Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Debt Snowball is rolling but at a grandma's pace. While we are to make some strides this month and get our debt under $30K {barely}, I feel a little deflated.

Our goal is to have our credit card debt taken care of by August 2011 which I think we can do but it's going to be tough. But when is paying down all of you debt at one time easy? {I say sarcastically} It reminds me of a snowball war...

Student Loan: $10,401.31
Credit Card #1: $7,602.09
Auto Loan: $5,228.70
Credit Card #2: $3699.63
Credit Card #3: $1,843.24
Non-profit Pledge: $780.00
Bank Loan Closed 8/27/10
Credit Card #4 Closed 7/27/10

Total: $29,614.27

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today, Mr. M and I had a lazy day that consistented of sleeping in, going to our favorite burger place for lunch and then an afternoon of college football. It's really the little things.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 - 50 things I’m thankful for…

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1. Mr. M – my awesome husband
2. My parents and my sisters
3. My cats Felix and Oscar. They don’t care how poor I am, they just love me for who I am.
4. The Military.
5. My church and the fellowship it brings.
6. My Supper Club
7. My Sorority Sisters
8. My job and I’m grateful that I enjoy what I do.
9. My education
10. My car – it’s running and its reliable…knock on wood
11. My sense of humor
12. Friday morning breakfast get togethers
13. My Grandmother’s recipes. Even though she’s not here, I can still have a little bit of her around the dinner table.
14. Mint ice cream
15. Clean water
16. Gone With The Wind. Whenever I feel down, I watch the first two hours of Scarlett taking on the world and realize…it really isn’t all that bad.
17. Dave Ramsey. His plan has allowed my husband and I to communicate more about money than every before.
18. Pandora. Where was this when I was in college?
19. Websites that already match up the sales paper with coupons. These sites have saved me a ton of money this year.
20. Our city’s arts community. I’m surrounded by creative people.
21. The opportunity to be a leader in my community at such a young age.
22. The ability to use my voice and not to be afraid to do so in a public setting.
23. A roof over my head.
24. Food in my pantry.
25. The Economy downfall. I think it’s allowed more Americans to focus on what is truly important.
26. The Post Office. I love sending cards.
27. Naps
28. Pretty Stationery.
29. Blogs
30. Book Club – even though we should really rename it to wine club
31. The four seasons
32. Tiny Prints. They made my Christmas card purchasing so, so easy this year and their customer staff is wonderful.
33. Amazon Bookshop
34. Pizza
35. Made from scratch biscuits
36. Warm showers
37. Blankets
38. Rain
39. My knees
40. A working oven
41. Art
42. Homemade bread
43. Today Show.
44. The Internet
45. Local business owners.
46. Fireman and Police Officers
47. Socks
48. My health
49. My Blackberry - even though it's addictive.
50. My followers.:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday

This year I plan to hand out more baked goods than last year and don't have a real need to go out to face the crowds this Black Friday. I will say the commericals {especially Target} have been pretty good this year. The one above I saw at least three times during the Today Show. Happy Early Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Dining Out In December...

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The most shocking thing that we found when we started to track our expenses was our dining out costs. It's so easy to go out for dinner rather than make dinner. When we tried a month of not dining out this past August and it was a real eye opener.

Now with Holiday Season upon us, Mr. M and I are discussing the possibility of revisiting this idea again for the month of December. It’s going to take a great deal of planning but I think we might be able to pull it off.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Samples are truly some of my favorite things in the world. It's like Christmas each time they arrive in the mail. Here is a photo of last week's goodies: Free trash bags from Glad, free Klennex pack, 3M Blue painters tape and $5 gift card from Pizza Hut.

Here's a great site to find all of these fun goodies: http://freesamplefreak.com/

Friday, November 19, 2010

Little Miss Frustrated.

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Clearly I am very excited to knock down my debt snowball. So excited that I paid my student loan bill early. Normally this act is not a bad thing except when you pay a bill with money that you don’t have.

When I looked at my bank balance, I saw that I had an extra $150 in the account and thought – awesome, I can go ahead and pay this bill. Had I taken a second to go back and recheck my budget excel sheet, I would have realized that I only had $25 in extra cash and not $150.

So this morning when I saw the overdraft charge and realized what I had done, this wave of shame washed over me. I feel completely stupid. The lessons of the day – get excited about paying down your debt but not too excited.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Sale!

