Friday, December 30, 2011

New Frustrations

This week I decided to take my car to a paint shop to fix a few of the spots where the paint was coming off. Mr. M worked on getting quotes for me so I could do this during the holiday week since I was going travel less.

We decided on Maaco which was a bad decision. The car wasn't ready when they promised so I had to wait until they closed to get my car which meant I had to inspect it in the dark. When I asked for some extra light - like a flashlight - they didn't have one. So Mr. M and I thought everything looked okay and drove it home.

Now, we live less than a mile from Maaco so I didn't think much of it when my radio didn't work well. Then when I got out of the car, I realized my antenna was missing. We also found a few new pain scratches on my car that weren't there before I took it in.

Needless to say I am VERY upset because this was a special treat and reward to myself for paying of my car early. Now I have a larger mess to fix. Morale of the story - avoid Maaco no matter how broke you are.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And it died...

as in our Microwave.  It's lived a long life - over 14 years or so - but it was a sad moment today when it officially stopped working. I never really paid that much attention to how much we used it until I realized that all the freezer meals that we have depended on that microwave.

Luckily, many of the big department stores are having extra 15% or 20% sales online with free shipping so I hope to find a great deal.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Not losing sight of the goal.


In a year of crazy turmoil…from my father, thinking I was stuck at my dead end job and finding out my husband has so many medical issues, there truly has been a silver lining with my new job. The last few weeks have been challenging but rewarding in both professionally and financially and I’m very (very) thankful for this opportunity.

It is important to me to keep the eye on the prize especially with increased income. While currently we’ve been given a windfall, I am very aware that our financial situation can change at a drop of the house and want to make sure that we indeed pay off our debt in 2012. No one can’t guaranteed that we won’t have another “Great Recession.”

I will need your help to keep me in line. We have to beat this debt monster and finally live debt free. There are so many things tempting me especially after living on next to nothing for so many years to spend, spend, and spend like never before. While others have several goals for 2012, I have just one – to melt my debt snowball once and for all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Car Fund?

Since we’ve paid off Beaker this month, Mr. M and I have gone back and forth on if we should take the $250 monthly car payment and apply it towards debt or place it in a savings account. We will need to replace Mr. M’s car soon. Hopefully, we can keep it alive until a year from now but I’m not really counting on it.

What do you all think? Throw the extra $250 towards our snowball or save it?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advice needed.

One of my close friends and neighbors has been searching for a job for a while…as in three years.  She left her old position to move with her husband when he was stationed at Ft. Hood. When he was sent on a mission overseas, she moved back to the East Coast and I was excited to have her home. Since she spent a year not working, I thought it would be a little difficult for her to find a job.  Who was I kidding? It was during the Recession so it was unfortunately a lot harder than we both thought. So, trying to be good friends, Mr. M and I tried every connection we had to land her a job and it finally worked a year ago.  She lasted at the job 4 months and hated it the whole time…which she preceded to tell us over and over.

Eventually, she was fired from that job in April of this year and again back searching for a job.  Then in November, she took a part time job at a local wine shop that was offered to her from a mutual friend.  She also went to our favorite local gift store (you know the time...locally owned by a very cute lady with cute but slightly over priced items) and was also offered a job there. I was elated for her! Finally, she would have some income.

Well, she quit both of them in less than two weeks.

That’s when I lost my cool. Am I wrong to think that she can’t complain about not having a job, even a job with a “title” to me anymore since she refuses to work? I feel that you have to do all that you can do to keep the lights on and food on the table.

Am I wrong in this? Since her last job fiasco, I had some pretty strong words for her when she started to complain to me (again) about not being able to find a job “with a title” in the last year.  My thought is that if you stay at home, only turn in job applications and you make no effort to follow up or network with that company, then it is your own fault for not having a job that has a title.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thought of the Day

{photo credit unknown - leave a comment if you do}

Today is my first day of "working" from home but I'm writing you from the lobby of our auto mechanic.  The old saying that your car breaks down after you pay it off is a true one unfortunately.

However, it is a beautiful day outside and for once, I'm not in a panic when it comes to auto repairs since w have an emergency fund to handle issues like today.

Happy Wednesday to you all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Paid in Full

So I’ve survived my first full week so far. There’s a lot that has been thrown at me but as it stands today, I think I’m going to be able to do this job with no problems. Remember when I posted the Carmen Sandiego post a few weeks back, this week has felt like that. I feel like I’ve been gone a month and not just four days.

In other positive news – we PAID OFF OUR CAR!!! Whoo!

