Saturday, May 30, 2009

To the Dark Side

I don't know why, but this week I felt compelled to not only put a budget on paper, but to also start funding envelopes with cash instead of just using my debit card. I think it was having my family visit me for a few days that made me realize that sometimes I really do just whip out the debit card and pay for stuff without really thinking it through. I always do the quick, "Do I have the cash in my account for this" thought, but I never really consider where I am in the budget for it.

This is the one area of "Dave" where I have be very resistant. In fact, I traded in my Toyota before I even considered going to envelopes, so that speaks volumes.

I have the envelopes and I am ready to go, but now I am afraid to spend any of the money. Maybe this will work after all!

One of Those God Moments

The weekend before Memorial Day I taught Nathan how to ride his bike sans training wheels. It was a pretty big moment because he was so resistant to trying because if he can't be the best or do it absolutely perfect the first time, he gets really angry and gives up. Well I didn't give him much of a choice and we went to the park together, and when we go there I threw his bike on a picnic table and took the training wheels off and told him he better figure it out if he wanted to go home. Within an hour, despite a few tantrums, he was riding his bike like a pro!

So we got home and we were going to get the 2 little ones in the bike trailer and go for a ride, and I had to inflate the tires on my bike, and lo and behold someone stole his bike out of the back of our yard. He left it pretty close to the road and it was gone in a matter of seconds.

After a few days we gave up on getting the bike back and bought him another bike (NOT on credit, we cash flowed it!) and put the other bike out of our minds.

A couple of days ago, Nathan was at his friends house and they live close to the park and they saw from her house what looked like his bike in the park, so they walked over there and looked, and it sure was! It was absolutely trashed: the back tire had burn holes through it, the seat was burned as well, it had been dragged (by a car?) and the seat was also torn up and one of the pedals was destroyed. Even as bad as it was, I couldn't bring myself to just throw it out. There were still lots of good parts on this bike.

Matt decided that it would be a good project to replace the broken parts and give the bike to a kid who needed a bike, so we set out to Walmart to see what it would cost to replace the tire, tube, pedals, and seat. Now, understand that this bike was only like $50 to begin with, and when we priced it, it was $35 in parts to repair it. We decided in the store that we knew how much it would cost now to fix it, so if we did find someone who needed a bike, we could do it then, but we weren't going to just fix it up to give away on Craigslist or something.

On our way home from WalMart, not even 15 minutes later, we drove by this MASSIVE yard sale, and on one of the tables was a plastic bin full of bike pedals and some bike seats. For under $3 we got most of the bike fixed and now all we need to do is replace the tire and tube.

I just know there is a little boy somewhere who needs a bike and God is certainly making it easy for us to find him!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Weekend

We had a pretty fun weekend and we kept it on the cheap, that's for sure! I had Thursday-Monday off work, so I did attempt a yard sale for a few days, but there just wasn't enough traffic to justify giving up family time for a few bucks and I ended it a day early. We made nearly $100, but I felt like we should have done way better. I loaded up a significant amount of the stuff and just drove it straight to Goodwill and have zero regrets. I'll take the tax deduction over the cash.

One thing I did experiment this weekend with is buying a gift certificate online from I paid $3 for a $25 gift certificate to a newly remodeled bar in town. My sister and Nena babysat (free), so Matt and I went out together. One of the rules on the certificate was that you had to spend $35 and this place was so cheap that even with both of us drinking Diet Cokes, getting an appetizer, 2 meals, and splitting dessert, we still came in a hair under the $35. Thankfully they took the certificate anyways. After the certificate and tip, it was still less than $20, so not too bad. The math will drive you crazy though trying to figure out if it was a decent deal or not.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Can $20 Buy?

Well when I put my mind to it, $20 can go the distance at the grocery store!

Bottle of Centrum vitamins
Sweet Baby Ray's dipping sauce
2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
2 Breyers Ice Cream cartons
1 bottle Kraft dressing
2 4pks of Danimals yogurt
2 4pks of BIC razors
4 boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats
4 Lipton side dishes
4 boxes of Wheat Thins
1 bottle of A1 Sauce
1 box of Frosted Flakes

Between sales and coupons, I saved over $60!!!

This weekend we are holding a yard sale while our tiny little town is overrun with tourists coming to spend Memorial Weekend out on the lake. I've been boxing up things and pricing for over a week now and I am so anxious to get this show on the road! The money from the yard sale will also be used towards the debt snowball (of course!!)


This past week Matt and I took a huge step and officially registered our home based catering business as a partnership. We are official! Now begins the fun stuff, which is working and getting our health department licensing worked out. It's pretty exciting to get going on all of this and see it starting to take shape. It's a great balance for us since I have the type of personality that likes the business aspects of things, and likes to refine the little details over and over whereas Matt is definitely the chef of this operation and can crank out amazing meals like you can't imagine.

I am keeping my eyes open on Craigslist and eBay for liquidation sales and hopefully we'll be able to build our equipment up that way.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ticker Update

It's been a long time, but I need to toss it out there!

Die Debit DIE!!

Matt and I are very motivated to get our van paid off as it's something we never wanted to finance to begin with, so I've been putting as much toward it as possible. The thing is that Matt's working full time now, so we do have a bit more in the budget, but at the same time we have to cover daycare and gas, so it's not like we're clearing big bank or anything, plus factor in that there are house expenses that really do need to be taken care of.

Anyways, tonight Matt asked for a quick update on the car and I am happy to report the following:

Van Loan:
1742.44 owed
737.56 PAID since 2/09

Credit Card:
$6112.95 owed

Student Loan:

We started out our Dave Ramsey journey $40,000 enslaved to various lenders in September 2008, and by the Grace of God, I am proud to report that we have managed to magic up $16, 600.87!

There are good things coming our way, I can feel it! PRAISE HIM!

Friday, May 1, 2009

That Was Fast!

I was so excited to get the news about our property taxes that I called our lender right away and fax over the statment from the board of review. Yesterday I got the notice in the mail from the lender that our house payment has been adjusted down about $100 per month and in time for our May 1 payment!

Looks like our van loan is going to be much sooner than I thought with the extra cash we've been able to put towards it along with this extra $100/month.