I am finally debt-free (not including the mortgage) again! We finally made the last payment for the air conditioning unit we purchased in September. I am grateful for the interest free financing we were able to take advantage of by paying it off within a year of opening the loan. It feels great to have that done with (even though it is STILL broken and not producing any heat for us!) Whenever I finish paying something, I always think about what is next on our financial front. Hopefully I’ll post more on that tomorrow.
In other great news, I have also had two other potential wins in other areas. I have been trying to figure out how to start on my fitness goals for the year without spending money or adding another item to the budget. While at my kid’s taekwondo class the other day, I noticed they also have fitness classes for adults. When I inquired, I was told I could take the classes for free since I am already paying an arm and a leg for my kid’s classes. On Tuesday, I tried out of the kickboxing aerobics class. It didn’t quite enjoy myself as much as I do with yoga, but I did get a good sweat going. Not bad for free classes!
While looking for cost effecting tutoring for my daughter who has dyslexia, I found a few online tutoring options for half the cost of 1:1 tutoring in person. While its not the greatest of options, it still is something that could potential fit in our budget and help my daughter out. I have a few free trials next week that I am hoping yield a good solution to this issue.
Good things happening in the new year!
When I first took to blogging, I was searching to become a minimalist. Each month I would document my successes and failures to declutter my life. Next, I took on debt and spent an entire year paying off my second mortgage. This blog has taken many different focus points. It is interesting that I find myself still struggling with both. While I have made significant changes in my life, I feel the need to get back to the basics: budgeting and minimizing!
As you know, I am now enjoying working part time. Even though I assumed that it would be the answer to all my woes, it has proven to have brought more challenges. I am constantly struggling with having more time verse having more money. My desire to live solely off of my husband’s income and use my checks for savings have not come to fruition. In the few months we have been at this, I am very grateful to have my paycheck to cover bills and household expenses. We were managing for the most part.
Of course Murphy’s law kicked in. I came home the other day to a surprisingly hot house. I turned up the AC and didn’t think much of it. A few hours later and our home is only getting hotter. Since we live in the desert of Arizona, it soon became unbearable and very obvious that our AC unit was dying or died. We suffered through the night and I woke up with a migraine due to dehydration. We called for a company to check it out and were told that there was no hope for our 25 year old unit. We would have to purchase a new one. The cheapest price: $7,000! On top of that, they couldn’t repair it that day so we had to spend the night in a hotel. Since we don’t have 7K floating around, we financed it through a 3rd party company. We have one year interest free. To add to that, we received news that a close family member passed away and my husband wanted to fly home for the funeral adding another unexpected expense of $500. And did I mention we have a 10 year anniversary trip to the Caribbean planned in 2 weeks that we booked before all of this happened? Luckily the trip is already paid for, but we still have to buy food while we are there!
I have my work cut out for me! I need to:
- Revamp the budget to include paying off the $7K in a year.
- Stick to the budget create!
- Get organized to save money (and accomplish the other ongoing fitness, health and family goals I have)
- Find ways to maximize my work hours but still have personal time for myself.
I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I can do it! Actually, I don’t have much of a choice! I have to!
I love personal finance blogs! Reading about other people’s journey out of debt is always inspiring. With effort and sacrifice, it is remarkable what individuals can do to become debt-free. In a weird way, I consider myself to be in a somewhat debt-free state. I have no large outstanding credit card balances (As of today, my credit card is back down to $0). My second mortgage and student loans have been paid off. The only existing debt are my mortgage and an interest-free car note that ends in October. I could rush to pay it off the auto loan, but it wouldn’t save me any money since there’s no interest.
When I was working toward paying down debt, I thought I would feel freer when I reached this point. And honestly, I thought we would have more money. Yet it seems like each month we struggle to stay out of debt and save. This month especially has been a battle to get our credit cards back to zero before we had to pay interest on it. I don’t think our money habits are horrible. Yet, why don’t we have this all figured out yet? I think I have missed a critical step along way that required changes in thoughts and behaviors.There has to be a better way.
I also have good news and bad news. My husband returned safely and came in under budget! I grossly miscalculated how much things would cost him. It was a pleasant surprise when the actual amounts came in on the credit card. Way to go hubby! And we finally got the check from my mother-in-law that she promised. However, we received three medical bills all due at the end of the month for about $700. Sadly, it might be emergency fund time. We just can’t win!
Only had one no spending day this week due to bills, gas and other expenses. 7 days down, 6 more to go.