It was a top priority that Beaker (my little red car) was paid off since I’m driving a great deal for this job. A giant snowflake!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pure Joy

Today is my LAST day here and I'm on vacation for a week. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A few updates.

First, we decided to take the windfall $ and put it towards debt. While talking to our accountant, it looks like we will receive an estimated $6,000 after taxes. Here’s the skeleton budget:

 Car: $2,540.39
CC #3: 1,919.80
Non-Profit Pledge: $500
New Clothes: $500*
Insurance: $450
Savings towards paint job for car: $90**

*New clothes = new suits. The dress for this job is at a higher standard than my current position and I only have one suit. My goal is NOT to spend this much but since I haven’t purchased a new wardrobe since 2004, my clothes are pretty faded and it’s time for some newer classic items.

**Savings towards paint job – Beaker (the nickname for my little red car) is having some paint issues and I’m afraid if I don’t fix it soon, we’ll have a bigger problem to deal with down the road. I plan to drive this car for a while now that it’s paid off and hopefully a new paint job will extend the life of the car.

Also, Mr. M agreed to have the surgery. He’s calling today to see if December 21st will work which means he’s out for traveling for Christmas. However, since we’re trying to keep this infertility on the DL, this allows him to avoid the several questions that come for being out of the office for two weeks. The college slows down during Christmas break so hopefully no one will really miss him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Urologist


I’m on the roller coaster of life this week. Today was our meeting with the urologist to go over the Mr. M’s test results that we received last week. Apparently the medication (that is not covered by insurance mind you) made our situation worse.

Awesome…just awesome.

The next steps are surgery for Mr. M or straight to ICSI for me. Neither is considered fun but the cost for the surgery is a little under $600 or so compared to the $12,000 - $15,000 for ICSI.

Guess which one I vote for?

And I feel guilty in doing so but if the surgery fixes the problem then we could continue building our family after our first child versus going through the ICSI procedure each time. However, I can’t force Mr. M to due the surgery as it is his body and not mine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

$8,000 windfall!

Today was my meeting with HR to discuss the final paperwork that I would need to fill out before I leave. We discussed the cost of COBRA, what to do with my pension plan (thank you state retirement fund) and my vacation/sick leave. As of today I have 49 days of vacation/sick leave - I'm such a workaholic. Since I haven’t taken any time, the policy is to pay me in full to the tune of $8,607.00 in addition to my paycheck.

Hello – I have won the lottery.

Then she informed me that since I was leaving less than a year after my tuition, I owe them $500 making it $8,007. Still – it’s $8,000 that I didn’t plan on having in my hands.
So the next step is to figure out what to do with it and I have until next Wednesday to decide. Do we take it in a large sum, change my withholdings and pay the taxes on it? Or place it in a Roth IRA to defer taxes?

I went to Dave’s ELP site and requested the contact information for one in our area. It would be tragic if we didn’t take the right steps to get the most out of our money. My initial thought is to pay off my car or to save for IVF. I am so THANKFUL for this problem but need to figure out what to do soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Only Live Once.

I find this saying so very true - we really only do live once and should not take a day for granted.
This past weekend my family got together for brunch which is the first time we've all seen each other as a group since my father's con artists incident.  It wasn't easy but I'm glad that we did it before the Thanksgiving holiday. There's no need to bring family drama to my Grandmother's house.
Today starts the last full week of work. It's very surreal and I am so happy that God has provided me this new position.  The gossip mill is running today as there is a rumor that my boss is about to be fired. I find this to be very sad because I actually do like her and hate that she's the hot topic of the water cooler chatter.

Tomorrow I meet with HR to discuss my insurance and next steps with my retirement plan as well as any other paperwork. Any suggestions from the blogger world on what to expect?


The same day that we found out the test results, Mr. M had his 33rd birthday. We had planned to go out and celebrate even though we both felt like curling up on the couch and crying. Okay – I felt like curling up on the couch and crying.

I am thankful that we did go to dinner because it did take our mind off the news and we had a good time just being us. An elderly couple showed us kindness by buying a bottle of champagne for us. It was such a nice, unexpected surprise.

Our meeting with the urologist is next week and so this week, all I can focus on is the present. We have to pay our roofing bill, we need to sit down and do a budget for next month and I need to get our home office in order. I have to “keep my chin up” like Out of My Window commented and focus on today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Test Results

We found out today that Mr. M's results did not improve from the last time. I have a sinking feeling that when we meet with the doctor that their suggestion will be ICSI.

