cards with credit cards for a while...amazingly I am current on all my bills, but I'm afraid that could quickly come to a screeching halt if I don't really buckle down.

Add to that $10,000 owed to the IRS in monthly installments, and 3 more payments on a car loan. It's been rough, to say the least. But I will remain optimistic and move forward.

Here we go!

September 8th, 2009 at 06:14 pm

Well, I'm finally biting the bullet and doing what I really should have been doing all along and working to get out of debt. Feeble attempts have been made, but any savings were quickly spent. I am aware that we currently have expenses higher than our income...which is part of the problem! I need to sort through this all and make it work.

I've been an active reader of the blogs for some time now, and now I will be an active participant and want everyone to hold me accountable!

There are things in our budget that we just can't touch...which doesn't help matters. If it were only me in the house, cable would be gone, internet would be either gone or be dial up, and we wouldn't eat out ever. But, to maintain a relationship with DH, I am willing to bend and cut back in other areas to make it work.

I don't know if DH has any idea of the amount of debt we're in...he knows there is debt, but I think not knowing the actual number is better for his sanity and stress level. He owns his own business which has had its ups and downs, and struggles enough with making ends meet, especially with the economy. Although I would like to sit down with him and work on a budget and fully disclose all numbers, I also know that would be detrimental to his well being. He also wants me to handle this, and has requested to stay out of it. So, until I can show something to him in a more positive light, I will keep my lips zipped.

A long-winded intro, but I will fully diclose (anonymously, of course) the amount of debt and income we have over the course of time.

You know...this feels liberating. Its like I'm in a confessional! LOL Money has always been that taboo thing that we can't talk about to anyone, but yet it feels so much more freeing already. I see positive things coming out of this blog!