Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Changing the family tree

The highlight of the past week for me? Watching my daughter buy her first new car. A shiny 2012 Toyota Corolla.

In cash.

I can't begin to describe what it feels like to see a 23-year-old who is so determined not to incur debt that she scrimped and saved for a year and a half and then wrote a check for a brand new car.

Just knowing that she learned from our mistakes and will not repeat them is worth all the agony of this financial journey.

Sometimes our kids do listen. And it pays off.


Friday, February 24, 2012

A reminder of what's important

I attended a funeral this morning for the husband of a dear friend. He was all of 52 years old and in seemingly good health. He died in his sleep a few days ago. As I watched my friend and her only son grieve, I was struck by the rawness of their emotions. They didn't know when they said goodnight the other day that it would be the last time. They didn't know at Christmas that it was their last one together. They didn't know time was running out.

On Sunday, I'll be attending another funeral. This one for my grandmother. She also died in her sleep this week. But she was 97 years old and was of sound mind and fairly sound body right up until her death. We are not grieving her death, but rather celebrating a long and happy life.

You know, sometimes the money stuff just isn't all that important.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A baby step reached!

Finally! The Emergency Fund now has a balance of $1,000! The tax refund hit our account and we immediately funded the EF. I don't pretend to think it will stay at this level, but for now, it's there and I'll take it.

Funny the things that make us happy these days, isn't it?

Hope everyone has a super weekend!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We've been tagged!

I was beginning to feel left out until I saw us pop up over at Paying For My Past!

Here are the rules. It seems all my PF friends have been tagged already, so I'm going to hold off on that. If you haven't been tagged and want to play, leave a comment and I'll put up some questions for you!

#1 - Post these rules.
#2 - Answer the 11 questions from the person who tagged you.
#3 - Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
#4 - Tag 11 people and link them to your post.
#5 - Let them know that you tagged them.

1. What's the number one TV show you have to watch or record?
Depends on the season. Right now, it's "The Biggest Loser" (I can't stand Conda!!)

2. Sweet? or Salty?
Can it be both?

3. Weekly grocery budget?
I aim for $125 a week - that includes everything from shampoo to TP.

4. Laptop or desktop?
Laptop - love my MacBook Pro!

5. How many hours of sleep do you average?
Hmm. On a good night, six hours of interrupted sleep. Such is the life with a special needs child :)

6. Did you watch the Grammys?

7. Knowing what you know now, what career path would you have pursued?
Probably nursing, since I spend so much time in hospitals and doctors' offices. Actually, if I had the time or the money, I might consider going back to school for that very thing.

8. What's the mileage on your car?

9. What is the last movie you saw in a theater?
"We Bought a Zoo" at the $2 theater last weekend for our 26th anniversary. Sort of fitting, don't you think?

10. Favorite Sports Team
Carolina Tar Heels, baby!

11. Give me your favorite time management tip!
Keep a scrub brush in the shower and give the tiles a once-over every time you're in there.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Hey DH, help me out here will ya???

I tried to do a nice thing. I signed DH up for one of the online customer thingies that fast food restaurants promote. If you sign up, they send you a coupon for a free meal. Not a sandwich, a whole meal. DS happened to have a couple dollars left on a Christmas gift card to this same place. The coupon arrived Saturday and I ceremoniously presented it to DH, saying he and DS could go eat dinner there. I expected the final bill to be around $2 after the coupon and the gift card.

I see the receipt on the desk the next day. $12.93. Twelve! Um, I say calmly, what's the deal?? DH proudly shares that the cashier rang it up wrong the first time, but he caught it and got it fixed. I stare blankly. What? he asks, I used the gift card. And what about the coupon, I ask, trying not to shriek. Well, I gave it to him, says he. Too bad "him" never applied it.

I know it's not a lot and I'm trying not to dwell on it. (Really, I am. I figured if I vented here, I wouldn't take it out on DH.)

Ever feel like you're the only one focusing on the goal??


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On to February

January is usually a downer of a month. Because of holiday overtime, hubby's checks are the biggest in December, followed by the smallest in January. Business has been good, though, and the year has started off a whole lot better than previous ones. Maybe it's because this time last year, I had knots in my stomach every single day wondering how we would ever get out of this mess. We were behind on bills and no idea how to pay them. I kept the knot until March when I knew we had to face the music and call the creditors and set up some sort of workable plan.

Those calls sucked. It would take me hours to get up the nerve to make them. And then I had to admit to the person on the other end that we had done stupid a thousand times over and now we were entering desperate days. I had to lay everything out for them. How much we owed. How much we made. Why we couldn't pay what they wanted. But as bad as they were, they were what kick started this long and horrific journey for which there really is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel. We are still barely making it each month. And it will be this way for years. But for the first time we are seeing real progress. The numbers are going down instead of up. There's hope.

This post turned into my mind's rambling (I'm on serious allergy meds right now :), but I'll end with the tally for January. Drum roll, please.

We paid off another $1,304.99. We may be the tortoise, but we're going to win this race!