It is a little easier for us


because when we dine out we don’t get sweet tea because seriously I have yet to find a decent sweet tea in a restaurant. In fact I usually have water with lemon (free) so the segue here at home was easy. Now you will notice I said nothing about totally giving up Pepsi YET! We have cut down to one 20 oz glass a day each, The further we go into this challenge, the more likely it is to go entirely as well.
Today, besides the using the hotel shampoo I decided to see how long we could go without purchasing meat. I’m not saying we are going vegan, I’m saying we are going to use up all the bits and parts of meat I have canned, frozen and dried. I know I’ll eventually have an omg moment where I will have to purchase meat again and the price will make me physically ill, but I’m hoping to kill BOA no later than April 1, it’s currently on track for Dec 18, so I’ll have to come up with a lot of “extra” cash, after I replenish the bef from the truck repair to get that nearly $2,000 that quick. So any suggestions would be welcome. Jan who got a huge $10.50 check today that will go directly to the bef replenishing in OK

It’s getting to the voters to understand the situation


I know families like ABCD all four registered voters “like” the status quo if they were to change anything they’d want MORE government coming their way. So they are not about to vote for someone with an ounce of common sense.
Another friend is from South African—naturalized citizen here now, came quite legally, she says we should all quit belly aching and just leave matters alone. That what the folks on capitol hill are doing is the right way to go. She is definitely not a math nerd and comes from a country where corrupt government is the norm.
Then you have the vast majority of the population whose eyes glaze over when you start speaking numbers or politics to them and try to hit them with both and well, the logical politicians are going to seem like the “weirdos” to them and we all know that anything/one that is different is therefore evil and must be done away with. (sic)
It is these type of registered voters that will not keep a sensible balanced budget type of politician in office. They all think they will get a piece of the pie if the government is handing out “free” pie. They don’t understand that the pie is shrinking by the day and only the lead dogs of the pack will eat and the rest will starve. We have a gentleman from here in OK Sen. Tom Colburn, who works tirelessly pointing out government waste and tries to get it dealt with and he gets no where. He does get re-elected every go around, because there are enough of us that want waste cut here in OK. Dr. Colburn ran his own business for years before getting into politics so he knows the ins and outs of budgets, but to get a majority of senators and congressmen like him in office all at the same time is nigh on to impossible. It’s a scratch my back world upon capitol hill and if you aren’t in the in crowd your bill is never going to be seen by the senate, little on a balanced budget. How long has it been now since Harry Reid has allowed a vote on anything but the bills by his good buddy’s?
Mary who thinks the very first step is to refuse to pay ANY politician, including the president, their salary until they pass a balanced budget after all we don’t get paid if we don’t do our job in OK

While I agree with the idea that “we should have a balanced budget”


100%, there is a fundamental difference in job description and mission between a CFO and a member of Congress. The CFO of a company has his/her job to keep that company in the black. Each member of Congress was elected on the hope and/or expectation of providing what their constituency wants. That isn’t the same thing. If the majority of the households in the country don’t have zero-based budgets, apparently it’s not a priority. So why would it be a priority for those they elected? I’m afraid that until/unless the populace spontaneously develops a dramatically stronger sense of fiscal responsibility, Congress won’t be balancing the national checkbook anytime soon. In fact, I suspect that any Congressperson who tried to spearhead such efforts, wouldn’t have a job very long. Their constituency would replace them with someone who gave them what they wanted, not what they needed.Now I need to go re-read my email about being contented. I feel sick every time I think along these lines

So, in the last two weeks


we had the garbage disposal and pipe below it wear out and today, my left tire had a flat. We took 451 from our joint Emergency Fund to pay for the repairs in the sink. I’ll find out tomorrow about the cost for my tire. Luckily, I have 3100 in my personal emergency fund that I can use for that.
I’m not happy about the cost, but at least we have money saved to pay for it. It will not be added to our debt.

I am not sure I have advice


I am still figuring it as we go.Here lately I am focusing on rewarding good behavior and letting my kids make more choices. I am trying to teach them when to spend and when not to. Until now we have run a tight budget. Now everybody is burned out and I am hoping this helps. I think letting go more is actually gaining more contentment as strange as that seems.

You all know our story


some of you all too well because you have lived or are living it too. Sailing along, tinkering with the idea of trying to get debt free, and sort of half way doing it, but not really and then your income vanishes on you. It would have been so easy for us that Feb in 2009 to run wailing into the woods to never be seen again, but I put on my big girl panties, handed the guys there big boy briefs and passed out Pollyanna Pills. I declared that day and many a day there after it was the best thing that ever happened to us. Yes I truly believe it was because of what it gave us. A unified family.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always been a “normal” family (whatever that is). The three of us coexisted in the same house, we fought (and still occasionally—but rarely do) we shared good times and bad, but we were not a cohesive unit.
It was tough at first, still is sometimes, but over this last nearly four years we have grown into shades of our contentment. Each of us has adopted our own special role. Dh is the strong one that has been my rock as I battled the evil cheetah pack that chased us so hard those first two years. He’s worked the overtime that has helped kill them off one by one. Often getting little to no sleep. He’s supported me and even reminded me of my financial decisions, often making those decisions for me when I couldn’t decide. This is a new role for him in his life.
I’m the math and grocery nerd. I work the numbers and squeeze the pennies so hard Lincoln can’t even open his eyes. I have came up with new recipes and menus out of what’s on hand more times than we can count, no cash, no groceries are being bought and we eat off what we have. The guys say we are eating better since 2009 than we ever have before. I am also in charge of the Pollyanna Pills.
The “Enforcer” is my son. He is debt free except for his mortgage size Sallie Mae and it is going down quickly. He keeps dh and I on the straight and narrow when he sees us waffling on our spending, but he is also the first to say ‘You’ve worked so hard you need a break” and hand us money on the condition we take a short trip to “give him a break.” He generally does this around special times like birthday’s anniversaries, Mother’s day, or similar events. The condition of the money is we must spend it on ourselves for a little R&R. God bless him, for traveling free spirits like us it is often what rejuvenates us and makes us come home that much more determined to get debt free as fast as possible.

