Becoming Debt Free in 2009

April 20, 2009

Goodbye College Scholarship

Filed under: Kids,Scholarships,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 8:29 am

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.


March 23, 2009

The Big Announcement

Filed under: Budget,Kids,School Expenses — ambercouric @ 8:41 am

If you have been reading for a while you know that we have been trying to cut our monthly expenses.  Someone asked what we would do with the money and I was just a little vague in saying maybe pay off the house early.

Well things have really changed.  Remember this post when Kennedy out of the blue decided he wanted to go to boarding school?    He was absolutely determined to make it work.    He has received scholarship offers from two schools.  FULL SCHOLARSHIPS.  That amounts to about $160,000 over the next four years.   I am both pleased and  terrified at the same time.  I can’t imagine him being gone for weeks on end.  Of course, he has planned to use Skype each day so I can see him.  I don’t even know what Skype is but I guess I will learn.

This will also change things for us financially.   The money we were trying to cut would be for plane tickets and other costs associated with boarding school.   Maybe my blog will change to Debtfree with boarding school expenses.

We haven’t sent back our forms yet so there is still time for him to change his mind but I doubt that will happen. 

I know I should be happy but I am a bit sad too.  I know this is the opportunity of  a lifetime.  One that many kids would love to have.

March 18, 2009

College Scholarship

Filed under: Kids — ambercouric @ 11:07 am

Things are kinda crazy today.  Seems like I have at least 1,000 things to do.  I just wanted to make a quick post and say that Kennedy received his first college scholarship yesterday.  The scholarship is for $1,000.  I know it isn’t a large amount but he is still in junior high and only 14. 

I am so proud of him.

March 2, 2009

I can’t afford to

Filed under: Frugal,Kids — ambercouric @ 11:57 am
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Over the weekend Kennedy and his friends were making plans for a group assignment.  The assignment required that the students “observe” a group of people and do a written report on the interaction of the people being observed. 

It is important to remember that several of Kennedy’s friends have parents who have lost their jobs or have been given a layoff date.  While trying to decide the “location”  a couple of kids decided on a pricey restaurant.  I will say that Kennedy is ultra sensitive to people having financial problems and this maybe due to the fact that we volunteer at the food kitchen so often.  Anyway, Kennedy quickly said “I can’t afford to” go to the restaurant.  The kids all decided to go to the library and then Barnes & Nobles to observe people getting books.

I was a little concerned that he would think that he couldn’t afford to go out and eat so I began to ask questions.  He said that he didn’t want the friends who really couldn’t afford to go to feel bad so he just said it  for them.  Secondly, he said he really couldn’t afford to because he wants a new computer and you have to give up somethings to get something you want.

I wish I had been so smart when I was 14.

February 27, 2009

Money Isn’t Everything

Filed under: Goals,Journey to Debt Freedom,Kids — ambercouric @ 10:42 am

Thanks to everyone for your input on the resume issue.

I have been giving some thought to the issue of working.  I think I have said before but if not I’ll say it again, I like my life.  I like being home for my children, baking muffins for breakfast, carpool in the afternoons so I can hear about the day and all the other things that go along with being a stay at home mom. 

I’m not sure that I want a job.  The more I thought about it the only positive was that I would be paid.  I would have a regular check in my bank account.  But what would I give up to have this?  I would give up time with my family, the opportunity to do much of the volunteer work that I have done for the past 15 years, and the freedom to just do what I want to do.

I have four years before Kennedy will be off to college.  I don’t think I’m ready for a career.  I may consider a job once I’m an empty nester but right now I’m happy being mom, wife, volunteer, and PF blogger.

For me the right decision is to continue to do the same things I have done for the last 15 years.

January 23, 2009

Trust Fund Baby – NOT

Filed under: Kids — ambercouric @ 10:00 am

I had an interesting conversation with Ashby.  We were discussing the pay cut my husband just had to take.  He suggested we use his trust fund.  Now we do have a college fund that he isn’t using because he has a full scholarship.  We plan for him to use the fund for graduate school. 

Anyway, as we were talking he asked at what age he would get his Trust Fund.  TRUST FUND.  He has got to be kidding.  I told him there was no trust fund and once out of college he would be paying his own bills.  He said he thought he would have enough money to last a year or two after college to get started.  You are NOT Paris Hilton or any part of the Hilton family my dear son.

