Thursday, September 30, 2010

blogger beginner

Just getting the hang of this blogging thing.  

I am excited about the "pages" option.  It feels more like a real website than just a normal diary/blog with organized sections.  

It's fun to blog about this!  

I know we will look back on these days and smile because we are
just so gung-ho!

But we need to hype this up as much as possible!  The more we put our goals into writing, the more likely we are to stick with them.

Thank you to everyone who has come over to check out our blog... It makes us excited just to see that 31 strangers have looked at it.  

And nervous.  We REALLY have to stick with our plan.  

We will!  

We are committed to each other and to living debt-free FOR LIFE. 

$10/week & Taking It Personally

I spent the first of my $10/week allowance today.  
Bought coffee at a coffee shop on the way to work.  
It felt so good!  I've had this $10 in the back of my mind all week, wondering what to spend it on.  

In the old days, $10 would be long-gone by now.  I probably would have gone to a coffee shop at least once, and made some kind of other purchase at the grocery store or something.  

I'm learning to love making things at home like special coffee drinks, iced coffee... And spending time doing things at home that I love.  I've been getting back into knitting and crocheting... and we've been watching some great movies.  We love our place.

I feel settled in a new way.  Courageous and convicted and like I am doing the right thing.  

Now if I could just drag myself to the gym since we still have a membership we can't get out of.
(working on that!) 

found a great quote on Confessions of a Young Married Couple the other day:

"And no matter what end of the spectrum you find yourself, the first thing to remember about money is that you can’t take it personally
I know, I know.  It’s your money.  Of COURSE its personal.  And I’m not saying that it isn’t personal.  I’m just saying you can’t take it personally.  Having the discussion (and subsequent discussions throughout the rest of your marriage) about money is already hard, but it helps to talk about it as if the two of you are starting a small business.  And you sort of are.  Operating a family budget makes you the CFO of your own company, your own little empire.  And you can’t be a good CFO if you take every discussion about money personally."

This was a helpful quote, because money feels so personal.   Our deep-down reasons for getting into this much debt are insecurity, lack of self-control and who knows what other reasons - but they are most definitely personal!  (Even if we'll talk about them here)  That's what makes the decision to face the facts and pull out of it that much harder!  We have only ourselves to blame, and we have only ourselves to save us. 

And we need to address this in a business-like fashion.  As though we are the CFO's of our own company.  Our debt payoff company.   It helps to not get bogged down in hopelessness to think about it this way. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ok, so we are both feeling really committed to this cause.  And a little scared.  But fear is good, in this case.  We need to be afraid enough to never, ever let it happen again.  

Unless anyone is confused, we have $23,900 in credit card debt, not including student loans.  This is partly due to our wedding, and mostly due to carelessness and living above our means.  We have not yet reached the point where we can't make our monthly payments on these cards, and we are thankful that we are catching it in time... but obviously the point is to pay off the entire bill at the end of each month, and that is our goal.

we did our grocery shopping a few days ago.  a lot of vegetables and staples.  we are going to start shopping for groceries every other week, and start using up more food that we have on the shelves instead of running out for more of what we've used up. 

Jack has listed over 30 things on eBay, and we are hopeful about that. In fact, we might already be able to check off a few more $100 boxes from the eBay sales he just made last week. 

Also we are trying to decide whether or not I should take a few classes and become a fitness instructor.  If I do, I can phase out of my old job and into that... which would be really nice, and wouldn't cause a decrease in pay.  But if I decide not to, that money can go directly towards our debt, and would check off a lot of boxes.  

So, we are thinking about that.  I will have to make a decision after the first week of class, which starts next Wednesday.  I'm not going to decide until I've gone to at least one class, so we'll see.  
I have noticed myself holding back from buying any surplus items.  No coffee from coffee shops, no magazines, no extra, unnecessary groceries.  I thought it would make me feel trapped and poor - but it doesn't!  I feel liberated from all of that spending, and I feel smart and like I'm making good choices.  

We are already talking about Christmas.  I already have one present for Jack that I bought before we started this, and it was $40.  We might decide to stick within $50 for each of our gifts, and then focus on handmade for our family/friends.  We have said that we want to do that for the past few years, but haven't put it into practice 100%.  

This Christmas will be about meaning, not money

I feel more cheerful about it already!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The number: $24,000

The long-term goal: Debt-free by September 2012

The short term goal: $1000/month

The means:

:sell unnecessary possessions on ebay + craigslist (Jack)

:vamp up my (O's) etsy shop - promote it and work hard to sell more.  

:$10 a week personal spending each for coffee dates + small luxuries

:cut back text + data plans

:rejoice with each $100 box check-off and celebrate $1000 milestones (freely.)

:bike more

:grocery shop every other week instead of weekly

:keep the temperature in our apartment warmer when it's hot outside and colder when it's cold outside

:stop gym membership when contract expires in February

:sell clothes at consignment shops

:be grateful for what we have

:stop coveting what others have

:stop turning "wants" into "needs"