I can hear our snowball rolling to a stop…

Monday, November 7, 2011



The bank approved lowering our mortgage interest rate! Whoo!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Plans for Carmen Sandiego

R-day was pretty successful and my boss took the new pretty well but I do have an enormous to-do list now before I leave.

I’m blessed by the people who are sad to see me go and genuinely mean what they say. It was nice that my Airport and Budget Director took a moment to call me to say that I’ll be missed. My leaving is bittersweet for me because I thought I’d always stay in local government but know that if I don’t take this opportunity that I’ll kick myself down the road.

My new boss – we’ll call her Jay – is getting my schedule ready for the month of December. I’ve dubbed my first full week the Carmen Sandiego week since I’m traveling so much.

On another note, please say a prayer for Mr. M and I as we’ll find out his test results in the next few days. I know the waiting is taking a toll on him and I pray that our results turn out better than we expected.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011



This year – I celebrate with a grand total of $5.20 (sale and coupons) spent on over 200 +  pieces of candy. My plan was if we run out, then we just run out and I'm not going to feel guilty about it. We had trick-o-treaters for about 3 hours and still had candy left over. Instead of hosting a BYOC, I just invited a neighbor over to hand out candy and drink wine - a very relaxing night.

Tomorrow is R-Day – the day I plan to resign. I am working on getting everything personal off my computer in case they decide to freeze it. It would just be my luck that they would do that to me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Where the $ goes?

Have I ever told you that I adore School House Rocks?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Roof!

 Thank you for your kind and supportive comments over the last few days. I’m still having issues with Blogger allowing me to post on some blogs and not all (including my own) this week. Today started with a racket as our roof is being worked on today. They’re calling for snow/freezing rain staring tomorrow so we need them to finish by this evening.

No pressure guys…no pressure.

Since we’ve started stockpiling money for the new roof (100% of it coming out of pocket…lucky us), Mr. M and I are having a little bit of snowball reduction withdrawal. In our bedroom, we have a small white board that I update numbers on so we can see daily where we stand on taking down our snowball. The number was aggressively moving until a few months ago when it screeched to a snails pace. However, having Mr. M complain to me is a positive sign as it shows that he’s still in this battle 100%. Cross your fingers today that we get the roof done!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I began this morning’s post telling you that my stomach was in knots as we planned to meet with the bank this afternoon concerning our mortgage. Then, my husband sent me a text stating that the bank had cancelled on us.


Originally, wehad this meeting and our meeting with the Reproduction Endocrinologist on the same day. Then the bank moved up our time and we cancelled the appointment with the RE.

I simply could scream. The beauty of getting a new job is a chance of pace and new challenges. However, I will be uninsured for the month of December. This means no trips to the doctor, RE for anything. So we’re trying to get this appointment in before November 30th.

Trust in obey…trust and obey…I keep saying these words over and over in my head.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I don't always agree...

I don't always agree with Nancy Giles but I thought her point this week was pretty dead on with BOA.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thought of the day.


"Money is the root of all evil, and yet it is such a useful root that we cannot get on without it any more than we can without potatoes. ..."

- Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

Friday, October 21, 2011

It’s Alive!

In May of this year Mr. M and I purchased a few tomato plants in hopes of starting a small urban garden on our back deck. The problem was that nothing grew……


Here is our first little tomato from our tiny city garden. It’s not much BUT it’s a start.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to say goodbye?

In a few short weeks I will be handing in my resignation to a place that I’ve spent 51/2 years of my life. This wasn’t a decision that I took lightly as it truly fell out of the sky back in late July/early August and I want to make sure that I leave on a good note. It would really upset me if I feel in November when I leave that the time and dedication that I gave this place was for nothing.

So I’m trying to set the best exit strategy that I can as I transition from this position to my new job. Since my job is in the public sector (and in the public eye), I know that my leaving will be scrutinized so it’s important on my end to keep my emotions in check and not do what this girl did even though it's a little funny.
I’ve mentally worked on an e-mail that I plan to send as soon as I turn in my notice. Due to the joys of social media, e-mail, etc., I have found that people are not hyper-sensitive in finding out the “breaking news” from their friends and feel that they should always know before the general public.
For some reason I am becoming more anxious as November 2nd approaches. Maybe it’s because this is a giant leap out of my comfort zone. I keep repeating the mantra of Trust and Obey over and over again as I do believe that this move is in God’s hands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Small snowflake!


Sold another book on Amazon! Yeah for a little debt snowball help.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This is hard.

