Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So here we are…

The last few months have been a blur. Mr. M and I joked at the beginning of this year, that it would be the year of us. While it has in some retrospect, there were times that we were focused on us and others that we were simply trying to survive. Here’s the good, bad and things to work on in 2014…

The Good

1.      I did find another job. Ironically it is the same job with the firm that won the account. The blessing side of this job is that I can still work from home which I hope will help with daycare expenses. Also, I know what the job entails which should help with maternity leave. The only downside is the pay cut (around 7K) that I took to keep this job but compared to the other job offer I received, it was the best on the table.

2.      Baby is doing well! We’re about 7 ½ months along as I type this and so far so good. The IVF drugs that I worried about affecting our child hasn’t so far and my fingers are crossed that everything will be okay when we meet the little one in person. We’ve decided not find out the gender which ironically enough is harder on family and friends than us. Many people don’t understand that we’re just really happy that we’re pregnant and want a healthy baby.

3.      My family seems like it’s getting back to normal. Things are not perfect between my father and me but it is getting better. My sister had a baby this past summer and my niece has helped a great deal in bringing us together. Our relationship is a work in progress but it is moving in the right direction.

The Bad

1.      Mr. M’s job. We thought in December that he was going to be hired for a new job and would be moving to a new state this month. It didn’t work out and we’re back to square one which I can tell is emotionally draining on him. Even though I have hinted, begged and maybe even nagged for the last four years about looking for a new job, it wasn’t until he cleaned out some paperwork that he realized that he hasn’t received a raise of any kind since 2008. Now, we’re bringing a little one home and I can tell that he’s stressed over the fact that we’re financially stuck for the time being. It would be easy to tell him to get a second job but with his schedule…no week is the same as the next.

2.      My car. The yellow engine light of death began appearing this month and now won’t go away. So much of our savings went to IVF that we don’t have enough in our car fund to get a new one in cash. This is a stress point for us because I argue that we’re playing with fire by keeping this car and need to get a new one. To fix any more issues on this car would be throwing good money at a bad problem. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want a brand new car but a used car that could keep us safe for the next year or so before we trade it in for a better car. This would mean that we would have a car payment (which I HATE) but we would be safe.

Looking forward in 2014

1.      Preparing for Baby M. Our lives are going to change for the better and I’m trying to knock out all that I can do in the next 10 weeks.

2.      Finding contentment. Since we’ve been on this debt free journey for four years and counting, it’s hard to maintain the energy to keep this lifestyle up. It isn’t for the weak and I know that we’re building a foundation for a stronger, wealthier future. These financial bumps in the road (car issues, loss of income) could make me bitter and I’m trying to find more peace when these issues arise rather than stress.

I hope that your 2013 ends on a great note. 2014 is open for possibilities!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So We Lost.

So it happened – we lost the pitch. I’ve have gone through the variety of emotions of stunned, anger, frustration and grief.  We were given the opportunity to relocate to Dallas, TX so I could work at the main office but decided to turn that down due to cost of living and lack of a good insurance plan. While I would keep my salary…it wouldn’t have the same impact as living here and would serve more as a Band-Aid rather than a long range plan.

This leaves me back at square one. I’ve updated my resume and started to network again. Many of the jobs here are never posted but instead are announced by word of mouth. I hope I can play this game right and have a job in time before I’m officially unemployed in October.

To leave this post on a positive note, Baby M is doing great! We were officially released from our IVF doctor last Friday and will now visit our regular doctor from this point forward. I do realize how lucky we are in all of this. I can replace a job but I cannot replace a child.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I might be losing my job...

I found out this morning that my agency is up for review with our client and there's a high possibility that I will be unemployed next month. This announcement has completely blindsided me as our review a month earlier was "positive". I've gone through the emotions today of panic, anger and now determined to fight for my job.

Our pitch is in a few weeks on why they should keep us. It bothers me that the client thinks its no big deal to not be honest and tell us what's wrong so we can fix it. I guess they can use that cliche line of "its not business, its personal" but in the end - it is personal.

It's personal because this morning Mr. M and I celebrated the fact that my next paycheck wasn't going to IVF but instead to helping us pay down the parent debt. It's personal because we had just started to looking at homes so when Baby Mathis does arrive, he/she has more room to play in than our 2 bedroom/1 bathroom house.

