Friday, September 28, 2012

Fridge clean out Friday

I decided to move Fridge clean out Saturday from Saturday to Friday because "Fridge clean out Friday" just sounds cuter, doncha think?  So, here it is, Fridge clean out Friday:

NOTHING!!!!!!  Wahoo, nothing to be thrown out!  We did have some super bendy carrots that I was going to throw out, but decided that I could peel, slice, and water them back into crispiness so I didn't have to throw them out.  I'm SO proud of us!!! 

How'd your Fridge clean out go?

Payday. Blech.

I know I should be thankful that The Husband has a nice stable job with a good income, and that I have a nice parttime gig with great hours, but I still hate payday.  First you're rich.  Then you're not!  After paying all the bills, buying winter clothes for the little one, buying birthday party supplies and a gift for her, buying rotors for my car, and setting aside money for the Civic's oil change, we're back to nothing again.  While I'm grateful that there is plenty of money to meet every single one of our needs, and a couple of our wants (yea, so I totally bought boots today but they were 25% off and AWESOME and as they say in Winterfell:  Winter is coming!), I am frustrated that we're not just rolling in dough.  I know that's my mental thing I've got to get around, but we live in a society that expects us to spend money left and right.  What if you don't have any money to the left or the right?  Then what do you do?  Well, before we'd whip out the shiny plastic credit card and continue to spend money that was never ours to spend.  Now we've decided that we'd do something totally crazy.  You ready for this?  We're going to....................................NOT SPEND.  Holy cow, did I just say that?  It's almost taboo to say, let alone do, but that's precisely what we will do.  Or not do.  Whichever is grammatically correct.  So, if you're local to us, don't be surprised if we turn down the invitation to go out to eat, and please do accept our invitation to eat here.  It can be really fun hanging out with friends, playing games, eating homemade food, and drinking wine!  The challenge is to find free activities for the kids.  Tonight The Husband has got that covered, he will be camping out in the living room, playing games, and making smores in the fireplace.  FREE!  So, on that note, I'm off to the grocery store (with my coupons of course) to secure a reduced price good time for the next two weeks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I've been lying to you.

And to me.  I completely "forgot" about a whole 'nother bill that needs to be paid.  I say "forgot" because I just didn't want to face the reality that we'd racked it up even a little bit, so I pretended that it wasn't being charged on and that it didn't exist.  That totally worked for me until I actually got the bill in the mail today.  $480.  Sigh.  Admitting it means accepting it, and accepting it means facing it, and facing it is the whole point right?  So, here it is in all it's expanded glory:

Total debt:
Le credit card: $8328.52
Le Student Loan: $7294.82
Le Van Payment: $21563.88
Le "Forgotten" credit card:  $470.00

Le Crappy Total: $37657.22

God that sucks, but it's something that we do all the time.  We pretend we didn't really eat those calories in that handful of m&m's, we pretend we didn't really spend that $3 on that latte, and we pretend lots of other things to make us feel better about our situation.  All that pretending is good for is digging our heads deeper into the sand, and we're not going to be free and clear until we admit what it is we're trying to be free and clear from.  So there it is.  The Husband and I are trying to be free and clear of $37,657.22 worth of debt in a minimal amount of time.  Join me won't you?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I just might have lost my everlovin' mind

The Husband and I just decided to do the unthinkable.  We have decided to have the 5 year old's next birthday party......................................... AT HOME.  This is something that I've never ever ever done.  I'm not so great with kids, I feel like I can't relate to them, so I've always done birthday parties at locations where I don't have to provide the entertainment.  Think Chuck E Cheese, or the bowling alley or something like that.  Well, in our quest to get our finances under control, we decided that it would save us a CONSIDERABLE amount of money to entertain the children ourselves.  I might end up being committed after, but atleast I'll be saving money!!  The theme is a princess tea party for about 10-15 little girls.  If you know me, you know this is the antithesis of me, but my little one will love it, and so will my pocketbook.  I know for a lot of people parties at home are the norm, but for me this is a hugely radical change, and frankly I'm pretty darn proud of it.  So, tell me, what radical change are you willing to make?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fridge clean out Saturday!

So, today I decided that I would clean out the fridge.  Meal planning has made it so that we almost never throw away food anymore.  Here is a picture of what we're throwing away this week:

Half a container of yogurt and three slices of pizza from a week ago.  We did slack off a bit on the meal planning this week otherwise these things would have been eaten.  Every time I throw food away I think about the millions of people starving in North Korea who would do anything to have these things but can't, and I feel guilty.  I take it upon myself to be a better consumer so that if I can't fix the hunger for those in North Korea, atleast I can be sure to not be wasteful with the abundance of food available to us here.  On that note, here is a link to my favorite meal planning worksheet:

And here is a link if you are interested in helping provide food for hungry orphans in North Korea:

How does this relate to being thrifty/paying debt/getting a masters degree?  If we are mindful of all the things available to us, how much we consume, and the monetary amount of  how much we throw away, then we are more aware of missed opportunities.  The food in the picture above totals around $4.  While $4 doesn't seem like a lot, it could feed a hungry child, or lower our debt amount, or any other plethora of things.  Instead, we threw $4 in the trash which is something no one would consider doing if it was actual paper money instead of old food.  I am mindful of that and vow to do better next week. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm thankful that you're here.

