Becoming Debt Free in 2009

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.

April 20, 2009

Goodbye College Scholarship

Filed under: Kids,Scholarships,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 8:29 am
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As most of you know, Ashby is attending college on full scholarship. This school wasn’t his first choice. This school was actually his second choice but once he visited he liked it and then they offered him the scholarship so he decided that it was the place for him.

This weekend he told me that he has decided he wants to transfer next year. Guess where he wants to go. The school that was his first choice last year. He is in his first year but will transfer as a junior because of hours received in high school.

At first I thought of a million reasons why he should stay where he is and most of them had to do with money. He will still have the state scholarship so that will pay all of the tuition but will have to pay for room, board and books. But the truth is that he should transfer. The new school has both a masters and a doctoral program and he will have a lot more opportunities for research.

Most of all college is a once in a lifetime experience and I want Ashby to love ever moment of it.

April 16, 2009

Wow! What an inspiration.

Filed under: Positive Thoughts — ambercouric @ 8:18 am

Kennedy is on spring break so things are pretty busy around here.

Someone sent me this link of Susan Boyle from Britains Got Talent. If you haven’t seen it take a second to watch. Wow.

April 8, 2009

Yard Sale – Yes, No, Maybe

Filed under: Uncategorized — ambercouric @ 9:29 am

Kennedy is begging me to have a yard sale.  Long story short, his friend  wanted a Wii and his mother told him he would have to have make the money for the Wii by selling some of his toys.  This family is a shopping family and they have EVERYTHING.  Anyway, the father lost his job 15 months ago and still hasn’t found work.  They have stopped buying stuff so the only way the friend could get to Wii was to sell some of his toys.   The yard sale was a great success more than $2500 and the friend made enough for his Wii.

Kennedy has to have a laptop for boarding school.  We have four people and four computers – two laptops and two desktops.  Kennedy’s is a desktop. I really don’t want to go through all the trouble but I am sure he can make several hundred dollars.  I should also say that I have given him a limit of how much I will pay for a laptop.  He is convinced that the one he has to have is about $200 more than I am willing to pay.

We live in yard sale heaven.  One sign at the entrance and the people will come.  Also, this is prime yard sale time.

I guess I should let him has the yard sale but I dread the work involve.  He could plan a date for a few weeks away and spend part of spring break getting everything ready.

Is it worth the work?

April 7, 2009

Thanks, Basketball, Vets

Filed under: Pets — ambercouric @ 9:09 am

Thanks to all of you who left comments and sent e-mails after yesterday’s post.  I appreciate all of the support.  Right now my plans are to continue writing on this blog but the subjects will be varied.   Eventually, I will probably have to change since this blog title is so goal specific.  I really enjoy blogging and have a lot to say – just not a lot to say about personal finances.  So we ‘ll see where this goes.

Basketball

Chant with me.

TARHEELS TARHEELS TARHEELS

I’m just a little excited about that great win last night.

Now about the Vet.  I had to take the puppy in yesterday to get “fixed”.  I went back last night to check on her since she has to stay the night in the hospital.   She looked absolutely pitiful.  I sat in the kennel with her for a little while.   I am such a cry baby at the thought of pain for anyone including animals.  Anyway, I went back out to the front desk and there was a man (about my age 40+) who brought in a small dog.  The dog had gotten sick over night and was going downhill fast.  The man was explaining he only had $50 but could the vet please see the dog.   I have a great vet who would never let a sick dog walk out the door but it was obvious this man  was not able to afford this bill.  So, I ask the receptionist to add his bill to my bill.   As I drove home I realized that being able to give to someone without having to worry if I could really afford it  is what I have been striving for.  The important thing is the man’s dog is going to be fine.

April 6, 2009

I Have Nothing Financial To Say

Filed under: Financial Thoughts,Giving,Goals,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 9:48 am

When I started this blog I had what seemed to be a huge amount of debt.  You can see the breakdown here.  Nearly $20,000.  I was extremely motivated to get the debt down.  In the beginning, I was working really hard to change the way we thought about money.  We cut some things and decided other things were worth the cost.

Now, it is April and the last debt is well on its way.  I have about $5,500 left on my car.  While that seems like a lot we are so far ahead – I think the car is worth about $16,000 give or take a thousand.  Also, I have the amount set to pay so with making no changes the car will easily be paid off by September.

This brings me to the point of really not having anything to say about personal finance.   Although I am not debt free at the moment I know it is going to happen soon.  I can’t wait but right now being debt free just seems like waiting for Christmas.  It’s coming soon and I have a little of the anticipation but I’m not exactly fired up about.

The good news is that my life does not revolve around the debt.  I’m not constantly trying to fine ways to save a few dollars.  Since October I have made great efforts to save by not spending on things that aren’t really important to me.  I’ve given lots of thought to how and why we spend money.  So I guess I have grown up financially.

I’m  not sure where this leaves this blog.  I enjoy blogging when I have something to blog about but to blog just to write something down doesn’t interest me.  Right now my life consists of getting ready for boarding school for Kennedy, dealing with college stuff for Ashby, taking care of my dogs (trying to train the puppy to do all the cool stuff show dogs do), and volunteering for a couple of organizations.  We are planting a garden for the main purpose of being able to give the vegetables to the food pantry (of course we will eat some too) and spending more hours at the animal shelter because so many animals are being given up by owners who can no longer afford them.

I guess that I have reached my goal.  Although, I can’t give large sums of money to charity each month I can give both time and  money to help others.  I’m excited that I can see a need and my first thought is let me help and not can I afford to help.

I need to decide where I go from here.  Do I keep this blog and update weekly (which by the way drives me crazy) or do I move on to a blog that is more centered around my priorities and goals?

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