I know that if it was easy to become debt free then everyone would have already achieved their goals many, many moons ago. For Mr. M and me, we have hit our two year mark this month of our debt free journey an anniversary that I’m not proud of celebrating. Even though I know that at the end of this journey I’ll be able to “live like no one else”, I still face many temptations.

Mostly superficial things (like clothes) that I for some reason feel like I need to have even though designer clothes are truly wants not needs. I know…its childish…I should be a grown-up and be thankful that I even have clothes but sometimes there is a tiny little person inside of me that whines – “It’s not fair!”

How do you handle days like this when you’re faced with temptations? Do you give yourself a pep-talk? My current solution is to listen to the pod casts of Dave Ramsey and read your blogs as it helps me realize that those with the clothes that I want are probably up to their eye balls in debt. Mr. M reminds me from time to time that we could be debt free or like Stanley….

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Well said.

I saw this on Facebook today and had to share. 
Kudos to this college student - who ever it is- for making wise decisions.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shampoo Challenge

Last December, I found a great deal on Hip2Save on how to get Herbal Essence Gift Packages for free (yeah for rebate $) and ended up buying several. Mr. M and I used them until June of this year and decided to challenge ourselves to see if we could go rest of the year without spending any money on shampoo.

So far, as Charlie Sheen would say, we’re winning. Since we had a small container of little hotel bottles and a few great coupons for free products, we’ve made it all the way to the middle of October. With two and half months left, we still plan to see if we can do this all the way until the end of December.

This may seem silly to you but it has helped us ( reduce our shampoo usage and I feel like we’re helping our debt snowball by coming with creative ways to save money.

How are you being creative in saving your money?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Your Liberty

When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.

Friday, October 7, 2011


This week I received my goals for 2011 at work…in October. My boss joked during our meeting that she was sure that I would have time to finish them by the end of the year. The joke will be on them in a few short weeks when I give my notice.

Really – who gives yearly goals to their team with only three months LEFT in the year?!?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cold Cuts


I will forever associate cold cut sandwiches with infertility.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was attending an infertility seminar to see what options we had at our nearby clinic and to get the $250 gift certificate. A dinner of cold cut sandwiches were provided by the pharmaceutical reps of the expensive fertility drugs which I found ironic – provided an infertile a meal that a woman who is pregnant can’t enjoy.

The doctor was very informative and told everyone the cost of the different options at the clinic: IUI - $400 to $800, IVF - $12,000…and so on. I sat there (by myself mind you since Mr. M had to work) surrounded by a packed room of couples with the same issue as me but felt very much alone.

Later in the evening, when I was retelling my experience to Mr. M about the session we somehow got on the car conversation. He wasn’t thrilled at my suggestion to not use Bank of Mom as we saw that the used car that he would like is in the $20K range ($20 K!?!? Can you hear my hand hitting my forehead on this one?)

Normally we’re on the same page with money until this hiccup. It wasn’t until that I pointed out that his “new” car could be the money that we need for treatments until he finally got off the car kick. Thank you to Out of My Window for pointing out the increased insurance costs. I'll have to used that if the conversation comes up again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New car?

This morning I had the inspiration to actually get out my warm bed and go for a run before work. Mr. M decided to join me and we talked about the subject of a new used
car for him. Goldie, as we affectionately refer to his 2004 ride is showing some major signs of wear. The coolant light never turns off; one of the doors is missing a handle among other things. My MIL has offered us a loan from the “bank of Mom” as she put it to get a new car and we need to decide by December 1st. Thus began a very interesting conversation on getting a "new" car for Mr. M. Can I be honest here? I don’t want to borrow any money from my In-Laws. They’re great people and raised a great son but I’m not a fan of owing anyone in the family money. We still owe them money on the house since they helped Mr. M with the down payment and I want to be done with owing anyone anything. I feel guilty saying this since a new car would mean than my husband would be safer driving to and from work. Does guilt outweigh pride?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I admit it – I’m a huge Dave Fan and typically repeat everything he says on his weekly show to my husband at night. The topic that has been a hot button for us in the last few weeks is our mortgage. I want to refinance it and Mr. M did not since we didn’t have the $400 to pay the appraisal fees. Finally, his boss (who Mr. M thinks very highly of) mentioned that he refinanced his mortgage and everyone at work should do the same. After a quick conversation, Mr. M discovered that we could roll the appraisal fees into our total mortgage amount and reduce our payment by $184 per month. Attacking that debt snowball one snowflake at a time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Feels like Fall

It’s finally feeling like fall with the crisp cool weather in the morning, the beautiful blue skies and gorgeous colors of the leaves. October is truly one of my favorite months as the weather is always close to perfect.