Today I am feeling so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.  The friends that just understand what The Husband and I are trying to do, and don't pressure us into spending money we don't have.  We are learning to reevaluate our ways to entertain.  More cooking at home for friends rather than going out, and I've found that when I put love into my food and cook for them, I am so happy when they are pleased with what I've prepared for them.  They also tend to be more appreciative of the food when it's been prepared by me.  They know I worked hard, they know I did it for them, and we both receive satisfaction from that.  Who knew dinner parties could be so enjoyable (especially when your guests help you do the dishes!).  Life really is about the company you keep, not the things you keep.  I'm determined to remind myself of that as much as possible.  That super cute pair of boots that I don't need will not bring me fulfillment, but the wonderful people in my life sure as heck will, and that's what matters!  Happy Thursday everyone, I'm so glad you're here with me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things that make you go hmmmmmm

Have you ever just stopped to think about how much we consume in an effort to feel enough?  Like, we need the right clothes, we need the right cars, we need the right knick-knacks, but why?  Why do we "need" these things?  Why should I spend $20 on a bowl that's pretty, when a $5 one is just as functional?  Why do we feel it necessary to surround ourselves with beautiful things, when if you just look out the window you're already surrounded by beauty?  Corporations spend millions trying to get inside our heads to make us feel when we buy, so that when we're done buying we feel bad, so we can spend more to feel good again, lather rinse repeat.  Well, I want off that ride thankyouverymuch!  The Husband and I have taken it upon ourselves to limit our intake while simultaneously reducing the amount of "stuff" in our home.  It's so liberating.  It's like giving a big eff you to the corporations that have only their pocketbook in mind, not mine.  No more!  Reevaluating a need from a want is hard.  It's really really hard.  I don't like it, I don't like sacrifice, I'm a typical American with an unhealthy expectation of immediate gratification, but I don't want to be anymore.  So, with that being said, I'd like to refer you to one of my absolute favorite blogs at the moment.  Please enjoy!

I'm heeeeeeeere!

Allright people, I'm baaaaaaack (but not like in a creepy poltergiesty way, just in an OMG I forgot about my blog and my dedication to paying off debt kind of way).  I hate to admit it but clearly I must.  4 years later, and lots of wagons that we fell off (seriously, I bought a new van and everything), add in a move to Europe (wah hoo!!!) and we're still massively in debt.  As of right this second we are sitting at $37,187.22  .................................................................

Sorry, I passed out there for a second.  See, here's the thing, The Husband is going to retire from the military in 5 scant years.  At that time we will be moving back to home, buying land, building a house, etc etc.  Also, The Husband wants to be The Stay-At-Home dad while I become The Breadwinner.  That means not only do we have to pay off $37,187.22 worth of debt in 5 years, but I need to get my masters degree as well.  Do you know how much a masters degree costs?  Like as much as a tricked out mercedes!  Of course it is a must and completely priceless once it's done, but the price is painful in the process!  I plan to use The Husbands GI Bill to pay for it but The Teenager is going to be going to college in 18 months.  How am I suppose to pay for that too????  So, I'm completely freaking out!  Like, omg someone hand me the belgian chocolates and the cheetos puffs kind of freaking out.  I'm not sure it's entirely possible.  Especially when you add in the fact that we live in freaking EUROPE and the travel just calls to me.  It whispers to me in the night like a secret lover, wanting me to fly to different places and eat ethnic foods.  How can I say no?  It says all the right things and knows how to get me to say "yes".  It's like giving up your bachelor pad when you get married, you just don't want to.  We'll only be here for two more years and there are still a billion and five places I want to go!  Grrrr, being a responsible adult sucks almost as much as being a monkey in a zoo.  That poor monkey can't go to Rome on holiday, but I can and it's killing my budget! 

The biggest issues over here with budgeting is that I can't get the kind of deals I used to in the states.  No CVS, no walgreens, no craigslist.  We have something like it but it's not as profitable over here.  Also, I'm dealing with two currencies so that makes my budgeting extra difficult.  So, in short, I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack, I have to be.  I have too many grown-upy type things that I have to do, so here we go again!

Total debt:
Le credit card:  $8328.52
Le Student Loan:  $7294.82
Le Van Payment:  $21563.88

Le Crappy Total:  $37187.22