Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thank you Pandora

"Big Spender" by Shirley Bassey came on this morning and it gave me a good chuckle. Maybe because I am no longer a big spender like the old days.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reading the menu

Normally when I go to a restaurant, I read the menu from right to left. I have always done this and selected my dinner not based on taste but instead on price.  Which is why I instantly go to the sandwiches rather than the main dinner entrees anytime we go out to eat.

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Except this Saturday.  Mr. M and I went out for our first meal after our No Dining Out Month had ended to a cute restaurant in the mountains.  It's a favorite spot of ours as it gives us a chance to get away from everyone and enjoy a dinner of just the two of us out.  Of course, the first thing I do is try to find the cheapest thing until Mr.M took my menu away and told me to tell him what I wanted.

That's the first time {in a long time} that I read menu from left to right and to be honest - I liked it.  It was a sense of freedom I can't explain not to have money {or lack there of} determine your meal.  The experience was a sense of renewal for me. We can tackle this debt snowball, we will be debt free and one day soon I'll get to read all of my menus from left to right.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Say GOOD-BYE to the bank loan as we PAID IT OFF today!

(Please watch the lady's face in the first 10 seconds of this video - priceless.)

So our debt snowball is now....

Student Loan: $10,683.29

Credit Card #1: $7,590.22

Auto Loan: $5,897.64

Credit Card #2: $4,035.24

Credit Card #3: $1,558.74

Non-profit Pledge: $900.00

Bank Loan: Closed 8/27/10

Credit Card #4: Closed 7/27/10

Total: $30,665.13

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homemade Bread Wins!

Recently, I have started baking in efforts of not having to buy store bought bread. At first {like anything} making bread, muffins and hamburger buns was seriously time consuming but now I have it down to a science.

Mr. M asked this week if we were really saving money by baking our weekly loaf of bread rather than going to the store and just buying it.

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Well, the verdict is in according to The Frugal Girl and my bread is $.53 compared to the $.99 bread {or more} in the store. So now I have bread that is healthier and cheaper than that in the store. Success!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Dining Out...Week 4

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Coming in on the home stretch {thank you Jesus} of the No Dining Out Month.  We're officially done tomorrow and we only screwed up twice.  With some creative thinking, we were able to not completely kill our social life, did not go over too much on our weekly food budget and have a nice chunk of change to put towards our debt snowball.

We may try this again in December since we're surrounded by free meals due to the holidays.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Bookshop is Open!

Yesterday, I sold a book on Amazon and I just posted on it on Saturday! How cool is that?

And I made $4.20 towards our debt.  Whoo for a first sale!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So I'm no longer weird. Today at a baby shower, my couponing became a popular topic of conversation. Funny how skeptics change in a year.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Help with student debt?

I saw this today and did not even know that this program existed. Here is a direct link to the website. After filling out the form, it appears that we do not qualify but I did want to pass it on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Quote of the day

“A man in debt is so far a slave.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guess what I bought with rebate $$?

Brother Printer
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This little guy! Many months ago, I became frustrated with the fact that I could not access all the coupons I needed at work and told Mr. M that I needed a printer. In efforts on staying on the Debt Snowball, he suggested that my need was a want which I disagreed with so I had to become creative. This is when I realized that I could use rebate money to pay for it! I was able to get the items for next to nothing {and it was items that we needed} and TA-DA – I have a printer.

I can’t wait to get home from work today to set it up!

Monday, August 16, 2010

No Dining Out ...Week 3

I’m not going to lie - this past week was a test. As school quickly approaches {Mr. M works at a local college}, our schedule has gone from evenings in to long evenings out with dinner at 8 pm rather than 6 pm. The tired side of me would just like to go out to dinner and forget the dishes but the responsible side of me is determined not to eat out at all no matter the inconvenience.

Who knew that this would be a struggle?

I will say it has gotten easier and we have discussed continuing this trend for another month especially since we’re using the money towards the debt snowball.

Friday, August 13, 2010

When lightening strikes?

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Yesterday, we had a terrible storm pass through the city and my dear friend {and neighbor} had her house struck by lighting. As smoke started to come into the house, she had only a few minutes to get her, her husband and the dogs out along with a few precious items.

Which made me think – what would I take?

With this debt snowball, I realize more and more how stupid I was placing personal fulfillment on shopping rather than strengthening my relationships with others. Now that I’m paying more and more of it off there is less stuff that I really want. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to shop but I’m placing more value of time with people than every before.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Debt Snowball...