Well, to him it seems that the “Trust Fund” and “College Fund” are the same.  I said the college fund is for COLLEGE only.  Any money not used for school goes to pay off my mortgage.   The same goes for Kennedy’s college fund. 

My dear son Ashby is no trust fund baby.  I think I just ruined his day.  If he has scholarships and doesn’t use his scholarship money I am sure we may give him a NICE gift but the entire fund – not in this lifetime.

Also, just for info.  The funds are not set up as college funds in the boys names.  My husband and I both went to college on full scholarship so we set up two accounts in our names knowing that we may use the money at some point.  But we won’t touch the money except for college expenses until both boys have graduated college.

January 20, 2009

Snow Day, Vet Visit, A New Coat

Filed under: Kids,Pets,Random — ambercouric @ 11:01 am
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It’s SNOWING in South Carolina.  I mean it is really snowing.  Has been for several hours now.  Snow here usually lasts about 5 minutes.  Today we are supposed to have snow for about 6-8 hours.  I’m not sure how much will accumulate but there is a good chance that things will be shut down again tomorrow.  That is both good and bad.  I have so much to do that just can’t be done with people here.  The dogs are loving the snow and so is Kennedy.  So we will sit by the fire with hot chocolate all day.

The puppy had another vet visit yesterday.  This one was $98.  She got her last set of puppy shots and some medication for her ears.  I never knew that dogs with long floppy ears tend to have ear infections.  My little animal shelter rescue pup is becoming a DESIGNER pup very quickly. 

Remember THE LIST – Well Ashby went out with friends over the weekend.  I think another friend needed a coat so they went to the mall to find one.  Ashby called to say he found a coat on sale.  It wasn’t leather and I have no idea what it looks like but he got it for $13 from Old Navy.  He said it was originally around $100.  He was quite proud of himself and I must say I was quite proud too.  Sounded like the deals were so good several of the boys bought coats.

January 13, 2009

Boarding School – Is he crazy?

Filed under: Kids — ambercouric @ 9:16 am

My wonderful brilliant 14 yo told me this morning he has been researching boarding schools.  He has decided that he wants to go to boarding school in Virginia. 

He only knows one family (I know a few) that has sent their children to boarding school.   Not even looking at the cost which is about $40,000 a year and no we can’t afford that, I just can’t believe he would go off this young.  He said his 7th grade SAT scores are higher than the average graduating senior at these schools.  At first he said he would just like to apply to see if he could be accepted.  Then he worked his way to if they offered him a scholarship maybe.

Please someone tell me this is just a phase and when he gets home from school today he will have changed his mind and want to be a rock star.

Does anyone know anything about boarding schools?  Help!!!!!

December 27, 2008

A 14 year old’s shopping strategy

Filed under: Budget,Dave Ramsey,Kids,Shopping — ambercouric @ 11:27 am
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I had to run out to the mall yesterday and pick up some shoes for Ashby.  They were part of his Christmas but we knew they would be on sale after Christmas so we waited to go buy them.  Kennedy wanted to go with me to the mall so he could stop by Chic-Fil-A.  While in the mall, I asked if there was anything else he wanted to shop for.  He said that he only had $5 with him.  I was a little surprised because he received a large sum of money for Christmas.  He said he had $3 for the sandwich and $2 buffer in case he decided he wanted a candy bar.  He said there was nothing else he needed or wanted.

As I added the last 20+ debits made in the account since Monday to the check register, I realized if I went to a cash only method how much easier it would be.  Having a debit card and knowing the money is in the bank makes it so easy to spend more than anticipated. 

Dave Ramsey may have a point with the cash only philosophy. 

Are any of you on a cash only basis?  No debit or credit cards.

December 17, 2008

The Giving Tree

Filed under: Giving,Kids — ambercouric @ 6:54 pm
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My son, Kennedy, is in the gifted program for our school district.  One of the requirements of the program is that each student must participate in a minimum of 15 hours of community service.  He and a friend decided to do a “Giving Tree”.  They sent out a notice to all the kids at school and asked for donations.   We are going to deliver the items tomorrow.

Take a look at their tree.  They were so excited to have so many people donate.

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