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Debt is Dumb

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

 My DH and I are trying to get out of debt. It’s been a humbling journey so far. And a lot harder than I wanted to believe. My Mom introduced us to Dave Ramsey and the idea of being debt free after we purchased our first new car (go figure) in Spring 2008. Up until then I always viewed debt as a tool, as I think most of society does. I was also working in commercial banking, loan payments, amortization schedules, libor vs prime rates were in my everyday vocabulary. And after all you need a credit score to buy a car, or a house, all those big-ticket items that most young couples want for themselves. It’s pretty hard to get a credit score without that wonderful plastic card. DH and I never had a lot of credit card debt, not by many standards anyways. I don’t remember how much exactly, but we had less than 10k for sure. Our real debt problem is the remainder of that car note, and the dreaded student loans. Anyone else waiting for the student loan bubble to pop? With the students loans and our car note we still have about 30,000 dollars in debt. (YIKES!)

What we’ve paid off since 2008:

1. HOM Furniture (around 2500)
2. Orchard Bank CC (600 or so)
3. WaMu/Chase (2000)
4. BofA (2000)
5. My Student Loan (3000)

What we have left:

1. Car Note (7000)
2. DH Student Loan 1
3. DH Student Loan 2
4. DH Student Loan 3

Dave Ramsey has this saying. “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.” It’s an odd saying. It confused me at first. But it’s really quite simple. Live like no one else (get out of debt, stay out of debt) so you can live like no one else (live without debt, GIVE without debt). How many times do you pass the offering bowl without putting anything in it because you cannot afford another penny let a lone the common 10% to give to God? How often do you throw away the requests for donations to the Lupus Foundation, or the Children’s Hospital? How often do you turn away the Girl Scout down the street…. wait… ok maybe we don’t turn down the girl scout. What I’m saying is, I do, ALL THE TIME. Because we have this mountain of debt looming over our shoulders. We’re living pay check to pay check and barely even managing that. We are SLAVES to the creditor. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be able to tithe appropriately. I want to be able to give to the Zoo foundation. I want to be able to send my kids to college if that’s the path they choose. DH and I still need to practice discipline. Sometimes it’s harder than other times. But even though I was laid off in 2009, I can proudly say that we have not used a credit card (obviously, they’re paid off) since Summer of 08. And it feels great. Oh and by the way, even though we lost our townhouse, we did not have to pay ridiculous amounts of security deposits because our credit didn’t end up being that bad since we paid those credit cards off.

So how am I helping the cause as a stay at home Mom and homemaker? For one, if DH needs to stay late or picks up a second job I don’t complain. It gets hard being the sole provider for my babes for weeks at a time but I know DH is working hard. I babysit, this covers the car payment and a little more. I plan a menu and grocery shop to a list. This keeps costs down and eating out to a minimum. I also try my best not to overspend in other areas, and I also ask before making a less than needed purchase. Most of all I’m DH’s cheerleader. I help him to see the light of the tunnel and give him timelines.

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It’s a list.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

 My house is a complete disaster. I really shouldn’t be on the computer at all because my house looks like a tornado went through it. We bought a new table off of craigslist, and since we have no extra storage and our previous table has not sold yet I have four extra chairs in my living room, a big heavy table top in my hall, and the legs in the kitchen. Maybe we should have sold our table first…

But none the less, I have a lot of work to do, and I think it’s going to prove difficult with all this extra stuff cluttering my space. I may do this from time to time, it helps motivate me, so this is my to-do list.

1. Wash Diapers (I cloth diaper). – They’re in the wash soaking right now.
2. Unload the dishwasher (and reload with today’s dishes)
3. Countertops
4. Sweep & Wash kitchen floors
5. Catch up on laundry
6. Clean guest bathroom
7. vacuum
8. Pick up the boys’ room

I don’t have to worry about dinner tonight. We’re having pizza at church and meeting with other families with young children. I hope I can complete my list today though. I know the chaos has been bothering DH.

I can usually get what I want done if I dress to shoes and have my computer up so I have to stand to check it. Once I hit the couch, I’m a goner. How do you keep motivated?

Part 3

Wow, I didn’t mean to leave you hanging there. Both my kiddos got pretty sick. DS1 seemed more flu-like, DS2 got an ear infection. I also nanny for a baby girl and she has had a cold too. Sick kids! I also had a big cake pop order. They turned out really cute and the person who got their really loved them.

Anywho, so what happened? I have a couple of ideas.

First, I graduated. Suddenly I didn’t belong. There was no group to be apart of unless I wanted to join a bible study with people twice my age. The church I was with at the time sort of just cut me off. I told them if they needed any help to let me know. They never called. It was depressing. S, my mentor, also moved, so my contacts were dwindling as it was.

Second, and it’s interesting that I’m writing about this now, but one of my dear friends passed away on Valentine’s Day in 2005.  He was the drummer in our band, and I always considered him to be like a little brother. B was so fun, and talented. After the funeral I had an extremely hard time attending service because first his drum set sat there empty, and then someone else filled the spot. After it was filled I couldn’t bring myself to go anymore. I did end up getting married in that Church because I had no other Church home, but I haven’t been back since.