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With all the bank issues, I did have to rely on CC#3 to pay our phone bill so we paid it in time. Now that everything is straightened out {hopefully}, my plan is to work on paying that back down to what it was a few weeks ago.

So here are the numbers:

Student Loan: $10,793.97

Credit Card #1: $7,753.22

Auto Loan: $6,154.9

Credit Card #2: $4,160.24

Credit Card #3: $1,494.11

Non-profit Pledge: $900.00

Bank Loan: $537.19

Credit Card #4 Closed 7/27/10

Total: $31,793.63

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The last two days have been busy days but Mr. M and
I were able to find $575 to pay off a credit card.

Whoo for a victory!!!

 I'll post the totals tomorrow but we are very
{very} close to being less than $30K in debt.

Praise the Lord!!

Photo Credit

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Dinning Out...Week 2

So this week we had a few hiccups and ate out two times during the week breaking our No Dining Out pledge. The first was after church when a couple {who had a baby in early June} came back and wanted to grab lunch together. Had Mr. M and I not just cleared out our guest bed room and turned our dinning room into a sorting room, we would have had them over but we didn't.

The second time was during the power outage. Mr. M had a business dinner {paid by work - yeah} so I was stuck at home, hungry and dry ceral was going to cut it. So I ended up at Chick-fil-A and only paid for my fries since I had a coupon for a free sandwich and a free drink. This is why I heart Chick-fi-A.

Even on our trip to the beach, Mr. M and I were to have our meals covered by parents or gift certificates so not a dime was spent on eating out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

When it rains, it pours


This weekend Mr. M and myself are heading to the beach for a family get together {free place to stay with meals - whoo!}with my parents, grandmother, sisters and brother-in-law. In efforts to keep up with our not-eatting-out pledge, I went to the grocery store to pick up some deli meat for sandwiches, crackers and can drinks for us to take on the trip and eat in the car on during the drive. While I was there, I picked up a few packages of meat and extra items so that I could avoid going to the grocery store on Sunday night.Simple right?

Apparently not because while I was in the store a summer storm showed up which I was excited about since the heat index is 114 degrees {no joke}. Well, I should of held my excited because my power went out which I discovered when I got home.


So I threw the meat in the refrigerator and thought, well it should be on in a few hours and tried to figure out what to eat for dinner. Most of our meals were in the refrigerator/freezer, it was now close to 8 pm and I was hungry. In hind sight, I should of steamed up some pasta on the stove and ate that for dinner or dry cereal but I didn't. I went out.

Luckily, I had a coupon for a free sandwich and drink a Chick-fil-A so I went there and splurged on the fries breaking our pledge for a measly $1.50. I still feel guilty about it but really, what could I do?

We did lose the meal in the refrigerator which puts us now over budget in the grocery category. I never realized how intense a power outage can be until last night.

And with that drama behind us, we're heading to the beach. Yeah for a little R&R!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cash Matters

I saw a story featured on Money Savings Mom this morning that provided a great perspective on why to use cash when making small purchases. Over the years, I never thought twice about whipping out my card to pay for a soda since I rarely carry cash.

This is a great reminder on how to be more thoughtful when it comes to small businesses.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thrifty Shopping

My and Mr. M's jobs require business attire all the time which is why we have some "stupid tax" as we used credit cards to purchase clothes. Since, we're trying to get out of debt and not using the cards, I am now researching thrift shops.
I discovered this great website, The Thrift Shopper, and it such a helpful tool in my new discount shopping. Thrift store shopping is my favorite but if it can help me dig out of this hole, I'm all for it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Starting from scratch

Through out this get-out-of-debt journey, I have learned how to make more and more baked items from scratch in efforts to save us money. This week was homemade buns from a recipe that I found on The Frugal Girl which turned out delicious. So much that I made them again this morning before I went to work.

Who says that you don’t have time to bake?

Monday, August 2, 2010

To get or to not get a second job?

That is the question.

Currently, I work a 40+ hour job, attend school at night and volunteer in my free time. It's not always the most peachy of situations but I feel that it's essential for me to progress in my career. I would stop going to school but I {luckily} am grandfathered into my work's tuition program so if I stop now then I lose all the benefits.

But I still feel this nagging need to get another job to bring in more income to pay off our debt so I'm trolling Craigs list, my hometown newspaper and any part-time job postings that I can find. It's overwhelming but I know that there is the perfect part-time job out there for me...I just haven't located it yet.