This is very long and rambling....go to the potty before you start! I am very long winded....
What am I doing here? Not in the big, universal sense (but if I ever figure that out, I will let you know!), but here, in this corner of the blogisphere. At my core, I am a realist. No, I am not Mary Sunshine all the time. But I am not Debbie Downer all the time either. I look at a situation, and I find what the REAL impact. And some of that isn't great....it isn't being negative....it is preparing yourself for something. It is real that I will need to add about $60 a month for the next 3 months to the oil bill to have a zero balance when the new contract starts. I am not complaining about it...that is what it is....so I have to deal with that. I don't have to be happy about it though. If you can find a positive spin on paying more on a bill....more power to ya. And in case you are wondering....we went 83 gallons over our contract, but those gallons are actually LESS per gallon than what we were paying because of the locked in contract price. 83 gallons is about 8% over....the first time in years we went over. Thank you cold winter. :)
1) While I STARTED as a debt repayment blog, it really morphed into a personal finance blog. And by personal, I mean my PERSONAL finances. I don't tell anyone how to do things, what finance products to use, or that I am doing it "right or wrong". I share what happens with our money, how it has impacted the bottom line, and frustrations and successes in regards to these things. You know what? When your car breaks down and you lose time at work, and you spend thousands of dollars....it really does have an impact on the bottom line. When you live in a state that is in the top 3 in the country for taxes, it does not allow as much money to go to other things.
I don't have any interest in reporting the individual amounts that I spend day to day. That is fine for some people; it just isn't want I want to do. I am not hiding anything. I went to Walmart yesterday and spent $262 on groceries (probably 10 days worth, excluding milk), a month worth of household supplies (personal care, cat, etc). And a birthday gift. I would have to add it up to figure out the grocery vs household cost...I just have no interest in reporting those numbers.
I also paid miscellaneous bills this week....cable, cell, medical. Do you want to know that the pathology bill for the removal of a polyp was $12.72? Well, it was.
We also made another payment to the retirement loan (via G-man's autodebit from his paycheck) and made a credit card payment. Next week is my car payment, and the week after is student loan, and the week after is G-man's car. It is all there. I just don't find it terrible interesting when it is a standard payment. Nor do I think you would find it interesting to read that either.
2) I have stated over and over that until after the move, focused effort on debt repayment is not the priority. We make payments on all of the items. With the exception of the CC, all of the individual debts are one way streets....they will never go up by the nature of the loan. So 80% of the debt will go down by some amount every single month. The CC is the 20% that is in our control. And yes....when my car broke down in Jan/February...to the tune of $1800....I chose to put it on a CC instead of liquidating over half my EF. Five months later, that is almost paid off and we are closing in on the the pre-car break down total.
Additionally, way back in the blog, I said that we would get to a point where the debt was more or less on autopilot and the only thing left to do is pay it back. Well, that is kind of where we are. I have moved things around; I have gotten interest rates down; I have looked at all the numbers.
We took a calculated risk when G-man moved. And like the stock market, you have to ride out the lows to get to the highs. This wasn't a knee jerk reaction. We are now paying all the same bills on less money. That leaves less for debt repayment. It has shown a little where some of the leaks are in the budget, and we have plugged those leaks.
3) We knew that the house could be an issue. And it is, although we still are unclear WHAT the issue is. Yes, we have a realtor problem.....but the contract is signed through mid-September with that company. We are exploring switching agents within the company until the contract is up.
I know some of you really think I live in this falling down, broken house....but I don't. I live in a 100 year old house. If that is your style, then great. If it isn't, I don't know why you are wasting your time looking, and mine. If people didn't want a pool....then why didn't they leave that as part of the feedback all along? Then at least we would know what the problem is. Houses in the neighborhood have sold for +/- $5k from our asking price....so it isn't the price either.
And now the pool IS an issue. An issue that is in the process of being addressed. It doesn't have to jive with YOUR timeline, just ours. It is covered for the moment, and we are working on the costs of taking everything apart and putting it back together. But G-man is working 2 jobs and dealing with my parents (oh, it is so much worse than my brother and I thought....). I am working and taking care of the kids, while dealing with the house (both the standard stuff that G-man used to do, along with the selling of the house). It is in process. If a buyer comes along and loves the house (as we did) but doesn't love the pool (just like us), we are willing to credit money back to them to fix the problem. And then they get to do what THEY want to do...not buy something we already did. But in the meantime, we will do something, and hope that it appeals to the general masses.
I am not going to win no matter what I say on this subject. I am not taking the pool down fast enough. If I took it down tomorrow and it took me 2 months to fix the back yard, I would get scolded for leaving the yard a mess while it is on the market.
4) This is not a frugal blog. I am not a couponer (I did try for awhile, and I got overwhelmed. But mad props to those of you who are!!). I am not going to reuse sandwich baggies or eat out of a dumpster or make water from my urine. I also do not buy expensive clothes for myself or my family. Or take vacations (in fact, the fact that my kids are almost 13 and have never been on a vacation outside of a night away makes me sad. That is an experience I would like to give them.) I do not make over my house all the time (which some of you seem to think I do). I still have the coffee table we bought in 2000, and the alarm clock from 1986 (but the volume button is starting to give out....*sniff*) I did buy a new set of sheets for my bed when my other set ripped. No, I didn't patch it....I kept the pillowcases and I tossed the sheet. If we weren't moving, I probably would have found a use for the fabric, but that is my craft-y side...not frugal side.
5) Not everything is going to be relatable to everyone. I posted last week about my contacts, to mixed review. Some thought it was boring....ok, that post wasn't for you. Some said they totally can relate....ok, great. And sometimes I am going to post about nothing. If you aren't interested, don't read it. I hope to see you another day!
My biggest goal of the blog started off showing debt repayment. But life happened. So instead, I showed the world what happens when life happens. Yep, the overall number has gone up and down and up and down. It is all interconnected. It isn't a straight shot. It is messy, and flawed at times. And it is successful and organized. And it is my life.
The majority of people that have read and commented over time have said that they read this because it makes them feel more normal. That they aren't the only ones who struggle with certain things. That they aren't the only ones who have stuff happen to them and it derails them for a time. But I have continued to show the world the aftermath in all of its ugliness. Cars break. Houses need repairs. People get sick. The world keeps turning.
You wanna know what we spent 10k on with the credit card? I looked back on it.....alot of it is coded as services.....the majority of that is car stuff. Merchandise....yes, along the way, 4 people need shoes, underwear, pants.....particularly 2 growing kids. And has there been a few non-essential purchases....why yes there have been. And food....food has been a weak area for us from the beginning. Some of it is eating out because we planned poorly....or just didn't feel like cooking. Could some of it have been avoided....yep. Did some of it blind side us....yep.
So read into this what you want. Say what you want. Just because you say something doesn't mean its true (and yes, that goes for me as well). I appreciate all the readers...even the ones who think I am a trainwreck. It makes it that much sweeter when I celebrate the successes.