I am also excited about this month as we will have some changes going on in the M household. The first is our roof which should go on this weekend. We’ve saved at least 50% last month for the payment and will only need to tap into our emergency fund for the other half if the money is due this week. If we’re sent a bill, then we’ll save more from this coming paycheck and less of our emergency fund. Bottom line- the less of the emergency fund we use, the less we have to save up before attacking our Debt Snowball.

On the family front, Mr. M will have another test done to determine what our next steps will be this month. Tomorrow, I’m attending a financial session for the local infertility clinic here and was told by a friend that I should receive a $250 treatment voucher for giving them an hour of my time. $250 is still $250 which can help chip away what could be a $40K medical bill.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Last week I came down with what I think is the flu and I’m still battling it. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to not have to deal with being sick and taking days off but not this fall. Sorry for the lack of coherent thoughts…I haven’t had many in the last seven days.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Improvement

This morning we had consultants from our local energy provider come by our home and give us tips on how to use less electricity. It’s a win for both the environment and our bottom line as we’re trying to learn how to be more conservative with our energy usage in efforts to cut down on our power bill.
If this service is provided in your area, I strongly suggest that you sign up for it. Their suggestions were to change our insulation, have our chimneys closed and suggested how to fix our door so air won’t escape so easily. They also provided a kit with new light bulbs and a new shower head completely free.
Some things we can fix pretty easily and others (like the insulation) will come in time but it was nice to be educated on how we could save money in the future.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Thanks Ann! I'll miss you.
 I found out this morning that my friend Ann had passed away over the weekend from brain cancer. She was diagnosed in 2009 and was doing great until a few weeks ago when she fell as well as losing her eyesight in a 48 hour span. Even though we knew that her passing was going to be the end result, it doesn’t make her death any bit easier.
Ann was like a Mother to me when I first moved to this small town in 2005. She took a liking to me (for some reason) on the first day that I entered her gift store and we became instant friends from the first day we met. Together, we’ve worked on numerous fundraisers and I could always count on her creative style to make sure my events had all the great little details to make the memorable. Even for our wedding, she gifted Mr. M and me this massive candle tree for us to decorate the patio with because she knew we couldn’t afford it. She never looked down on me because I was younger but instead became a mentor to me over the last six years.

I can’t believe she’s gone. While the world has lost one fabulous woman, I know heaven has gained someone very special.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2 and $1,000

The bad: In efforts to stay accountable with the 32 in 90 challenge, I’m sad to say I gained two pounds. Not earth shattering but it is a step backwards.

The good: Most likely those two pounds are due to all the taste eating I was doing for a local recipe contest which I won! Grand prize - $1,000 gift card to Walmart!! Mr. M found it via the Internet and it was hosted on Facebook. When I realized two days before the contest ended that only 20 (20!) people had entered, I thought it couldn’t hurt to try. So I sent my recipe in along with a photo of the dinner. They posted it on Facebook and the judging was done by the amount of likes you received. A few e-mails to family, friends and sorority sisters and my little recipe found itself in first place. I think Mr. M is more excited about it than I am but we are using the gift card as our grocery money for the next 8 months. It was all in God’s work. Last week, I was so upset that we were halting our snowball due to a new roof and he provided. We’re getting back on track to attack this debt!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Why I love Tom Hanks

I heard this story on the radio today (Yes– almost a month after it happens. Our Radio DJs haven’t truly discovered the Internet around here. God Bless them...every one.) that Tom Hanks refunded a couple $25 for their movie tickets to Larry Crowne after they told the superstar that they didn’t like it.

Now that’s customer service.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

32 in 90

A few days ago while listening to Dave Ramsey; he said something that stuck with me about setting a goal and trying to achieve it. Even if you don’t make it by your set deadline, don’t beat yourself up over it as long as you made an efficient attempt at it. I’m paraphrasing here but I did set a goal to lose 32 pounds by Thanksgiving. I started this little journey last week and thankfully lost 3 pounds.

To motivate me more, I have a wipe board with the number that I need to lose in our bedroom so I see the number every day. The idea is that it will keep me accountable since the number is in print. We use the same board for our debt so all the ugly numbers are in one place.

On the anger moment from a few days ago, I am still struggling with that emotion. I’ll wake up to work out and suddenly become enraged by something small on the way home.

God help my poor husband.