All of that is now on hold and just because a few arrogant people decided they wanted to make a change on a whim. I'm trying - for the baby's sake - not to stress but I'm not handling this news well at all. I still can't wrap my head around it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Positive News!

We're having a baby! The test was positive and now we're in the waiting game of wanting our beta numbers to increase. Our next test is on Thursday and if that goes well, we'll have another one next week.

If you've followed this blog of a while, you know that when I was offered my current job (via the phone) while watching Monty Python's The Holy Grail. We were watching the same movie when we got the call.  It must be the good luck charm for our family.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Test Day...

So here we are – test day.
Mr. M and I went to the clinic this morning to have my blood drawn to see if our IVF cycle was successful. Yesterday, I broke down and took a pregnancy test and it was POSITIVE! So hopefully this blood test will confirm our dreams of starting a family.

Now we sit by the phone and wait…

Friday, June 28, 2013

Whoo! A raise!


I'm getting a raise! Also know as words I have not said since the beginning of the Recession.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Things are rockin' along...

So far, this part of the IVF journey has been pretty positive. We are able to get 8 eggs to mature instead of the 5 that we estimated before the retrieval procedure. Tomorrow morning is our transfer appointment and then we wait.  I guess since we’re novices at this, every bit of news that seems slightly positive is a big deal to us. We’re actually getting excited that this will work and we will indeed have a little come next spring.

On the money front, we’re trying to save a little and pay a little for the next six months. Our focus is on paying back Mr. M’s parents, saving up for a car and saving for our little one.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here we go...

So here we are  the night before my surgery. My fingers are crossed that all will go well and our dreams will come true next week.

Say a prayer for us.

God was smiling down on us as the car ended up only costing $848 instead of the estimated $3,500 that we thought on Monday. Hopefully, my car will last a few more years so we can save up for its replacement.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jesus Take The Wheel

It's funny but that's the phrase my yoga instructor used today. I've confided in her about IVF (to make sure that I don't go into a pose in class that could hurt my chances) and she has been extremely helpful these past few days.

How I felt when they told me about my car.
She was saying this to me after I told her that my car died yesterday and we may have to get another car ASAP which is not in our financial plan. Our original plan was to start saving up to replace my car next month and get at least half of the cost of a car by next summer. Due to my extensive traveling, I have to have a reliable car and now my husband's car has become my car.

Sigh. If it's not one thing...it's another.

I'm still on medicine and had to order more (more $$) this week. Everything was rocking along until yesterday and now I can't eat solid foods. While it has been great on the diet, I'm just tired of feeling sick.

Every day I pray that this works. It has to work.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Waiting To Start...

I didn’t realize how large the gap was between my last post and today until I logged on this afternoon.

Mr. M and I have been extremely busy saving for our IVF cycle along with working and trying to live a “normal” life. We just started to pay for all the drugs and procedures this week {all in cash} and hit more road blocks than I even imagined. First – our drugs were more than the estimate they gave us in February by $1,700 {JUST a little off}. Second, I learned that you can’t spend more than a set amount from your debit card before the bank shuts down on your account {clearly…I never been on a shopping spree} so we’ve had a hell of time trying to pay for the drugs we could afford. Lastly, the drugs that had to be order on-line and shipped to me have been stopped due to Tropical Storm Andrea.

I’m not even on the drugs and my emotions are all over the place.

We really need for this to work. I’d really like to start saving not to have a baby but for our baby’s future.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How I feel when I paid close to $6K in taxes this week.

I've never felt more like an adult than I did paying taxes this week. Even though we had saved enough money, the process felt like it aged me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

How I feel...


When someone tells me that they're trying to get out of debt
and then pays for lunch with their credit card.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tax Man


Awww tax season. I used to love it – the refund, the thrill of having a “windfall” of money.  Those were the days.

Now, I’m a poor adult who realized that I didn’t sign up for the right deduction {Married 1 instead of Married 2} and now owe a good chunk of change by tax day.

Oh goody.

We had a separate account of savings to cover my state taxes for last year {I work from home and the closest office is another state…therefore my work doesn’t take out state tax} and luckily I had saved double what I needed for this year. So we do have the money {thank goodness} but I really hate paying the government.