Third – this is pretty personal, but here goes. I had sex before I was married. It was with my now DH, so I can say I’ve only been with one man. However I still feel guilty (he doesn’t know this), and a bit tarnished. I think this is just something I need to forgive myself for.

 

So I’ve distanced myself. I do belong to a church of sorts now, although we’re not officially members. And as I said I don’t attend regularly, just when the choir sings. I really need to work on that.

Speaking of work, I’ve been working on being a help-meet. That is the purpose of all this. Lately I’ve been trying to not bicker about things. Letting my DH “be the boss”. Giving him final say. Yesterday I caught myself. I want to get a new dining room table because the one we have is quite small, so I found a very reasonable set on craigslist. I showed it to him, he kind of scrunched up his nose…it’s not my style either, but it’s incredibly functional and sturdy. We went back and forth a little…and then I remembered to let him be in charge. So I said OK, if you don’t want it, we won’t get it. Funny how not putting up a fight suddenly has him considering what I’m asking for.

 

Valentine’s

DH surprised me yesterday by setting up dinner plans including a babysitter. For yesterday, not today. We can never find a babysitter on the 14th for obvious reasons. So I appreciate the thought to do it the day before. BUT said babysitter (my sister) got sick and didn’t tell us until 30 minutes before she was supposed to arrive. My DH of course was disappointed and started getting an “it would figure” attitude. My other sister was already babysitting in a city I didn’t want to drive the kids to in the snow, and my Mom was busy. It was looking like our night wasn’t going to happen. But I figured he went through all the trouble, and I was already dressed to go out, I gave my friend a call and she pulled through for us. We went out to Olive Garden and enjoyed a nice quiet meal together. We were out for only about an hour but it was worth it. It was very nice of DH to try to organize the night for us. I definitely enjoyed it.

 

I was going write part 3 … but I’m having issues today. I have a cake pop order due and my chocolates seized up. Also all the kiddos are sick. I pray for health and more productivity tomorrow.

What happened to my Faith part 2

“I feel like I’m living the 1930’s life, I work, you stay home and take care of the kids and clean the house.” Said DH before heading off to his second job yesterday (DH works part-time at a coffee shop as we try to shovel ourselves out from debt).
“Yeah,” I said.
“Two years ago you would have been mad that I said that.” (Two months ago I would have been too.)
“Maybe I was wrong.”

It’s become apparent that even in this short time he’s noticing a change. And there’s been a change in him too. When he got home last night I mentioned that I was having a hard time with DS1, I don’t know if it’s related but he tidied up a bit without me even asking in the slightest. It wasn’t a lot but it meant the world.

——————-

This is a continuation of the question: Where did my faith go? You can read part one here, it’s mostly just background but still good to know about me.

DH and I met online when I was 13 (GASP!). We became fast friends, best friends even. I could talk to him for hours, about anything, about everything. It often got me in trouble, because I would stay up too late. Mom would ban me from the computer but I would sneak on anyways. I felt lonely on the days/weeks/even months that for some reason or another we didn’t talk. It was never romantic though, he had his girlfriends, I had my boyfriends. I always had this little crush on him though but being half a country away it just seemed silly. The summer before my senior year (he’s two years older), I told him about my little crush. He admitted he had feelings for me too. We decided to give it a chance. This by the way was the first time we had both been single at the same time. But yes we were living thousand of miles apart and I was still in high school. It wasn’t for another year that I met him, the summer after I graduated. Only I didn’t just meet him, I moved in him with him and his family. My Dad, an alcoholic kicked me out and I wasn’t speaking to my Mom. I bounced between friends for a couple of weeks until I turned 18 and then I took a chance, bought a one way ticket and moved in with him in August of 2003.  Here’s the quick version of the rest. I missed my family enormously, I moved back WITH him in May of 2004, he proposed in May of 2005, and we married in September of 2006. So it worked out people, I found my one online. But what does this have to do with my faith?

It has everything to do with it because at some point in our relationship (I don’t remember when exactly) DH told me two things. 1. That one of the main reason’s he fell for me is because I wasn’t scared of my Faith. I was proud to be a Christian, I told everyone. I would gladly give up a social event for a church thing, and often did. Most weeks you could find me at Church 3 (or more) days a week. 2. When DH was a regular Church attendee back in his home town, before I was in the picture, his pastor asked him to describe his perfect woman. DH’s description eerily resembled me, both physically and my personality.

So what happened to number 1? I don’t attend Church 3 days a week, not even regularly. I am usually there once a week for choir rehearsal but I generally only attend service if the choir is singing. I certainly don’t gab about my Christianity to the general population. I really only have one friend that goes to Church, and I don’t even talk about it with her. I’m timid about prayer (although I honestly always have been). And I don’t extend myself to be more involved or participate.

I have an idea of what happened…but I think I’ll save it for next time. You know I wasn’t really expecting this to get so lengthy.

Have you had a falling out with your faith like me?

Katie

Peacefulwife is a lot better with words than I am. This is about submission.

Patience

I had a very hard time exercising patience with my lovely DS1 today and I regret that I did not try a little harder. I have about a million excuses but they don’t matter. I pray that God grants me more patience for tomorrow and always. I hate seeing him with that face. Please allow me to take time with him tomorrow and enjoy it with my funny, silly little man. Amen.