Save Me Sink Fund

If it wasn’t for our sink fund, we would be in a lot of trouble this week. In fact, even with the sink fund, things are looking a little shaky. This week alone, we lost our water to our house faced with a major repair costing a few thousand dollars to a truck we just bought, after already sinking $500 into this same truck.  Sigh. It has not been a good few days financially. We’ve only owned the truck for about four weeks, did all of our homework, bought it from a relative, and did everything we could have to … Continue reading

Peer Pressure and Debt

Whew, is it getting hot in here? For some reason, the past two days was a huge day for financial peer pressure. It just seemed like everywhere I went, there was some example about how our family isn’t/wouldn’t/won’t fit in because of some of the financial choices that we are making. Our biggest long-term goal is to completely get out of debt, including our house and to start to build wealth so we can give generously. At the moment, we are far from this goal, but making progress. We have no debt, other than our house, although that debt is … Continue reading

One-Step Actions that Yield Big Savings

While all of the little things that we do on a daily basis can add up to great savings, sometimes we just need to find a way to make a big impact on our finances. For example, we may be experiencing a pay cut or loss of income, or facing a large expense, such a new furnace for the home or braces for a child. In these moments, we need a quick one-step action that will yield big savings. My husband and I are pushing to build up our emergency fund, just as prices for everything seem to be going … Continue reading

Excuse Me, Are These Melons Ripe? Grocery Shopping with my Husband

Flirting with your husband in the produce department while grocery shopping may not seem like your idea of a date, but when you are saving toward a healthy emergency fund, a discussion about fruit may be some of the sweetest words you’ll hear. My husband and I had gotten in the habit of a monthly lunch date, on a Tuesday or Wednesday, when all three children are in school. We only have about a two-hour window of time alone, but this was usually sufficient to have a nice lunch and catch up without being interrupted by little people needing this … Continue reading

End of Month Spending Check

Tomorrow is the last day of the month, and it is time to do an end-of-month spending check. In January, I have been focusing on groceries and food, keeping track of our spending in those areas and saving as much as I can. Writing down what I spend on each trip to the grocery store has helped. While I still don’t have a lot of coupon use, I’m paying more attention to the sales and not buying things that we don’t need, purchasing more fruit and less snacks for example. This has made a difference. I’ve also been more conscious … Continue reading

Let’s Make 2013 a Great Year for Getting Out of Debt!

Happy New Year! I just know that 2013 will be a great year for getting out of debt. We can do this. Let’s size up our debt and then knock it down little by little until we end the year richer and more financially stable. It may take a little sacrifice, but it can be a lot of fun, too. Getting out of debt is going to be a fantastic New Year’s Resolution that will help us make some real progress for our family. Don’t Worry about the Past We may have made some wrong choices along the way, but … Continue reading

Avoid the Credit Card Sign On Bonus Programs

Some credit cards offer very tempting sign on bonus rewards in the form of points, cash back or even prizes. The problem is that these bonus programs may also come with a price, a very large price that can lead you into debt. Here is what you need to know. The reason that credit card sign on bonuses are so popular is because they work. There are some ridiculous rewards out there, and it seems silly not to take advantage of them. With any sign on bonus, as with anything having to do with credit cards, it is important to … Continue reading

Getting too Used to the Good Life

We have been without our main car for a week now, and we still have another two weeks to go before we get it back. Meanwhile, we are driving our oldest vehicle, a 1998 SUV, and driving it only when we have to. It has been an adventure. With one car seat and two booster seats in the back, the car is cramped, and someone always seems to wind up with an elbow in the eye or a foot in the back. The air conditioner is loud and noisy and only cools the car if the temperature is below 80 … Continue reading

Understanding How You Got Into Debt

For most of us, debt comes softly. Bills sort of sneak up until you are left wondering what happened. Understanding how you go into debt is very important. This understanding will not only help you to get back out of debt, but it will also help prevent you from getting back into it. Try to trace back to a time when you weren’t in debt. What was different? Have you always been in debt? What did you learn about handling money from your parents? Common causes of debt include spending more than you make, or overspending, a sudden or unexpected … Continue reading

Turn off the Television to Get Out of Debt

Did you know that simply turning off the television, or watching less of it can lead to more savings? I’m not just talking about the savings you will get from foregoing the $200 cable bill or the electricity it takes to run your television. I’m talking about the other hidden benefits, the secret savings that will kick in. Less Need to Buy Where do we usually find out about things that we absolutely need to have (although we never knew about them before)? Why the television, of course. It is still the number one way that we get our advertising. … Continue reading