Like really hate it. Especially since they can’t figure out how to create a budget BUT that’s another debate for another day.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My New Year

I feel like I’m now at a cross-road and need to come up with a game plan so I can get out of this pity-party phase of my life. Yes—I’ve hit a road block with having kids{so far $2,666 in the IVF account} but it doesn’t necessarily mean that my life is over {even though some days it feels like it is}. So since today is my birthday, I feel like it’s a new year so here are my resolutions:
1. Start and fund ½ of our emergency fund. With IVF, we may not be able to fund the whole thing, so I’m aiming for at least half.
2. Paint and fix our master bedroom. We’ve lived in this house for almost 4 years together and this room has never been decorated because we were working on getting out of debt.
3. Smile more. I’ve stopped smiling {and laughing for that matter} and I need to do more of that and less of living like Chicken Little.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


We lost a very sweet member of the family this past month - our sweet cat Oscar. He had emergency bladder surgery and while he survived the procedure, his kidneys failed him four days later.

To some who are reading this, he was simply a family pet but to us, his loss has been a large shock to our little family.  What caused the issues was the food that we chose to feed him which was Purina cat food that you would buy in the grocery store.  The guilt that I have had over feeding them what I thought was the “best” food has not subsided yet and I’ve become a helicopter parent to our other cat Felix.

We were blessed in the fact that we did have money to cremate Oscar (there is not a pet cemetery on our side of the state) and pay for his vet bills that totaled over $1,400.  If this had happened while we were trying to get out of debt, I think we would have had to make even harder choices about Oscar’s care. 

I will say if you do have any furry children and you don’t have a burial/funeral plan for them, please make one. We had no idea that when you cremate a pet, you have to pay MORE to have your own pet returned back to you versus having the ashes of your pet along with others. Also, we did not have a pet savings fund and took a payment out of our IVF fund to cover the costs.  Since we could not afford pet insurance years ago, we now plan to have a Felix fund to help with any future costs.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Well, today we received a bomb.

The last few weeks, I’ve been quiet on this blog as I’m trying to focus on us starting a family and it is not going well…not well at all. After three failed IUIs, we decided to move forward with IVF.  The problem, I thought, would be the cost with is an estimated $8-$10K. We do have 20 percent of that expense saved in the baby bank account so initially we were faced with the problem of how to solve for the rest. Easy – right? We’ve saved for big purchase before but we were also battling the emotions of wanting to go to this next level sooner than waiting. If you’ve wanted something for so long, it’s easy to simply say let’s get a loan.

Our clinic offers a program for couples going through the IVF process that if you have three failed IVFs, they’ll refund a percentage of your money. I applied for that program and found out this morning that we were denied because of my AMH and FSH levels. My emotions are in overdrive right now because we want to be parents but now that we’ve been denied into this program, I’m worried that pursing an IVF would be a waste. I really don’t know what to do…

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The next chapter...


So our celebration of being debt free lasted as long as Nick Saban's celebration of wining the National Championship last night - short and sweet. We're on to the next chapter of our financial journey which is paying down the car loan from Mr. M's parents as fast as possible.
That means we are still using coupons, sticking to a budget and buying needed things on sale. At least I know what I'm doing this time....well, a better idea.

PS. THANK YOU for all of your kind words on my last post. I can only get through this adventure with support from God and people like you. Thanks again my financial family!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The last snowflake…

2012 ended with a bang as in the last week as in seven days I graduated from college with my Masters and finished off our snowball. I think I’m still in shock. Paying off that last payment and walking across that stage to get my diploma felt unbelievable as it was great to knock off two major goals.
This journey has taught me to be strong in my beliefs. Can you have a debt free life? Yes. Can you achieve your education without any debt? Yes. Will people think that you’re weird? Well, yes.

We traveled to the coast on the day that we paid off our last snowflake to celebrate and while we were there, Mr. M and I talked about what were the highs and lows of the last three years.  The biggest low – when we tried to get a loan to help pay for bills and were denied from every source – bank, credit cards, etc. and the high point was when we realized we could be resourceful and use our own personal strength to say no to friends, new electronics and eating out.

In 2013, we still have another snowball to tackle – the car repayment. I can say that I’m not afraid about the amount and that it is indeed doable.