Blogging My Way Through Debt

 - Blogging My Way Through Debt

20% off 1 Local Deal from Groupon- TODAY ONLY (3/6)

Today I want to give you a heads up that you can receive 20% off 1 local deal from Groupon!

I was so excited to receive this deal in my inbox today!!  My youngest celebrates his 5th birthday next weekend.  Since we don’t eat out that often we do like to splurge for birthdays!  Last year he picked IHOP for breakfast and is excited to go back again this year.  Music to a frugal mama’s ears because I also received an email from Groupon today offering an IHOP gift card worth $16 for only $8.  When you apply the 20%, the total comes to $6.40!  Woot-woot!

(Note: The link in this post is an affiliate link.)

What I Learned in February

Over at Chatting at the Sky, I am linking up to share what I learned in February!

1. I can catch the latest episodes of Downton Abbey Season 4 on PBS.ORG.  Just finished episode 8 last night!!

2. I can use my tax refund and “recast” my mortgage, making my monthly payments lower. (More about this in a future post)

3. After this crazy winter, we decided we may need to look into purchasing a wood-burning furnace so we don’t fork out a bunch of money for propane!

4. Hubby spends a lot more than we thought on fast food/coffees throughout the week.

5. I am doing God’s work by loving on my family and taking care of them!  I LOVED this post at Life in Grace, reminding me that at this season in my life taking care of my loved ones is what I am called to do!

6. As I work my way through Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, writing made my list of priorities.  I thought about what it would be like not to keep my blog going.  I’ve learned that I enjoy writing and sharing our story!  I enjoy hearing other bloggers views on different subjects and being apart of the community.

7. I can teach myself just about anything by searching on Google. :)

8. I want to cut the cord with Facebook (the personal part not the blog/author page), only so I will stop falling into the time trap but can’t bring myself to do it yet……

What have you learned in February? 

2014 in 2014 Challenge

Over the past week, I have come across a few different blogs that have written about de-cluttering.  These bloggers are striving to get rid of 2,014 items in their home in the year 2014.  Such a great idea!!  I am going to join them!

Here, I wrote about my Craigslist sales challenge to try and make a little extra money.  This challenge did not pan out so well for me….  Which I am more than okay with!  A few years ago we started to live simply so there weren’t many new items coming in.  I believe that we have made great use of the items that we do have (therefore not very worthy of selling to someone).

I tried selling a toddler Craftsman work bench with all the tools (all needed new batteries) for $5.  Even though if I waited long enough the right buyer probably would have come along.  I posted on my local Facebook sale group for FREE and the mom that took the work bench was very gracious which makes me just as happy!

I gave away several bags of my boys’ old clothes to one of my friends who is pregnant with twins instead of selling them.  She will definitely get use from them!!

I will be adding a page to the blog to keep track of the 2014 items.  I am counting everything because 2014 items IS 2014 items!!

Will you join me?  I love the motto of not having anything in your house that you do not need or LOVE.  Purging frees me from the excess “stuff” and when I look around my house I only see things that make me happy! :)

End of the Month Pantry Challenge

Since this whole paying off debt thing is going to be a long process, I am a little weird and enjoy little challenges that help me save money!  Generally, I don’t shop at the end of the month.  Unless it is for something super important, like toilet paper! :)

Whether we have met our grocery budget for the month or not, I like to challenge myself to prepare meals with the ingredients that we already have on hand.  This encourages me to get creative AND frees me from a week of having to go to the grocery store!!

I don’t like to throw food away, EVER!  If I go to the grocery store and get new food, the people in the house will not finish what is remaining.  So, the challenge saves us money and keeps us from wasting any food!!

Do you challenge yourself at the end of the month to stretch your groceries?  What is the most “creative” meal you have made during this challenge?

Weekly Goals- 2/24/14

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
  • Run 17 minutes/day on elliptical 6 days/week. I even got outside twice last week!!
  • Follow a pretty strict bedtime 900-600!
  • Eat to live instead of live to eat (in a healthy way of course).  As part of Money Saving Mom’s February Challenge, I will eat a salad for lunch 6 days a week. (Got the stuff for a yummy salad over the weekend, hope to start this week!)
Personal Goals
  • Finish week 7 and start week 8 in the Bible.
Financial Goals
  • Start the year with a zero-balance budget- Budget every Thursday when hubby gets paid! (Need to catch up on budget for February!)
  • De-clutter and sell items on Craigslist/Facebook to make extra money to put towards debt. (I gave away quite a few items on Craigslist/Facebook during the purge which made me and the recipient happy!)
Writing Goals
  • Continue working on children’s book- complete another chapter! (Didn’t complete this but jotted down several ideas for a second book!)
  • Treat blogging as a job- post Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week!
  • Finish updating my Book/Author fan page.
This week’s goals:
Health
  • Run 18 minutes/day on elliptical 6 days/week.
  • Follow a pretty strict bedtime 900-600!
  • Eat to live instead of live to eat (in a healthy way of course).  As part of Money Saving Mom’s February Challenge, I will eat a salad for lunch 6 days a week.
Personal Goals
  • Finish week 8 and start week 9 in the Bible.
  • Plan after-schooling activities and morning Bible activities for the boys.
  • Write a bucket list of places/activities that we want to see/do this year!
Financial Goals
  • Start the year with a zero-balance budget- Budget every Thursday when hubby gets paid!
  • Tithe 10%
Writing Goals
  • Continue working on children’s book- complete another chapter!
  • Work on guest post.
  • Finish updating my Book/Author fan page.
What are your goals this week?

Weekend Reading- Tithing Edition

Lately, tithing to my Church keeps crossing my mind.  The only time we tithed 10% was when my husband was laid off for four months at the beginning of 2012.  The last few days I browsed the internet searching for articles on tithing which I have listed below if you are curious yourself.

