Becoming Debt Free in 2009

November 30, 2008

Just a few December Goals

Filed under: Budget,Debt,Goals — ambercouric @ 6:19 pm
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I’m not going to make a lot of goals for December.  I know that things will be busy and I really want to spend some time developing my goals for 2009.  So I’m going to keep it simple.

Goals:

  1. Pay off hospital – I’m sick of this hanging over my head. 
  2. Read –  Your Money or Your Life – I read this several years ago but I think it will help to reread it and get me focused for the new year

November 29, 2008

November Goals – End of the Month Review

Filed under: Budget,Debt,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 9:49 am
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UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST

Here are the goals I set out to accomplish for the month of November.  

  • Finish all Christmas shopping by November 30 – Won’t happen since I’m not going shopping this weekend-NOW COMPLETE
  • Pay for all Christmas purchases with cash  – This will be successful – but haven’t actually finished shopping.  – COMPLETE ALL CASH
  • Make no more than 2 trips to the grocery store each week – Almost success – I did make one extra trip but overall this went great.
  • Do not buy any Diet Coke or chips – I did not make extra trips out to get these but I did purchase Diet Coke a couple of times and chips once.  I did this on regular shopping trips.  Also I only purchased one 20oz coke at a time instead of 2-4 12 packs. Success!!!
  • Spend no more than $1000 total on Christmas – This will be successful once I finish shopping- Actually spent about $800 for everything including a few extras.
  • Pay $900 on car – I reduced the car debt by $1,096 BIG SUCCESS

Wow, I think I have impressed myself.  I’m most excited about reducing Diet Coke.   This one small change will add $$$ to the budget each month.

UPDATE:  I went out for a few minutes this afternoon.  I needed to  get something for the new puppy to chew on.  Anyway, the roads were empty and the parking lots for the stores looked pretty empty to so  I ran by the mall and picked up the rest of my Christmas list.   I came in $200 under budget.  It would have been more but I picked up a few things I wanted to give for my 29 Days of Gift Challenge.

November 28, 2008

Great Debt Free Story

Filed under: Dave Ramsey,Debt,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 4:51 pm
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I just read this great debt free story.

What a wonderful feeling that must be.

Working on the 2009 Budget – Skipping Black Friday

Filed under: Budget,Debt,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 10:40 am
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I have decided to skip all of the Black Friday sales and work on my budgets.  I’ll do a little on the December budget and goals but mostly concentrate on the 2009 budget and goals.

I hate car payments.  I just hate them.  But I am wondering if I should pay off my credit card first.  The interest is about the same.  I think the card is 3.99% forever and the car is 4.99%.  Currently, I am almost two years ahead on the car payment. 

I also think I am just going to go ahead and pay off the hospital even though there is no interest.

Advice? Opinions?

November 26, 2008

I’m Being Tempted

Filed under: Shopping — ambercouric @ 12:24 pm
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I have my Christmas list just about finished.  I decided I wouldn’t go out on Black Friday because I would probably end up buying stuff I don’t need. 

I have two presents and two giftcards left to purchase.  I have seen a few great sales that I could buy a present instead of giving the giftcards and actually save about $50.  Also with the two gifts that I have to buy I could probably save another $30-$40. 

I am so tempted to go out at 4 am Friday morning.  I just don’t know if I will be able to control the spending.  I know I have seen a few items that are on my personal list of I’ll buy when on sale so I could also pick these items up.

I’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and decide if I should stay home.

Do you plan to go shopping Friday morning?

November 25, 2008

What is a beautiful smile worth?

Filed under: Budget,Kids — ambercouric @ 4:55 pm
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My son came in today and asked, “what is a beautiful smile worth?”  He gave me a great big smile without braces.  This is the first time in 6 years he hasn’t had braces on at least some part of his teeth.  I know not everyone wears braces this length of time but he had unusual circumstances.  His front teeth were really bad and needed to be fixed early.  Then he didn’t loose a lot of his baby teeth until he was 15 and had them pulled.

This made me think of a conversation I had with a friend a couple of years ago.  She said she didn’t owe her children braces and when they could afford to pay for their own they could get them.  She insisted she couldn’t afford them.  My position was that I chose to have children and to me braces fall into the same category as health care and I owed it to my children to provide braces.  

