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 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.

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 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?

March 16, 2009

Keeping the lawn service

Filed under: Budget,Journey to Debt Freedom,Weekly Budget Cuts — ambercouric @ 8:16 am
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Over the last few months we have been looking to cut expenses.  There are several reasons to cut expenses 1) husband had to take a pay cut 2) the uncertainty of the economy 3) prices on everything seem to be going up 4) A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT later this week ( I hope).

In our discussions we had decided to cut our beloved lawn service.  The service we use is a small town business.  The owner and two workers.  These guys all work hard and do a beautiful job.  I hadn’t mentioned to the owner that we were considering stopping the service.  But when I talked to him I could tell that quite a few of his customers had to cut his service from there expenses.

So we looked at the reasons to keep the service.  1) I don’t have to worry with the yard. 2) They do excellent work above and beyond what we actually pay. 3) There are three people that depend on people like me to keep my lawn service.

Saving money is important but helping others during these crazy times is a little more important to me right now.

March 4, 2009

March Goals & Update

Filed under: Budget,Goals,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 10:34 am
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First a quick update on our budget session yesterday.  We were calm, considerate, and willing to make the cuts.  We have given ourselves a list of cuts and will think about them until the weekend.  No spur of the moment cuts that we may regret in a couple of weeks.  I will tell you one of the major cuts we are considering is our lawn service.  More on the cuts and the “reason” for the cuts soon.

March Goals

1) Paint Bathrooms – this has nothing to do with money just need to get it done

2)  Twitter – I have a Twitter account but don’t really do a lot with it.  I am going to figure it out and use it.

3) Pay car down to $5,500

4) Add an extra $200 to savings.  This is beyond our normal saving amount that is always added.

March 3, 2009

Oh No – The “B” Word

Filed under: Budget,Journey to Debt Freedom — ambercouric @ 11:02 am
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DH is home today (one of those unpaid leave days) and we are going to be tweaking the budget.   We may have a major change coming up in a few months and we need to see where we stand.

I think we will be cutting some of those things “that we can’t live without”.

Wish us luck and peace.  We both need to be happy ( or at least agreeable) in the end.

March 1, 2009

Paid In Full News From PF Blogs

Congratulations to the following bloggers for making some progress recently.  I always enjoy reading the payoff stories.  Stop by their blogs to see just what and how much they paid off.

Debt and the City

Won’t Go Down Without A Fight

Shaking the Money Tree

Our Debt Blog

Again, congrats to you all. 

If I missed your recent pay-off leave a comment with your blog address so we can all visit and see what you paid off.

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