I do believe, like most other things, everyone falls along a spectrum with what they are most comfortable with.  When hubby and I were first married and the extent of our Church experience was a place where our parents made us go every Sunday; we dropped a few dollars into the offering plate.  When we moved into our dream house in 2011, we woke up every morning feeling extremely blessed.  We were able to see that what we felt were unfortunate circumstances at the time, were really blessings in disguise leading us to where we are at now.

After moving, we found a new Church home which also happens to be where both my boys attend(ed) pre-school.  We started giving more monthly, but my heart, under OUR circumstances keeps telling me that we should give more.

  1. Article by Dave Ramsey
  2. http://marysievers.com/tithing-and-debt/ - This article came up when I did a search on tithing while in debt.

Have you read any encouraging articles on tithing that you would like to share?

Thankful Thursday- Why I am Thankful for our Mortgage!

photo (25)The road to paying off debt can be very long.  I feel it is important to count your blessings along the way and remember to enjoy life!  I would like to dedicate Thursdays as a day to share what I am thankful for during this journey to help maintain a positive outlook and remember what we are “fighting” for!

First and foremost, I am thankful that I have a mortgage.

  1. Having a mortgage means I have a roof over my head!  And for that, I feel extremely blessed!
  2. If I didn’t have a mortgage, I wouldn’t have the house of my dreams!  It has taken us over six years to get where we are financially.  We definitely didn’t have the savings to pay cash for a house!
  3. If I didn’t have a mortgage, I wouldn’t be here at Mrs. Debtfighter blogging about our pay-off journey!  I would be blogging about the financially-free life! ;)
  4. Our credit ratings will stay strong as we continue to make our payments.
  5. We will be able to deduct the mortgage interest on our taxes which will help increase our refund.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

The Gifts of Imperfection Book Review

photo (31)

The author begins by defining wholehearted living as engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.  She adds that wholehearted living means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I AM ENOUGH!

Over the past few years, I believe I have begun to embrace imperfection and it is extremely freeing!!!  She talks a lot about shame and I believe that is an area I still need to work on!  She discusses changing to fit other people’s expectations and that you need to own your story and STAY TRUE TO YOU!

The author offers 10 guideposts in letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are!  The Gifts of Imperfection is an amazing read!  I definitely recommend this as a must-read and will be reading it a second time myself in the future! :)

Brene Brown, the author, also has a blog- www.ordinarycourage.com.

Weekly Goals 2/17/14

My word for 2014 is intentional.  Each week I will be intentional about making goals that align with my 2014 goals!  Last week was another crazy week, I’m hoping to get ahead of the game this week by writing or at least starting several posts today.  My oldest son’s Valentine’s Party was Friday and they had a blast!  He loves when I get to come help in his classroom!
I want to get in a habit of making Sundays rest days.  We did a whole lot of nothing yesterday and enjoyed it!  I finished a great book, The Gifts of Imperfections by Brene Brown.  I plan to share a review this week!  Today we woke up to a sheet of ice so the schools are cancelled.  In between writing, I’m sure I will be building forts and playing tractors!
Last weeks goals:
Health
  • Run 15 minutes/day on elliptical 6 days/week.  Since this list is from 2 weeks ago, I am now up to 17 minutes.  I am pretty proud of myself for staying consistent and feel great that I am exercising regularly! :)
  • Follow a pretty strict bedtime 900-600!—Getting better!!!
  • Eat to live instead of live to eat (in a healthy way of course).  As part of Money Saving Mom’s February Challenge, I will eat a salad for lunch 6 days a week. (Failed with eating salads every day.)
Personal Goals
  • Finish week 5 and start week 6 in the Bible.
  • Plan oldest son’s classroom Valentine’s Party.
Financial Goals
  • Start the year with a zero-balance budget- Budget every Thursday when hubby gets paid!
  • De-clutter and sell items on Craigslist to make extra money to put towards debt.  FINISH CLEANING THE STORAGE ROOM! (Just have paperwork to file-YAY!)
Writing Goals
  • Continue working on children’s book- complete another chapter!
  • Treat blogging as a job- post Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week!
  • Finish updating my Book/Author fan page.

 

This week’s goals:
Health
  • Run 17 minutes/day on elliptical 6 days/week.
  • Follow a pretty strict bedtime 900-600!
  • Eat to live instead of live to eat (in a healthy way of course).  As part of Money Saving Mom’s February Challenge, I will eat a salad for lunch 6 days a week.
Personal Goals
  • Finish week 7 and start week 8 in the Bible.
Financial Goals
  • Start the year with a zero-balance budget- Budget every Thursday when hubby gets paid!
  • De-clutter and sell items on Craigslist/Facebook to make extra money to put towards debt.
Writing Goals
  • Continue working on children’s book- complete another chapter!
  • Treat blogging as a job- post Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week!
  • Finish updating my Book/Author fan page.
What are your goals this week?

28-day Craigslist Sales Challenge Update

craigslist sales challenge

In this post I shared my intentions to list and sell items every day in February in hopes to make at least $5 a day.  I don’t know what the deal is lately but it seems that Craigslist has a lot of spamming.  I haven’t made any sales and received only a handful of emails asking questions about the items.  It could be my items which are lower priced kid’s items that would possibly go faster at a garage sale.
When I first posted my challenge on Facebook a reader shared how she uses local Facebook sale groups.  Today, I did a search on Facebook and found my local group.  I was accepted into the group and will begin posting my items there.  Being local, I am hoping that these items will sell because people won’t have to drive far just to pick up a $5 item.
Another reader, Lydia@NotAfraidoftheSnow has already made $60.  Have you made any extra money this month selling items online?