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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 76 and worn out!

It was a nice visit to see Serenity. We won't talk too much right now about how much we spent between gas, the motel room and eating out, but it was enough! Geesh! Suffice it to say that we ate at On the Border last night (Serenity's choice for her birthday) and Chili's today with two of Serenity's friends and their moms. Tom was the only man at a table of 8! Tasha spent the night at Serenity's apartment and they got some sisterly bonding time. However, just the fact that we have been being so careful with our money the last few months made me able to enjoy this trip without stressing out about money (Well, not too much, LOL. After all, I am still ME).

Well, the emergency fund was sure nice at $1000 while it lasted. My day took a crappy turn yesterday at lunchtime when my kitchen sink stopped up and all the plunging in the world would not budge it. The last time this happened a couple of years back, it ended up backing up during the night all over the kitchen floor so I wasn't even waiting this time and I called a plumber. He was able to come out at 3:00, got it unstopped, and I paid him $145!!! So the EF is back down to $855, but I have to say that it felt nice to just be able to call the plumber knowing we had the money to pay for it and not having to worry about putting off paying a bill, or not being able to go see Serenity because of it or something.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 75 and Closing in on $3000!

Well, with what I've paid this week, we are closing in on $3000 in debt paid off since we started this journey almost 11 weeks ago. That's an average of about $1000 a month. Granted, some of it would have been paid anyway, but not all of it. And what did get paid would have been late and had late fees tacked on. If you had told me 3 months ago that we would have made this much progress and been doing as well as we are, I would have thought you were crazy. Some days are easier than others, some weeks are easier than others, but it will all pay off in the end. Anyway, here's the updated list. This week, we paid off the dentist, the November Urgent Care bill, the auto parts store, the ER doctor and ER for the incident with my knee last summer.

DLO: $14.40-PAID!
DLO: $34.11-PAID!
Radiology: $37-PAID!
Urgent care clinic: $46.15 (August 2007)-PAID!
Urgent care clinic: $40.55 (November 2007) PAID!
Dr. Office: $79.20-PAID!
ER Doctor: $93.54-PAID!
dentist: PAID!!!
Auto parts store: $161.73-PAID!
Josten's-PAID!
Second half 2007 real estate taxes: $148.64-PAID!
Hospital: $261.16-PAID!
Credit card #1: $2970
Credit card #2: $1104
Credit card #3: $990
Credit card #4: $899
Credit card #5: $908
Credit card #6: $2509
Car loan: Balance: $2815
My student loan: $12, 913
DH student loan: $53, 248
House: paid $670.12

As of March 28th: $2798.77 in debt paid off!


I took Tasha to the Dr. yesterday. Her ears and throat were infected so she got a shot in the bottom and antibiotics and hopefully will be feeling better soon. She said this morning that she already felt some better. Her visit was pretty expensive with the shot and all. I paid $50 on it and will pay the rest after the insurance does it's thing.

Tonight, we are going to Norman to see Serenity. We will be home sometime tomorrow night and I will try to post then, but if not, I'll "see" you all on Sunday!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day 74 and Tom's Car

As Tom was leaving work yesterday, a lady in the parking lot backed into him and banged up his passenger side back door. So I spent a good part of last night on the phone with her insurance and we have to take the car to Northcutt's in Enid to get it looked at and then they'll order the parts and fix it. The good news is that the lady has insurance and the insurance will provide a rental car while it's being worked on so we won't be without a car for Tom. The most important news is that noone got hurt.

I should have an updated debt list tomorrow with what I've paid this week and what I'll pay tomorrow when the tax refund comes. Now I just have to work up the courage to talk to these credit card companies and try to work something out with them.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 73 and the baby EF

Well, between the REWARD check I got last week and the insurance check yesterday, we are going to have the baby EF fully funded at $1000. We will put the rest of the insurance money back until we find out how much it will cost to fix the damage inside from the leaks. If all goes well, between my food check and the tax refund this week, we may be able to pay off several of the smaller bills and get to tackling the bigger stuff. I do have to take Tasha to the Dr tomorrow (her tonsils are red and swollen) so we'll see how much that costs!

