Financial Update: December, 2014

Wow, I haven’t done a financial update in awhile.  Since I first told y’all about the staggering amount of debt we were under we have been working really hard to get things paid off.  We have had a few setbacks (we eat out too much, the kiddo had unexpected school expenses, etc.) but we have made some great progress.  We have managed to pay off one credit card entirely and $3,120.00 towards our second credit card debt, and the amount we can pay that card monthly will increase starting in January.  Woohoo!

We are currently about half-way through the Financial Peace course that is being taught at my husband’s school.  It has been a great experience being able to have an intentional time to learn and to plan and to talk to other people who are on this journey so you don’t feel overwhelmed and alone.  There are some things that Dave Ramsey says that make me sigh, but overall it has been a great class so far and I would recommend it anyone.  For the sake of disclosure we have decided to incorporate a lot of Dave Ramsey’s ideas and methods, but we are doing the debt avalanche instead of the debt snowball.  It makes more sense to us and we even made a debt thermometer so we have a daily visual reminder of the progress we are making.

We are currently dealing with one smallish financial setback which is that we need to buy a second car.  Blergh!  My husband’s work is generally amazing and he gets to work from home most of the time so he can also go to school.  However, during one of his recent work meetings they mentioned that they would like to see him in the office a bit more than they do and we should seriously consider getting a second vehicle if that was the biggest obstacle (which after school, it is).  SO: we managed to save up enough money for a decent down payment (a first for us!  Seriously!) and we are currently researching what is available to us in the used car arena.  Hopefully we will find something soon, but it will affect the monthly budget.

Finally, after years and years of using Quicken my husband finally convinced me to try You Need A Budget (YNAB).  Did you know that if you are a student you can use the program for free?!?  I still struggle with things like the separate budgeting spreadsheet not being optional (we are old school and use paper budgets, dangit!), and how if you don’t fill it out it shows you are in negative numbers when you are entering in things. But overall I am super impressed with the program.  I love, love, love that there is a free app you can download so you can enter in your purchases while you are out.  I don’t have to hassle my husband for receipts all the time anymore which is great!



*  I have not been paid or compensated in any way for the links and recommendations I have made in this post.

Things I Love – November Edition

We sponsored Turpentine this year.  Isn't he handsome?

We sponsored Turpentine this year. Isn’t he handsome?

Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt A Turkey program.  This was our 8th year sponsoring a turkey for Thanksgiving.  We keep all the photo cards that are sent to us and display them for Thanksgiving.  ❤ | Cranberry sauce | Crunchy leaves | My family working so hard to accommodate my gluten free, vegan diet.  I know it’s tough sometimes.  I really do.  PS: I still miss bread.  | Ouran High School Host Club.  This is a fantastic anime: I highly recommend it! | Texas Renaissance Festival.  Road trip with friends, dressing up, and a yard of margarita?!?  SOLD. | Real Musgrave and Pocket Dragons!  He is always so nice and tells great stories about his favorite parts about each piece.  I love that he did another event because the last event I went to was before my kiddo was born so she finally got to meet him, too. | Hot pot!  We recently found a restaurant that does hot pot soup and it is so much fun!

Things I Love – August Edition

A Bob's Burger image I made this weekend.

A Bob’s Burger image I made with mematic.

❤ ❤ ❤ Things I Love – August Edition ❤❤ ❤

30 Rock | Fredericksburg peaches | Mematic | Warm weather! | Kosmic Kombucha | Knowing where places are again and not having to drive 2 towns away to get any shopping done | Our network of friends and family who really came together and helped us get unpacked and settled into our new house ❤ | Gluten free waffles | Almost being caught up with all of our bills | Portlandia | House plants

Living Beneath Our Means – Phase 1

Hello, all.  While trying to decide what direction I would like this blog to have, I have decided that I would like to write budget/debt updates here occasionally (but this blog will not solely be about finances, money, and debt.)  That being said, I would like to share my journey and keep myself accountable to something besides myself and Quicken.  I will also be talking about our journey in my husband’s career transition.

My husband started working when he was in high school, and his goal was always to be a computer programmer.  He got his Bachelor’s degree when our kiddo was 6 and then continued to get a Master’s in software engineering.  Shortly before getting his Masters degree, he realized his true calling is ministry and he has been a seminary student for a little over a year now.  So, in addition to paying off our debt as quickly as possible we are also looking at downsizing our lives in general to prepare for a minister’s salary instead of a programmer’s salary.

Right now we have $48,036.38 in credit card and personal loan debt.  Unfortunately, this total does not include our car payment or my husband’s student loans.  We have made a lot of changes in the past few months to start addressing and eliminating our debt.  This summer we made the move from California back to Texas because the cost of living is lower and we have a huge support network in Texas.  We applied, and were approved for, student housing at my husband’s seminary.  We are hoping that in addition to helping our budget we will get to get to know the other students better.  

We are also actively working on living beneath our means.  As you probably figured out by the amount of debt I mentioned, we were living beyond our means for many years.  And we still are in several ways (a good example of this would be our monthly car payment).  But we have started living beneath our means as best we can.  We stopped using our credit cards over a year ago.  We are currently re-working and updating our budget.  The biggest thing is that we have been selling items that we don’t use anymore.  We just sold our embroidery machine (I had so many dreams for all the beautiful things I would make, but I never actually got around to using it.) and we are currently trying to sell our piano.  I also set up my etsy store with craft items that I no longer use.  All of the money that we get from selling things goes directly to credit debt.

Finance Question:  What program or software do you use to create and maintain your budget?  How often do you update your budget?