Blogging My Way Through Debt

 - Blogging My Way Through Debt

Exciting News for Mrs. Debtfighter!

God is good for sure!!!  In a surprising turn of events, I landed my dream job on Sunday!!!  I am now the director at our Church preschool!

I truly believe teaching is my calling and I love being in the classroom!  The bonus is that I get paid to do what I love!!!  The timing is absolutely perfect as my youngest heads off to kindergarten in two weeks.  I get to drop my kiddos off at school then head to work and still be home before the bus drops them off.

I am on cloud nine!!  AND……looking at the “debt-fighting” side of things; since we are used to living on one income, my income will allow us to throw larger chunks at the mortgage pay-off!!

I hope to be able to continue to write and finish the 21-day series once the dust settles! :)  As you can imagine, I have quite a bit to get ready for the new school year!

Have a great night!

~Stephanie

21 Days to Becoming Intentional About Finances- Day 2

21 days 2

Day 2- Determine WHY you want to be intentional about your finances.

It is hard to be intentional about our finances if we don’t have a reason to be intentional!  I can tell you that from experience!!  Back before we had children and both had full-time jobs, we honestly didn’t think twice about where our money was going.  As long as we had enough money each month to pay our payments that is all that mattered!

Then came baby…..we knew we wanted for me to stay home with Baby C and any future children so it was time to take a look at our finances and figure out where we could cut corners and make it work on one income!  Baby C was a great reason to become intentional about our finances.

Our WHY has since changed and we have several motivating reasons to be intentional with our finances.

  1. I want to never be tied to another payment for anything!  I have experienced the freedom of unleashing myself from several payments and am anxious to shake off the largest of all monthly payments!
  2. I want to work because I enjoy my job not because I have to!
  3. I want to give more to causes close to my heart!
  4. I want to teach my children how to manage their money wisely.  My husband and I were talking the other day about how our parents didn’t just buy us anything that we wanted.  We are both forever grateful that they didn’t.  Over those childhood years, they taught us that we need to work for the things that we want.
  5. As a family, we want to see and experience the world!  Growing up my family and I traveled at least once a year to different states throughout the U.S.  When I think back to my childhood, those trips are a HUGE part of my memory.  I want to give my children the same experience!  Not to mention, travel abroad and visit places I have never experienced!
  6. Once the house is paid off there are investments/purchases that we would like to make as a family.
  7. Having our house paid off will be cash in our pocket when it comes time to sell it!

What is your reason to be intentional about your finances?  Share your WHY in the comments below!  I would love to hear what motivates you!! 

21 Days to Becoming Intentional About Finances- Day 1

21 days 2

 

I am looking forward to writing and sharing this series!  As we begin the second half of 2014, there is no better time to reevaluate and be more intentional with our finances!

DAY 1 is all about the attitude!  Your attitude can certainly make or break your financial success.  If you don’t want to be intentional about your finances then you are probably going to end up frustrated and discouraged!  Your “why” (which we will discuss on Day 2) should be your number one motivator to be intentional about your finances.

5 Ways to Foster a Positive Attitude When Dealing With Your Finances

1. Always remember that everyone’s circumstances are different, EVERYONES!!!  It would be easy for me to be envious of the people that already have their mortgage paid off and they are completely debt-free!  However, I use that to motivate me to keep working hard!  They may have started their journey to becoming debt-free, WAY before me.  They may make more money than me, therefore allowing them to pay down their debt faster.

2. Do what is best for you and your family!  Don’t get discouraged because one group tells you to do one thing and another tells you the complete opposite.  I love hearing the views of other people regarding ANY decision.  I use the information given to me to help me make the best decision for our circumstances!

3.  Don’t beat yourself up over past money mistakes (live and learn)- We would definitely be in a different financial place right now, if we never went into debt to begin with.  I don’t regret any of those choices.  Our past financial choices helped shape the way we view our finances today!

4. Every little bit counts- As you watch/read about someone else who was able to make a hefty payment towards their debt, it is easy to wish that you could make that same payment.  If you are paying off debt and only have $50 to throw towards the debt, that is $50 closer you are to tackling that debt…it ALL adds up!!!

5. Ignore the critics-  Although we don’t hear criticism as often as we used to (our critics must have given up realizing that we weren’t going to change to fit their views on how we should live our financial life ;) ) we are still judged as to what others think we should spend OUR money on.  Again, only you (and your family) can decide on the spending that is important to you.