In trying to get a handle on this bitter monster that I’ve become, I attended a free yoga class hosted by our library. During the class, the teacher told us to count to three and release what ever was bothering us at the time. It reminded me of the Steve and Carl scene from Family Matters. I can’t find the video that will allow me to embed it on this blog but you can view it here.

Say it with me: 3, 2, 1…1, 2, 3…what the heck is bothering me?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I’m not handling the news of a new roof very well. Forget that – I’m mad. Mad at Murphy, mad at the situation and mad at the world. Have ever been like that when you’re just fed up with not just the situation but everyone you come into contact with?

Part of this massive pity-party-for-one is lack of sleep. I’m wide awake at 3:30 am trying to figure out how to keep the snowball going. The idea of not being able to pay down our debt has affected me more than I ever thought it would in a million years. I’ve been faced with the idea of not having a child and a quacked out father but I think this latest Murphy incident has taken me from sad to driving the bitter bus.

I feel very much like this guy….

I have got to get out of this funk.

PS. This clip is from 1976. Its ironic how everything he says applies to today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Murphy Visits Again

We found out today that the roof was not damaged due to hail but merely old. Total estimate to fix it, you may ask? The tune of $5,500; a amount that we do not exactly have available at the moment and clearly a problem even with our emergency fund. Can you hear the screeching halt of our speeding debt snowball?

Murphy…I am so over you

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A little bit before 2 pm

When I sat down earlier to work on today’s post, I had mentally planned to tell you about how our city was preparing for Hurricane Irene, how we are working on a back-up plan in case the storm decides to grace our front door and a story of how my husband is a Hugo survivor.

Then a little bit before 2 pm rolled around and everything changed.

My co-workers and I had just wrapped up the “what do we do when this hurricane hits” conversation when an unexpected earthquake hit. We’re many miles (states even) away from the epicenter but our area was still affect.

After texting loved ones here and in D.C. to make sure they were okay, I jumped on Facebook (which I think almost everyone did on the East Coast), I saw this post on a friend’s page.

“Thanks earthquake for reminding me to "live for today, for yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come"... Lilly Pulitzer Charm Bracelet and Murfee Scarf from the end of summer sale = PURCHASED! :)”

My friend is correct, we should live for today but not if it means throwing our money away. I do wonder how many people’s lives in Washington, D.C. will change either spiritually or financially because of what occurred today.

Monday, August 22, 2011


We had a massive rain storm over the weekend that flooded our bathroom. It was the type of storm that rained hard and didn’t let up for two hours. Mr. M is now in the process of finding a roofer and contacting the insurance company to fix whatever is wrong with the roof.

Reason 156 of why it is important to have an emergency fund during this debt free journey. My fingers are crossed that the cost of every thing stays within that emergency fund amount.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Summer Theme Song

I has nothing to do with money...but I think it's awesome.

@Jeff - I think Blogger is having some major issues lately. That's what happens to me all the time including today when I tried to answer your comment on my own blog! So odd.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


For the last week, Blogger and I have had a love/hate relationship when it comes to commenting on other blogs. I’ll type a comment and try to post and for some reason I keep getting denied. Has anyone else had this happen before? It’s rather annoying.

So, if I could comment, this is what I would like to say to you all today:

Out of My Window
Hugs. The flooded basement has to be very frustrating but you're a great mother and I'm sure will use this experience as a teachable moment for this young man. Also – I totally agree with the other comments and you should charge more for the dress.

Mission: Debt Free
If I lived near this girl, I would bring her some chicken soup due to all of her sickness and ER mess. I can’t believe your husband got written up when he left work to be with you in the ER. What has this country come to?

My Journey to Eliminate Debt
You’re advice of being prepared is spot on when it comes to lay-offs. I don’t think employers stop to think how it will affect their current workforce when they see their work family kicked to the curb. The fact that they all received raises makes the situation even worse.

Destination: Planet Debt Free
Thank you for being such a cheerleader especially in your weekly, “Can I get a U-rah!!!” posts. I really appreciate it!

Also, THANK YOU for all of your kind and supportive comments as the support from the blog sphere has been very nice.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

House Parties

Let’s talk about house parties for a second shall we? In the last few months, I've seen more invites to a jewelry, home goods or clothing house parties hosted by my friends or friends of friends. Of course these parties are for things that I simply don’t need (nor can afford) but even if I decline, people still send me invites. I realize that it’s not me that they care about attending but more it’s my checkbook that they want to see walking in through the front door.