During this same time my friend bought a new house worth twice as much as the one they sold.  She also got a new Cadillac every two years.  I don’t try to tell people what to do with their money but I do get a little put off with people who are always saying that can’t afford something and then two days later buy the latest greatest TV, car or whatever.

Anyway, to the original point.  My son’s new beautiful smile is worth $7,400 cash value.  PRICELESS to me.  Paid for in cash with each phase of the work.  I am happy to say that even though I do have some current debt and have made some poor financial decisions I would gladly pay the $7,400 again.

Have you made a financial decision that may not look good to outsiders but you wouldn’t change if you had to do it over?

November 24, 2008

Christmas Shopping Update

Filed under: Budget,Shopping — ambercouric @ 5:01 pm
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My Christmas shopping is really moving along.  I have two presents left to purchase and two gift cards to pick up.  I have only spent $297.  The other items left to get will cost less than$300.  So I will probably be $400 under budget.

One of the important things about this year is that I have put more thought into each gift.  In past years there was so many people to buy for I would eventually just buy something.

Now just to be able to get the rest finished up without having to go out on Black Friday.

6 Things About Me

Filed under: Random — ambercouric @ 10:45 am

I was tagged by Northern Living Allowance to tell 6 things about myself.

 

1) My husband was the first person I met at the university we both graduated from.   He sat behind me in a logic class.  We didn’t start dating until about a year later.  Our son now attends the same university. 

2) I am so allergic to eggs that I can’t even touch an egg shell.  As a child everyone would get mad because we always had to hunt plastic eggs.

3) Once I showed the entire church my red underwear.  It was the Thanksgiving service and three churches had their services together.  I was sitting on the second pew.  Before I left home I had to run to the restroom.  I didn’t bother to take off my coat and my dress was hiked in my pantyhose.  At the church I took the coat off my underwear was showing.  My friends we laughing so hard they couldn’t stop to tell me so a man from another church told me.  I decided I could laugh or cry about it and I chose to laugh.

4) I am absolutely terrified of bridges.  I can’t go over without shaking and crying.  I can’t drive over them at all.  Someone else always drives.

5) I like to read court transcripts of murder cases.  I also like to read true crime but prefer the actual transcript from the trial.

6) I have been to 48 states.  I still need to go to Hawaii and Alaska.

The six others that I tag:

1) Over the Cubicle Wall
2) Pokeberry Kitchen and Garden
3) Out of Debt Again
4) Won’t Go Down Without A Fight
5) Money On My Mind
6) YOU – anyone who hasn’t done this I would love to read your responses.

November 22, 2008

My gift for today -Day 2

Filed under: Giving — ambercouric @ 6:11 pm
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Take a look at my other blog – Talking Tarva – to see what I did today.

We gave someone a home.  What do you think?

A Financial Bump in the Road

Filed under: Budget,Debt,Kids — ambercouric @ 11:07 am
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Just when we thought we were getting so far ahead and putting so much toward the car payment, we have hit a bump, no I’ll call it a snag so it will at least seem a little smaller to me. 

My older son takes medication and the other day he said that he didn’t think it was still as effective.  He needs to go to the doctor and get her to readjust the dosage.   This is normal with kids as they grow the dosage needs to increase in order to maintain its effectiveness.  Something like that, I’m not a doctor and of course I only hear every fifth word they say.

Anyway, going to the doctor is not a big deal and he wants to do it while out on Christmas break.  Smart kid doesn’t want to miss school.  Here is the problem.  It takes two visits to adjust medication.  One to get it adjusted and another for follow up with blood work and stuff.  Now  the bigger problem is the doctor is a specialist.  She was the one who was able to diagnose him years ago when no one else knew what was wrong.  She is great but she isn’t in our insurance network.  Our insurance won’t pay for us to see her.  So for years we have just paid for the visit anywhere from $150-$200 each time.  We usually see her 2-3 times a year.  We trust this doctor and until my son is out of college we will probably continue to see her. 

That was the bad news.  Now for the silver lining.  Since I don’t drink Diet Coke anymore and we have been a lot more conscious of our spending and Christmas is under budget the money won’t come out of our emergency fund.  We will not put $400 extra on the car this month which is a bit of a bummer but we have the money to pay so all is good.

***Just a note, the condition my son has is pretty rare so if I post the name of it and he does a google search he may find my blog so I’m leaving it out.  It is not life threatening just can be a little aggravating and is controlled by medication. ***

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