Becoming Debt Free in 2009

June 1, 2009

Debt Free and Saying Goodbye

Filed under: Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 9:06 am

First, I would like to say thanks to all of you who have encouraged me during this Debtfree journey.  When I first started back in October it seemed almost impossible to tackle all the debt.  With the encouragement and input from all of you my Debtfree journey took only half the time I expected it to take.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

Now that I am debt free I don’t feel that I have anything to say on a continuous basis.  My life is changing.  FAST.  I have exactly 82 days before both of my boys will be away at school.  They will both be at least 8 hours away.  I’ve decided to spend the summer hanging out with them – I’m sure they are thrilled (LOL). 

So this will be my last post on this blog.  Once the boys have gone off to school I promised Kennedy that I would start a blog to keep him updated on what’s going on with me.  I think he really just wants to know I’m not going crazy without him.

Thanks again for reading. 

PS – I’m not completely gone.  I’m still going to visit your blogs and stay in touch.

May 14, 2009

New Challenge

Filed under: School Expenses — ambercouric @ 9:49 am

I have a new challenge and could use some input and advice from all of you.  Especially, those of you who use coupons and those who are super deal shoppers.

Here’s the deal.   Ashby and Kennedy will be away next school year.  This year Ashby was close enough he could come home on a Saturday and pick up anything he needed.  Next year both will be too far to come home except for holidays.    So, I need to have them completely stocked at the beginning of school and take everything on move-in day.  I know that they could buy toothpaste or whatever when they run out but I would prefer to have that stuff ready (bought cheaply) so they don’t have to use their limited funds to buy these items for themselves.

In addition to buying the toiletries there is a ton of other items like linens, mini fridges, etc. that have to be purchased.

Kennedy, my wonderful, organized, detailed son typed a list of all the items needed for the year.  He included everything from computer to ten pair of socks each.   Kennedy will also need a coat for cold snowy weather.

The grand total of the items Kennedy thinks are NEEDS – $3,595.00.

I am hoping to get everything including the computer for about $2,000.  So, I need to find the best deals on everything from mattress pads to clothes hampers to ties (both boys will attend schools where formal wear is required several times a year).

Here is a partial list of needs:

  • Trash cans
  • Desk Lamp
  • Towels /Washcloths
  • Sheets
  • Comforter
  • Blankets
  • Mattress Pads
  • Mini Fridge
  • Storage containers
  • Hampers

Clothing Items

  • Socks
  • t-shirts
  • athletic shorts
  • shorts
  • shirts
  • jeans
  • dress shirts
  • dress pants
  • shower shoes
  • tennis shoes
  • dress shoes
  • belts
  • heavy coat
  • light coat
  • sweat pants /shirts
  • ties
  • sport coat

Personal Care

  • toothpaste
  • tooth brushes
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • clippers
  • contacts
  • allergy meds
  • Tylenol
  • razors

Of course there are a million things I have forgotten.  Somethings will only need to be purchased for Kennedy and some both will need.

May 8, 2009

DEBT FREEEEEE!!!!

Filed under: Debt,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 8:18 am

We decided to take the plunge and take the money from our savings to pay off the car.  I am just tired of having bills.  So I checked online this morning and the payment cleared so we are officially debt free.

I can’t believe how far we have come.

May 3, 2009

Read the Bill Notices

Filed under: Budget,Car,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 2:53 pm

Okay, I have been paying a water bill to the same place for nearly 20 years.  In the past the bill was due on the 19th by 5:00 or the late fee was $1.00.  I have always sent my bill off usually the 14th or 15th because they received the bill the next day and it posts on the day they receive the bill.  I just took the bill out to get ready to write the check and noticed a $4 previous balance.  I thought maybe I paid the wrong amount so I went and checked and I paid the amount due.  Then in VERY SMALL writing it said payments must be made by 5:00 pm on the 15th of each month or there is a $4  late fee.  Also, they charge a fee if you pay online, something like$3.50 so I always mail the payment.

I wonder how many of these late fees they collected for the last couple of months from their normal on time payees.  This started at the first of the year but I must have mailed on the 14th the first couple of months.

Lesson learned – read the bills carefully.

Another thing I noticed last month was with my car payment.  I am nearly three years ahead of the payoff and every month there is a zero balance.  I still pay above the payment amount so it will be paid off in just a couple of months.  Last month there was a minimum balance of $121.  Again, this makes no sense to me since for the last year it has been zero due.

Being debt free can’t get here soon enough.