What are some ways that you keep a positive attitude when dealing with your finances?

 

Goals for July 2014

My word for 2014 is intentional.  Each month I will be intentional about making goals that align with my 2014 goals!  The past few weeks, I have done A LOT of soul searching!!!  I want to be intentional in all areas of my life.  There are only 24 hours in a day and I want to make sure that I am using those 24 hours wisely and tending to what is most important to me!!!

My family is number one which is why the blog/writing gets pushed to the side! However, I want this blog/writing to be successful!!  I have thought a lot the past few weeks about the importance of my blog.  Mrs. Debtfighter has served as somewhat of an online journal for me in hopes of encouraging others to pay off debts.  But I feel it is more for ME than anyone else.  I feel passionately about encouraging others to pay off their debt and be financially free!  I want to continue to “journal” our story but include more background and information to readers that is beneficial to YOU!!!

Thinking back to the very beginning and how we developed our “money-mindset” over the years, I will be sharing a 21-day series on a positive debt attitude this month!

As I worked on tweaking my site last week, I noticed there were several “goals” posts and not much more.  While I LOVE the idea of public accountability, many of my goals remained the same each week.  I will continue to post my goals but in a monthly post!

 

Health (Doing pretty well in this area and feeling GOOD!!!)

  • Continue to exercise 7 days a week!
  • Eat as healthy as possible!

Personal (New to the list are my “dates”!  While we spend a lot of family time together, we don’t do nearly enough to foster the individual relationships!)

  • Continue reading Bible every morning
  • Go on at least one date with hubby!
  • Go on at least one “date” with each boy separately!
  • Start photo project (I have photos that need to be printed from three years ago!)
  • READphoto (15)

 

Writing (So….major DUH moment…..I recently read on someone’s blog how they set a release date for their e-book and without it they never would have finished the book.  Hmmmm, sounds like ME!!!  The kick-in-the-butt I need to set a date!  As of today, I decided on August 25th (my oldest son’s birthday- who is also helping me write and illustrate the book)!  What better birthday gift then releasing the book he is so very excited about, on his special day!

  • Complete final chapter in children’s book and work on illustrations.
  • Plan and write blog posts for series.

What are your goals this week / month?

 

 

 

How Our Boys Saved Up and Paid Cash For Their Kindle Fires

new-kindles***Blast from the past!****  Guest post from November 2013 @ Money Saving Mom!

Everyone around my boys seemed to have a Kindle Fire — or their own electronic gadget. And every time they were around any of these people my boys would tell me how they wanted their own.

Finally, over the summer, my husband and I sat them down and had a talk with them. We told them they could have their own Kindles but that they would have to pay for the Kindles themselves.

We wanted them to know and understand that we aren’t just going to buy them something because they really want it. We also felt that they would take better care of them if they had to save up the money and pay.

After two months of hard work, here’s how they saved the money for their Kindles:

continue reading……….

****Update since guest post- The Kindles are almost a year old now and the boys love them just as much as the first day they received them!  They are still going strong! :)

Weekly Goals- 6/23/14

My word for 2014 is intentional.  Each week I will be intentional about making goals that align with my 2014 goals!

Last week’s goals:

Health

  • 24 minutes on elliptical OR  / 3 miles walk-run outside 6 days a week ( Each day I am working towards beating my time from the previous day by running more and longer spurts!)
  • Zumba/core exercises

Personal

  • Finish week 17 and start week 18 in the Bible.
  • Plan summer “school” weekly themes.
  • Create boys’ goal sheets. (These will either be Minecraft or Lego themed.  I will share the goal sheet as a free printable too.)  I’m thinking a school goal, a home goal and a sport goal….

Financial

  • Start using coupons (You will start to notice a few more links to coupon deals on the blog.  I’m going to start myself with the free to almost free deals; which is what I will be sharing with you!)  Since this is obviously taking me forever to begin, I will share my experience as a beginner when I do. :)

Writing

  • Complete next chapter in children’s book.
  • Plan and write blog posts for next week ( a little more specific than my previous goal of “get ahead”) :)

This week’s goals:

Health

  • 25 minutes on elliptical OR  / 3 miles walk-run outside 6 days a week ( Each day I am working towards beating my time from the previous day by running more and longer spurts!)
  • Zumba/core exercises

Personal

  • Finish week 18 and start week 19 in the Bible. (Yes, I am a little behind!) ;)
  • Start photo project (I have photos that need to be printed from three years ago!)
  • READphoto (15)

Financial

  • Start using coupons (You will start to notice a few more links to coupon deals on the blog.  I’m going to start myself with the free to almost free deals; which is what I will be sharing with you!)  Since this is obviously taking me forever to begin, I will share my experience as a beginner when I do. :)

Writing

  • Complete next chapter in children’s book.
  • Plan and write blog posts for next week

What are your goals this week?