I need to re-do my budget

debt loan

Driving for Uber has worked out really well, but I can see I’m going to have to write up a plan/budget so that I am spending the money on purpose vs paying for things “as they come up.” I am making about $225 a week working four 6 hour days a week and I know different ways to borrow money online (, so I either stick it all in a savings account and use it to pay rent, or I work the alternate budget plan from Robert. The last two weeks I’ve paid things as they come up, but that feels like just sprinkling water on a fire and hoping to get a handle on it.

I am continuing on Baby Step Two

debt loan

1 last big debt to pay off, student loan, currently about $8,200. I paid off about $10,000 of it this year alone. That said, I’ve had to slow the debt snowball because

a. overseeing the well-being of my parents. Dad just placed in nursing home. I don’t expect him to return to the house. Using some of my emergency fund money to cope with unexpected expenses as I go between parents’ home (Chicago) and mine (Atlanta). He has dementia and can no longer walk. Mom is coping, but I’m concerned her memory issues may be Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. He is 88. She is 86.[Before anyone says it . . . I now have power of attorney for both parents, and they have written their wills.]

b. because of shouldering my parents’ well-being, I just let go of one work contract. I did it because something had to give.I just don’t have the bandwith to work the one job, that contract, and do voice-over/audiobook work, take care of parents and breathe/sleep. Unfortunately that contract was the main source for my extra, large student loan payments. My voiceover work is not regular, but most of that money can go towards student loan. So the debt snowball will slow, but not stop.

No that is why we chose Kaiser


It is all in one for everything. We have our $25 dr visits and $185 for emergency room (both have gone way up the last few years) and 20% cost of share on meds. We have looked at some of the other plans from my dh job but Kaiser having their own everything makes it easy.

Preventative Care


I’m so frustrated with my pediatrician and the insurance company. Every year, I have to call the insurance company and get a claim reprocessed. It seems they don’t know how to process a preventative medical visit with a copay. Every year, they want to charge me the balance not covered of around $70 and I have to call and say “no, it’s a $35 copay and that’s it!” Now I realized that two of my three kids got an additional “medical visit” charge of $147 each on the same preventative care visit. Does that mean the doctors comes back into the room at the end and says, yep they are good to go?!!! And charges me another $147!!?? Bleh! I hate having to chase doctors and insurance companies down!

Anyone else have this problem with their preventative maintenance visits?

I went to Milwaukee this past weekend for the yearly Rush TabCon


I heard a radio commercial for an auto dealership that promised you a lower car payment than what you’re paying now, no matter what it might be. Let’s think about this. They want you to buy a new(or newer) car, even though you’re still paying on your old one. Which means they’ll have to roll the balance into the new purchase. And since they say your payment will be lower, the only way they can do that is to stretch out the repayment duration. So you’ll owe MORE money, for LONGER than you do now, and will probably still need another car by the time the term is up – rinse, repeat. Pure stupidity, IMO…
The second was a billboard for some company called Zingo Cash, or something like that. They claim that their loan is the solution to break the cycle payday loans. Say WHAT?? You’re going to borrow money from them so that you can pay off another loan. I was curious, so when I got back home I looked them up. The idea is that people with credit so bad they can only get payday loans can get a loan from Zingo, and pay it off over time as opposed to having to pay it back in 1 or 2 weeks. Nevermind that someone who needs a payday loan in the first place likely already has poor financial habits, not enough income, or BOTH. Which meas they’ll probably still have problems paying back THIS loan with its undoubtedly higher interest rate. And the poor keep getting poorer…sigh.

We have been on crappy non-internet


(seriously, Dial Up would have been faster) since we moved here, paying $82 a month for intermittent service. I had already made arrangements to disconnect at the end of our service contract (this month) due to lack of work/income.Our contract with Argon ends Oct 31 and they are coming Nov 1 to take out their stuff.

We are current TMobile customers here in Greenville. They sent us a cell phone booster to boost our signal (no cost) and we changed our plan to get unlimited 4G data and added a mobile hotspot (added $25 per month to our current bill) and I am now using internet on a faster speed than anything Argon ever gave me.

Just wanted to let you know you DO have options, even outside of city limits like we are. TMobile doesn’t go everywhere, but if it does… $82 down to $25 AND faster speed. Really really happy.

We changed our plan to get 3G unlimited data and personal hotspots for each of the phones. It’s a slightly lower speed for DH’s line and mine, but it was worth it to be able to add an unlimited 4G internet service for $25 a month.

So I got the contract accounting job


Doesn’t pay as much as my previous job, but somehow I think it’s going to be better, regardless. On balance while the salary is less, i get reimbursed mileage which could be as much as $800 a month; if I was there a year, that could make up the difference.

I start Oct 2nd. Getting caught up, then getting out of debt.