I get it – we’re all trying to make a little bit of money. Truly, I can applaud their efforts to earn extra income but I still feel a little leery of using my friends to gilt trip them into giving me money. My work out buddy, let’s call her Pam, told me once that she feel obligated to attend these parties even if there is nothing to buy.

At what point do you tap your friends out of every dime they have?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baby Dreams

With all of the work changes, our baby dreams have been placed on a temporary hold at least on my end. I still want a child but I realize that our family has been handed a huge blessing in the last few weeks so I enjoying the moments of gratefulness...if that makes sense.

Our next doctor's appointment is in October to see how Mr. M is doing on medication. I'm hopeful that they'll tell us that we're candidates for IUI or having a baby the good ol' fashion way.  If not, then we'll move to IVF or adoption. Thankfully, God has provided this job for me with a little extra pay so we could possibly afford those medical costs.

My mother told me last week that all of this will fall into place and with the new job we will have what we want which is a child of our own.  No matter the path, I just want us to be financially ready for it as much as we can be through that journey.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running in the Rain

This past weekend was the last available weekend that Mr. M has until December (due to all of the college sports that he's covering) so we headed to the mountains for a day of hiking and picnic lunch.


It was spur of the moment since we decided to get in the car on Saturday morning and head that way which makes me enjoy the day even more. No over planning just going with the flow of the day which I find to be a nice change of pace.  We found a great National State Park that allowed us to access it for free and we enjoyed our sandwiches by a great waterfall.  After lunch, we hit the trails, taking the one that lead to the top of the mountain. For honestly sake - we are not hikers.  We walk but we're not experts by any means. So as we got closer to the top of the mountain and was hit by hail storm, I had to laugh while I was running (literally) down the mountain for cover. We were completely drenched but seriously having the best time and it cost us pennies.

Some could have looked at the storm as a hindrance - something that they felt ruined a perfectly good Saturday. From my point of view, I thought it enhanced it. Yes, we would of climbed to the top of the mountain, enjoyed the scenery and then walked back down but I don't think we'd have such a great story to remember. I guess it's one of those "turn lemons into lemonade" type of moments.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Pitch.

Hi Blogger World! Sorry for the absence – it’s been another emotional roller coaster week at the M household. So here’s the update…

Last Friday – I received the offer that the company agreed to MATCH my salary request that I made during my first interview. It was surreal. The next hurdle was for the company to win the pitch and they planned to present on Thursday (yesterday) and could I join them.

The Weekend – Mr. M and I discuss the actual possibility of me leaving my government job and crossing over to for-profit land. Things are really different in for-profit land…like decent coffee; paper for copiers and oh…more money. We had a good deal of soul searching to make sure I wasn’t doing this for the money since we are on track to be credit card debt free by 2012. All of this was via the phone since Mr. M was out of town which gave me a good deal of time to think (a.k.a. drive myself crazy) during Saturday and Sunday. Thankfully, I had a wedding to work so I wasn’t over thinking it to much.

PS. Met my parents for lunch on Sunday after church. Just they and I and we have nice but little strained lunch. I gave them the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace kit and they’re starting class later this month. If you could add them to your prayer list, I would be grateful as I miss my old-fun-loving parents and hopefully the DRFP class will help them get back on track.

Monday – Mr. M was still concerned about insurance due to the baby drama which is totally understandable. The perks of working for the government is the benefits package…or it was since our Governor’s working aggressively to get rid of that too but I digress. So I called my sorority sister (let’s call her E) and asked her if she could tell me if the company’s insurance plan would cover us if one day we would want to start a family. It did and before we hung up, E says:

“You know you could talk to Jay (my potential new boss) as she adopted two years ago and had a son six month later. With two young children she knows a great deal about families and insurance.”

Okay – E has NO clue about the issues/living hell that Mr. M and I have gone through this summer. For her to say that was to me a massive sign in lights that I need to frankly stop thinking, sign the agreement and take the job.

I sit down with my current boss to tell her that I was being interviewed for a possible position. Now, before you throw tomatoes at me for lying – hear me out. If the company did not win the offer then my job offer is off the table. So why lose earning some type of income if things don’t work out. Also, I didn’t want her to be completely blindsided by the whole experience if they did win the offer and I had to start like next week.
Tuesday – I decide to ask off for Thursday so I could join the presentation team when they did the pitch. It dawned on me that if I was there, maybe I could help make this job actually happen. So I took the risk and asked for the time off and thankfully, my kind boss gave it to me.