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Received another sale yesterday at my on-line bookshop on Amazon.
Rolling that into our Debt Snowball...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Keeping Up.

A few weeks ago Mr M was able to get a few free tickets to the Corey Smith concert in our city. If you have never heard of Corey, he's a Southern Rock artist from Georgia. One of his new songs, "Keeping Up With The Jones" is a great reminder to be thankful for what we have.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guess what I bought with rebate $$ - Part II

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These fabulous shoes! I've stretched my current pair of black heels to the brink and when
I took them to be repaired for the 100th time, I was told to buy new shoes.


Luckily, I have my rebate fund dedicated to purchases like buying shoes.

So after searching the mighty three discount stores - Ross, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx  - and the Internet, I decided to walk into a local shoe boutique on a whim during my lunch break. That is when I found my replacement shoes in their sales section.  I compared their price on-line {thank goodness for a blackberry} and realized that I was saving $30 than what was on 6pm and Zappos. Double score!

It is SO nice to pay in cash.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthday weekend.

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The past 72 hours have been a birthday celebration for Mr. M and my dear friend {and neighbor} HW who are 16 hours apart.  Since HW's husband is in Iraq and away for her birthday, I thought I'd throw them a joint birthday party so I could A) keep the cost down and B) have a great excuse to see everyone.

Amazingly, I feed 30 or so people on a $50 party budget and since I had planned for this a few months ago, I was able to save up for it.  The party was great as it lasted until the wee hours.

Since the Holidays are quickly approaching, here a few budget saving websites to help with your party planning that won't stop your debt snowball from rolling.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Free Toys!

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Yesterday, I saw on Hip2Save this great deal that Hallmark was giving away a free toy to the first 5 people who came to store and said the secret phrase.

Now I don't have children {yet} but I do have a godson who needs a Christmas gift so I thought, why not, and went to the story.  I scored not one but two of these toys {we have two Hallmarks here} and was told by the staff that I was the first one since the promotion started to come by. Seriously?

These toys are $15 each so I saved $30 and since no one really knows about it, you may have a shot to get a free one as well. Even if you do not have children {neices or nephews}, you can always donated it to a local shelter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How I felt today.

Today was tough day and it took everything I had not to walk out the front door. I am now extremely motivated to get out of debt as fast as possible so I can STOP being dependent on a paycheck.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Review

Mr. M and I haven't seen a raise of any kind in the last three years and I found out from our Budget Director a few weeks ago that I won't see one until 2012 if we're lucky.

Seriously - 2012!?!

That's why our hearts skipped a beat at the end of the summer when Mr. M's boss wanted to give him an evaluation. Not to brag on my husband but he does very well at his job which is in collegiate sports.  He works long hours and always puts in 110%. How do I know? When people learn of my last name, they usually tell me in the next breath that they enjoy going to games because of my husband.  So when Mr. M was told that he was having a review, we were hopeful that it would be A) positive and B) come with a raise. A little raise would do...just something to help us fight this snowball.

That review was in August and he found out the results on Monday. Yep - November 1st.  And guess what? We got one out of the two things we hoped for - the review was positive. However; there is no extra money coming our way.


It instantly reminded me of the final episode of Mad Men. I couldn't find the scene when Joan is offered her new promotion but this clip is enough.

Monday, November 1, 2010


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Did you survive Halloween? We almost didn't financially speaking. Our neighborhood is a hot spot for Trick-o-Treating to the point that churches will bus kids in for a night of free candy. So of course, our neighbors deck their houses {us included} with all kinds of decorations. I have two boxes now dedicated to Halloween decorations alone and always buy this stuff when it's on sale or they're giving it away.

When I first moved to the neighborhood, I thought that my neighbors were over exaggerating on the amount of children actually door to door on Halloween. Never the less, I thought that I should be on the safe side and purchased a bunch of candy {if I remember correctly, I spent $50 the first year} with the thought that I could take back what I didn't hand out.

I was such a fool. I ran out in less than 2 hours.

The next year, I hosted a B.Y.O.C. as in Bring Your Own Candy. My thought was that I could host a party with food and drink and spend LESS than I would on candy for the kids. Over the last few years it's worked out pretty well and this year was no exception. I personally bought eight bags of candy and they were gone in an hour. Thank goodness for my friends for the back up!

PS. About the buses - that's actually true as we had five churches this year.