Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today my sweetie and I celebrate a momentous occasion that we have been working on for quite a while.  Other than our mortgage, we are debt free with 2 months' worth of income in savings.  And we are on track with our mortgage to pay it off many, many years early. It is a great feeling.

I wrote this a couple of months ago and saved it as a draft for an upcoming blog post.  We were just a few weeks away from meeting our financial goal and I was anticipating the joy of paying off our last bill.  Last summer we just had our mortgage and a car payment. The fall and early winter brought a huge increase in some bills and a temporary deduction in our incomes.  It was a small bump, but we were quick to get back on track in paying off the last of our bills and had a plan of paying the car off quite a bit early-- by March in fact.  We also had some money saved to redecorate the kitchen-- it is stuck in the 60's, complete with orange, white, yellow, red and black carpet. Uggh!

But instead of celebrating being out of debt (besides our mortgage) and paying cash to redo the kitchen, life has thrown us a curve ball. We now have a huge medical bill, as in tens of thousands, to pay. yikes! My husband's son is coming to live with us, which we had to put his $1200 plane ticket on a credit card. ouch!

So, we begin a new chapter of paying down a humongous bill. We will welcome my husband's son with open arms. And, well, I have lived with my 60's kitchen for 7 years, what's another year or two??

My new motto comes from a line in a church hymn reads, "Gird up thy loins, Fresh courage take."

And, that, my friends, is

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I love to read! In fact, one of my favorite activities is to curl up in my chair on a stormy/cold/snowy day and while in my pjs, wrapped inba warm blanket, read an old  favorite.  Here a few of the books I have read lately:

Reading now:

Life on The Mississippi (Signet Classics)

And from the last month:

Product Details

Traditional Home Remedies: Time-Tested Methods for Staying Well-The Natural Way (Old Farmer's Almanac Home Library)

What are you reading?

Because, reading, my friend, is

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clearance sales

Another way my family stretches our dollar is the shopping of clearance sales. My two cousins got me on to this great idea.  Most familes get together and discuss politics, religion and life in general. We discuss that too, but we also talk about money! Who got great deals, who has cheap insurance rates for similiar coverage, how much we save and debt.....  yikes! That is a dirty word in our family. It is justified to have a mortgage ('course we talk about ways to pay off the mortgage early).  And cars--well, that's iffy. Several family members have paid cash for cars, even brand new ones!

But back to clearance sales-- it works like this: you buy now for things you will need next year in the appropriate size for next year. Which means for kids, you purchase clothes a size or two bigger, depending on how fast they are growing.  So, I bought Miss M's school clothes this past month to be saved for her school clothes next fall.

And when spring and summer come around, I will go down to the basement to get out the items we bought last fall when summer items were dirt cheap.

Miss M currently wears a size 6/7, so I am purchasing size 8 for next year. 

I bought:
    1 light weight pj
 + 3 pants
 + 4 shirts

I already bought underwear (there was a coupon I used on the buy 1 get 1 free sale, so I bought (last winter) a package for her to wear now, and the 'free' package is for next year.)  I just need to find a pair of jeans, a pair of heavy winter pj's and socks.  Then she will be ready for her new school clothes next year.

I haven't had much luck with purchasing shoes ahead of time as her feet grow in funky spurts---but she has a grandma who loves to buy shoes as gifts!

One of my cousins shops for 3 kids.  She recently spent $250 for their clothes, but saved over $1000!  A friend of mine who I find is the QUEEN of clearance sales hasn't paid over $3 for a piece of any of her kid's clothing.

And Miss M is ready with her dresses too. I have 3 boxes for this coming year full of hand me downs from family and a couple of co-workers.  And those were all free, which is even better.

For her last few items, I will be checking out garage sales, thrift store and a favorite children's consignment store.  Ooohhhh it is almost time for garage sale season and I am excited thinking about the great finds that will await me.....

And that, my friends, is


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