 

 

 

Guest Post (Reader Tip) at Money Saving Mom

So, I finally shared what we did with our tax refund in a “reader tip” post over at Money Saving Mom!

Click here to read the post!  :)  For some reason, I didn’t clarify what exactly mortgage recasting is when I wrote the post.  However, the very first commenter gives a brief description.  I knew I wanted to share the tip so others could research mortgage recasting themselves and decide if it was something they wanted to try themselves.

The main reason I researched “mortgage recasting” is for when we FINALLY sell our lot!!  With a larger chunk of cash we will definitely be recasting our mortgage again and making our payments smaller as we work towards paying off our loan!!

I love talking to others about life whether it’s outside the World Wide Web ;) or sharing info on blogs.  We share ideas and experiences.  I take what seems like is best for our family and apply to our circumstances.  As my little motto states on my sidebar, everyone has a different story and different circumstances.  Do what you think is best for your family and your circumstances!!!

***Sorry, if you came to visit the site yesterday!  I experienced my first server-down with Mrs.Debtfighter!

My Boys DON’T Want an X-Box!!!

Those words are music to this mama’s ears!!!  It seems as though my oldest may have fallen victim to peer influence at school.  All the talk with his friends about their X-Box games, he often came home talking X-Box.  At Easter, the boys received $10 each from both sets of grandparents.  We discussed with them both that they would need to save their money for the game system.  My oldest looked up the price online and we got a savings envelope started to keep their cash.  A few months later they are now at a whopping $90 from selling items they no longer wanted.

This past week we sat down at dinner, when my oldest surprised us by saying that he doesn’t want an X-Box anymore.  Maybe it’s the fact that he is on summer break now and doesn’t hear about the games all the time.  Maybe it’s the fact that it is going to take FOREVER to save the $400 to purchase the system.  We asked him why and his answer is that he will never play it!  My thoughts exactly!!!  I am super proud of him that he was able to come to that conclusion on his own and realize that he shouldn’t spend money on something you aren’t going to use!!!

Have your kiddos surprised you with proof that they are learning from what you model?

Free Summer Math Program

screenshottenmarks

Having a background in reading myself, it isn’t too surprising that my to-be second grader excels in reading.  I feel passionately about reading and I believe my boys thrive off my excitement!

As a person who always struggled in math myself it isn’t too surprising that my to-be second grader is struggling in math!!!  A few weeks ago Money Saving Mom posted about this FREE summer math program ($39.95 value).  I couldn’t wait to check out the program!

This week my to-be second grader FINALLY started his summer break!  On Monday we signed my oldest up for this program as part of Mommy Math Camp! :)  The practice is definitely helping him and he loves seeing his points increase!!

I know the program starts at first grade and I believe goes up to 12th grade.  If you have a school-age child, check it out, it’s FREE! :)

It Pays to Talk to Your Friends!!

A week or so ago, my husband made a comment to our neighbor how we had received a text from our cell provider saying that we already used 90% of our allowed data.  We had about 10 days left in the month.  My husband and I share 1GB of data.  Since October 2012 this was never an issue.  We really only use the data when absolutely needed and use wi-fi where available.  Somehow we used a crazy amount last month AND ended up going over, having to pay the extra $15 for another GB.

The neighbor and his wife have the same cell provider as us.  He told my husband that his wife just talked to the company and they are now paying LESS per month for 2GB shared data.  I logged into our account and sure enough there were shared plans available for significantly less than what we were previously paying!

I am super excited to be saving that extra $30 or so a month on our phones and not have to worry about going over that 1GB!!  If hubby and the neighbor didn’t have that conversation, we could still be paying that extra money!!!  It pays to talk money matters with your friends!! :)

Are there any recent conversations with friends or neighbors that have saved you money?