Thursday – Pitch day. I am up at 4:45 am because I can’t sleep and filled with that nervous anticipation/excitement feeling. Join the team at 9:30 am that morning for practice at a local hotel and two hours later it is show time.

Not going to lie – I was in my element. Half way through the process, I thought now this is why I chose this as my degree as an undergraduate. Also, they made me feel intelligent, needed and important. It wasn’t until after the pitch and at lunch that I realized how low my morale was at my current place of employment.

Thursday afternoon, 4:50 pm – Since I had the day off, I decided to be lazy and watch Monty Python’s Holy Grail because…well I could. Jay calls me to tell me that we WON the pitch and I start December 1st!

Here’s to FINALLY something POSITIVE happening this summer.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Giant Snowflake


I was looking over our budget from last month and we had a GIANT snowflake this past month on CC #1 to the tune of $1,350. We are attacking this debt snowball and it feels great.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Got A Job Offer!

I got a job offer!

I can't believe I just typed that but I just received a call offering me a job to join a national firm! When you ask for God's help, great things can happen.

The only thing left to discuss with this company is salary, which if you remember, was way more than I was receiving at my current position. However, they're considering working things around to see if they could MAKE IT WORK. Oh. my. word. To have an bump of any amount after four years without a raise (even a cost of living adjustment) would be amazing.

She even mentioned that one day I could work in the Public Affairs department. That would be a dream since I actually do enjoy working for the government and with the community but I am having a hard time seeing any future growth for me here.

Just say a little prayer that this works out money wise and that this is a wise decision for our family.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Does Your Financial Past Define You?

Originally when I was asked this question, my response was instantly no – of course your past doesn’t define you. Who would say such baloney?

Then after a few minutes, I realized that in a sense that was not true as your financial past does indeed define you as it shapes who you become. If you had not had your financial wake-up call, would you be as frugal as you are now? Or were you as responsible now with your money as you were six months ago? I don’t think so. Our financial past is now to me a jumping off point of what we want to be.

Take for instance, one of my favorite movie characters – Scarlet O’Hara. If you have never seen the movie (It’s four hours long) this scene is at the end of the Part I. I personally relate to her speech. I may not “cheat or kill” but I will make sure that my family survives our debt snowball trip and that we will indeed get through our own personal financial crisis.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Job Interview

The last 24 hours have been a whirl wind of activities in the M household. Last night, a sorority sister contacted me about a possible PR position in my area and asked for my resume. Less than three hours later, I had an e-mail from her boss asking to schedule a phone interview before 1 pm today. As soon as I woke up this morning, I sent an e-mail and told her my schedule was free. At 11:25, I received an e-mail to be ready for an interview at 11:30. Luckily, I was in the car so I found a spot in a church parking lot, said a prayer and took the call. Overall it went well but I was not ready for the following - what their agency actually does. Planned on researching that but ran out of time. Lame excuse…I know but it’s the truth. The other question was “what do you think you should make?” salary question. Totally NOT prepared for that one at all…so there was a long pause on my end about that one and I came up with a number that’s $20K more than what I make now. If I’m going to reach for the moon, why not go all the way right?

So besides a few awkward moments (that I’m kicking myself over), I did send the interviewer a thank you e-mail right after the call and plan to put a written thank you note in the mail this afternoon. For those who pooh-pooh the idea of a hand written thank you note beware – the last three positions at my husband’s office that were hired wrote hand written notes. It made them stand out above everyone else as someone who is really interested in the job.

We’ll see where this goes but I found today’s thought on the Upper Room Website very on point - God is supposed to be our trip planner, not our baggage handler.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Debt2Freedom Readers!

This blog is a my therapy couch and I thank you all for your comments and support over the past twelve months. Mr. M and I have accomplished that we are finally seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not an oncoming train" which is so nice to say. I can't wait to see where we are in a year from now!

Without further ado...a very cute Birthday Rap.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Perfect Gift

I feel that today has been a tough one in Blogger land and so today, I just wanted to focus on one of life's simple joys - a hug. It's free and as the ad states - it does relieve tension.

Our journey to becoming debt free was not meant to be easy. If so, Congress would not have an August 2nd deadline. However, there is a perk about this journey and it is learning about the strengths of others and how they tackle their own hurdles.

We can do this. We WILL do this and soon we will all celebrate each others screams of "I'm debt free".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Be Weird.

weird Pictures, Images and Photos

Saw this article, 11 Ways to be Weird on Dave Ramsey's website today and thought I'd pass it on as it is a great reminder of why we are all on this debt free journey.