This Friday, we are going to Norman to see Serenity. It is parent's weekend, plus next Thursday is her 20th birthday!!! I cannot believe I have a child who is going to be 20 years old! We will be taking Serenity out to eat for her birthday while we are there. I've already got Serenity's birthday present ordered and on it's way to her. I got her a set of movies that she wanted (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, and Weird Science). I also got her a crockpot and cookbook to go with it.

Last night and this morning I went through my January, February, & March receipts and wrote them down for my taxes next year. Now I just have to keep that up through the rest of the year. It took less than an hour total to do those 3 months. If I could keep up through the year, I bet that part of it would take me less than 15 minutes a month, instead of hours and hours at tax time. Plus it's a lot easier to remember what those things I bought at Wal-Mart were soon after I bought them instead of a year later. I spent forever trying to figure out what some stuff from last summer was on a Wal-Mart receipt and whether it was deductible. I've also got my hours worked written down in my calendar up through yesterday, and I've been writing down the utility bills as I pay them. Since I run a business in my home, I am allowed to deduct a portion of those off my taxes. Oh, and I also have the amount paid by the parents totaled for January & February. That will also be much easier if I keep a running total of that through the year. Now if I could just get my housework organized better, my entire life would be almost totally organized! LOL!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 72 and wow! That was fast!

I went to get the mail yesterday and we already had a check from our insurance company for the damage from the leaking roof. We have talked to a man from our church who is supposed to come out and give us an idea on the cost to repair. He did a repair at the church where there was a leak and you can't even tell where the leak was. It looks great! I am not sure how we'll work it with my business in the home, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Our tax refund is scheduled to come this week and so we may be able to get some more stuff paid off and hopefully be able to start tackling some of that bigger stuff. I was looking at our list this morning of what we've paid off and what we still have to go. I realize we have a long ways to go, but I can't express how good it feels to be actually making progress! It looks great to see so many of the bills marked as paid. I actually look forward to doing the budget for April. I've already started it a little bit.

One of the things that Dave mentioned in one of his classes was a lady who enlarged her debt snowball list, and hung it on the refrigerator as a visual reminder. I think I'm going to hang our list up too. It makes me smile to look at it and see the progress we've made.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 71 and back to the normal routine

Well, I'm back to my normal routine this week with kids. It was sure nice to have a light week last week, but I did miss the kids that weren't here.

Last night was the FPU lesson on saving for college and retirement. As for the college savings, it seems that ship has pretty much sailed for us, with Serenity in her second year of college, Josh getting ready to start college, and Natasha a freshman in high school. However, we did qualify for and apply for the OHLAP program on all of them which has helped. With grants and scholarships, I guess they'll muddle through. I can't help but feel a tiny bit guilty about not having saved for their college. The other part of the lesson was about saving for retirement. We have a 401K through Tom's work but of course we have borrowed against it several time, which Dave says is "dumb". The last time we borrowed against it was almost 2 years ago and once that is paid off, we don't plan to ever do it again. I have to just keep reminding myself not to focus on all of our mistakes, and just to focus on what we're doing right.

Some updates:
1. We have the gift account established and have regular deposits going into it so that by Christmas we ought to be way ahead of where we've ever been on that. In the future, we plan to use it as a gift account to buy gifts year round but right now we're trying not to touch it at all so that it can grow until next Christmas.
2. We are still doing good at avoiding Sonic drinks and eating out. I did meet Tom for lunch on Friday since I was off, and it was yummy! Oh and I must confess, I did get Tasha & I lunch at the Peppermint Pad on Thursday and Tom took a friend out to lunch on Thursday. The friend takes him out to eat almost every week and sometimes Tom tries to reciprocate. Sometimes, the friend lets him. LOL. However, even with all the homework I had to do this weekend, we did not eat out once over the weekend. I can tell you that is a huge accomplishment!
3. The emergency fund was up to $350, but I took out $55 to pay the roofer so it's back down to $295. However, I still need to put a part of my REWARD money in there and that will bring it up some more.
4. I am planning our meals and Tom or I are cooking them, even when we don't feel like it.
5. We have all of our regular monthly bills caught up and paid on time this month and we are working on getting some other stuff paid off.

Keep praying for us! It's working!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 70 and tick-tock!

I have two hours and 17 minutes left until my assignments are due for this unit, and I am still working on one of them. I have everything else done and submitted. Hope you've all had a happy Easter! I'll try to be more wordy tomorrow! LOL!