May 1, 2009

I’m So Glad It Is Friday

Filed under: Random — ambercouric @ 8:46 am

This has been such a long week.  I have accomplished – ZERO – ZILCH – absolutely nothing.  I think the problem is that  my husband has had extra days off and Ashby has been home a couple of extra days since it is final exams.

I’m glad it is Friday because I don’t clean on the weekends so I can quit thinking I need to get up and clean whatever.   It will all wait until Monday.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

April 28, 2009

Perception of Credit Card Users

Filed under: Credit Cards — ambercouric @ 8:33 am

I spent the weekend shopping.  I’m not one that likes to shop but in order to get the best deal sometimes I just have to bite the bullet and shop.   Many times the first place I check has the best price but that is a whole other story.

So, this weekend my son and I had to shop.  He had no desire to be there any more than I did but we suffered through.   The entire day ended up being a conversation about credit cards.  As we would go through each checkout, Kennedy would listen to see if shoppers were paying with debit or credit – I think we were the only ones with cash at the few stores we went to.

I have never paid any attention to who pays with credit and who pays with debit.  But, Kennedy was quick to note how many people used a credit card even in the grocery store.  In his limited understanding of shopping, he came to the conclusion that these people probably didn’t have much money.  I on the other hand immediately thought maybe they just wanted airline miles.

Then I was talking to my neighbor and she was complaining about her husband using credit cards.  He does pay off the cards each month but she is embarrassed when they go out to dinner and he uses his LL Bean card to get the points.  She said she actually feels poor when they use the credit card.

I have never been one to use a credit card for minor purchases but I often used it for big purchases $500+.  I also have never given much thought to the people who use cards as to if they can afford or not whatever the purchase.

So, I want you thoughts.  Do you have a perception of people who use credit cards?  Do you use your card for minor everyday purchases? Or are you in the  Dave Ramsey credit cards are evil camp?

April 24, 2009

Wildfires

Filed under: Random — ambercouric @ 9:58 am

I’ve spent the last three days watching the news and seeing the fires burn.   This is extremely sad.

Now, I just have to say something.  I understand being evacuated ( this is hurricane country).  I also understand the need (desire) to know what is going on with your home.  What I don’t understand is the people who are constantly complaining about not being able to get back into their homes.  The officials keep saying “as soon as it is SAFE”.    The officials are working around the clock and doing everything they can.   I just wish the tempers would cool a little and people would step back and realize that there has been a tremendous  accomplishment in that no lives have been lost.

I’m hoping the winds slow down.  Unfortunately, we aren’t expecting rain for at least a week.

April 23, 2009

I need a hobby!!!

Filed under: Entertainment — ambercouric @ 8:29 am

I’m beginning to prepare myself for the fall when both of my children are off at school.  I really need some new hobbies.

I need some ideas.  What are some of your hobbies and how did you get started?

April 22, 2009

Just Pack Up and Move

Filed under: Journey to Debt Freedom,Random — ambercouric @ 9:22 am

My husband and I often talk about moving once the boys are out of the house.   Our plans usually revolve around moving to Hilton Head or another similar area.   My husband is really interested in moving to New Mexico (remember we live in the south) so this would be a major move.

Last night I suggested we put the house on the market and once it sells we pack up and move to New Mexico or somewhere.  We won’t be in a hurry but we’ll start the process.  Once we get to where ever we are going we can look for jobs.  I know this sounds risky but we have a guaranteed income of $25,000 a year but with no debt  plus 6 months  living expenses (really it’s more like a year expenses since we will be debt free) so we can easily survive.

My kids love the idea of us moving since they will only be home during the summers.

I know with the economy it is pretty crazy to think like this.  Would you ever consider just packing up and moving?  Do you know of great places in New Mexico we should look into?

April 21, 2009

No Cash Needed

Filed under: Journey to Debt Freedom,Positive Thoughts,Shopping — ambercouric @ 8:30 am
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Now that I have money I don’t need as much money.  There is something a little backwards about that statement but it is the truth.

This weekend I realized that there are so many things that I just don’t want anymore.  Let me say that I am not debt free yet.  But it will happen in the next few months and the one last bill  I do have is pretty much set on auto pay so I don’t even have to think about it.

Over the weekend a friend asked me to go shopping.  I thought about it and there was nothing I needed and nothing I wanted.  The thought of shopping was just not appealing.  I preferred to sit outside and enjoy the sun.

One of our favorite things to do now is just sit outside and talk.  The boys will sometimes run to McDonalds and get a sundae from the $1 menu and bring it back  to our new “favorite spot”.  Since we no longer have cable we aren’t always tied to the TV.   Especially since we all like different  shows.

Life is simple and I’m enjoying it.

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