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Archive for December, 2021


December 16th, 2021 at 10:46 pm

Wow, I can't believe it's almost Christmas! I am very far behind! I have been so much busier than I thought I would be! I thought the Christmas season would be slower, but I guess people are getting back to life in spite of the pandemic.

Both The Kids participate in extra-curriculars and those are just about back to normal. They may need to show proof of a negative test or wear a mask, but they have been able to practice and compete without many restrictions. That has definitely added to our crazy schedule.

We host Christmas at our house and my family is huge! We do get some help, but it's still a lot to do the shopping, get the house ready, and prepare the (majority) of the food. And all that is in addition to the "normal Christmas stuff" we need to do. However, I feel very blessed that my family gets together with us and I wouldn't change it for anything!

We are almost done shopping; I only have a couple gifts still need to buy, but I am nowhere near done wrapping! I have probably only wrapped about 30% of what I need to do. So, when I am off school next week, I will be a busy bee!

We set aside money every month, starting in January, to pay for Christmas. I have mostly stayed in budget this year, but more importantly, I haven't put anything on credit. When I haven't had enough actual cash, I have used my ATM card for purchases! That's a small win! For most of my family I made homemade soap (two different kinds), a lotion bar, and a homemade lip balm. I have been working on my Christmas presents all year! I'm excited about them!

This year, both The Boy and The Girl children have "significant" others... a first for us. We wanted to give them some gifts too. We got each of them 4 gifts, but only spent about $25 on each of them. We are giving them soaps, little credit card pocket knives (we've had these for years and have just been waiting for the "right" people to give them to), for the girlfriend we also got a blanket and another small gift, and for the boyfriend we got him two flannels and another small gift! Nearly everything we purchased for them we got on sale... score!

As I said earlier, I am looking forward to my time off work. Work this year is extra stressful, for various reasons (ironically very few of those reasons are COVID related). I'm excited to get caught up for Christmas, finishing our Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts, watching Christmas movies, and getting caught up on laundry! Plus spending quality time with The Husband and Kids! 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and the happiest of new years!

Dave Ramsey... Again

December 8th, 2021 at 11:06 pm

Many years ago, The Husband and I took Dave Ramsey's FPU through our (old) church.  We worked the steps, got out of debt, and started aggressively contributing to our retirement. Then we decided to remodel the kitchen at our old house. We fell deeply into debt, all on our credit card and haven't been able to get out of debt since then. Not only that, but our debt has increased. 

Like most people, I am so ashamed of our debt! And although I have had nothing but support from this blog and site, I'm still uncomfortable disclosing the actual amount of our debt because I am so ashamed.

However, today as I was reading different blogs and articles about getting out of debt, I remembered that we have done it before and we can do it again! I'm feeling motivated to get out of debt in a way I haven't felt motivated for years!

This time will look a little different for many reasons. First of all, we have much older (and more expensive) kids. Secondly, we make a lot more money. Thirdly, we aren't comfortable with a $1000 emergency fund, so ours will be larger. (Sidenote: we already have our emergency fund saved up, so we pretty much get to start at Baby Step #2.) We also give to our church regularly (and have for three years!!!) and we have felt so blessed being able to do that that isn't something we would ever change! (This is the first time in our married life that we have given to our church REGULARLY and we are so glad that we can!) And lastly, we are choosing not to stop contributions to our retirement accounts. We have done that before and already feel like we are playing catch up, so we don't want to fall farther behind as we aren't getting any younger.

As far as point three goes, we do have an emergency fund, but we do have some upcoming expenses, so we still need to add to our savings. We need to add $2500 to cover some costs we have coming up and then we will stop adding to our emergency fund/short term savings account and put that money towards our debt. 

Regarding my last point, we contribute a lot towards retirement. As I am a teacher in California, I contribute 10% automatically towards my pention, but I contribute and additional 15% on top of that. The Husband contributes 17% and his employer gives a 3% match plus 6% profit sharing. Totally, we contribute about 25% of our pre-tax dollars towards retirement, but we are playing catch up!

Even while adding to our savings we will be paying off debt. We should be able to save the money we need for some upcoming expenses by The Husband's last paycheck in February (2/18/22) and then we can start aggressively paying off debt.

I have not had anything but positive feedback and support from this site so please wish us luck and send all the good thoughts our way as we tackle getting out of debt following Dave Ramsey... again!