Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life’s Obstacles

I thought my biggest obstacle would be getting DH on board with the idea of saving. I was wrong. Although not particularly enthusiastic on the new focus of saving as much money as we can to pay off our loans, he gets it and is being supportive.

He’s even tolerating my request to not spend $35 for work equipment this month because we already bought stuff this month, and I want to spread out expenses. And when I had a craving for ice cream on Friday, he reminded me we are trying to save money-ice cream is not essential.

So with things going in our favor, life tested our commitment. Bright and early Saturday morning we had an emergency. As we let the dogs out this sunny morning water poured down the exterior wall of our house. Some part of our water heater plumbing has gone a muck.

A plumber on a Saturday would be expensive! With the water shut off we contemplate what to do (and fear the cost of fixing it). We’ve gone without water before can this wait until Monday?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm back!

Our garage is finally done! I'd show you pictures but I lost the camera a couple months ago and we've been too broke to replace it. The work on the garage was more extensive than originally planned and we went way over budget but it's done and paid for so I'm happy.

I've converted 3/4 of the garage into a yoga studio for myself and DH didn't complain too loudly which was nice. I'm hoping to take a yoga teacher training class next January so it's great to have a place for my home practice.

In the meantime, I've been listening to the Dave Ramsey podcasts which has reignited my desire to start saving like mad to pay off our car loans and student debt. My work situation is still precarious- I love my work, but I'm not convinced that our office, which was reduced from 75 people to 38, will be sticking around forever.

My new short term goals are to pay off my small student loan, the smaller car loan, and save enough for the yoga teacher training course. After that we'll tackle DH's truck loan and the much larger student loan.

Wish me luck! -or the strength to stop spending :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Universe is Testing Me

Today is one of those days where everyone pulls together to really test your patience. Like the village raising a child, the universe is helping me build my practice of mindful thought.

It started with the rain and day 2 of postponing work on the garage. This is a project I’ve dreamed about since the day we bought the house 3 years ago. That is 3 years of saving and waiting finally paying off. But oh the rain.

The recycling truck skipped over our house again and we have a month’s worth of recycling backed up in the house and no garage to store it in. All the houses have empty bins, except mine.

I arrive late to work, my team misses a meeting with the boss , and a tongue lashing follows.

It's just one of those days, a day when nothing goes right.

I stub my toe on the side walk, the camera batteries die as I take my first picture, and I forget to put the tea bag in my hot water. Yep it's just one of those days.

Then I realize how calm I am. I've been awake 3 hours, nothing has gone right, and I'm not mad. I'm not cursing at my desk, telling people off under my breath or packing my bags. I just am.

Thank you universe for bring sunshine to my rainy day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Yard Sale Stats

Yesterday Porter and I sat on the front porch for 6 hours during our very first yard sale. I had never done one because the thought of someone else wanting and even paying for my junk just didn't sit well with me. But I was bored, looking for something to do, and the thought of a little extra cash didn't hurt.

Hours open: 6
Hours prep: 1
Visitors: 23
Sales: 6
Largest Sale: $45
Smallest Sale: $0.50
Porter barks: 7 occurances, numerous barks
Surprise best sell: door knobs (with keys)
Suprise worest sell: books
Best time of day for sales: 10-11:30
Pages read while sitting in the hot sun: 162
Times Porter tipped over his water dish: 4
Profit: $91.50 & space in the garage

All and all not a bad day and I'd probably do it again if I got bored enough. Although I really wish someone had asked about our gas dryer because I really want to sell it. Know anyone out there looking for a great deal on a gas dryer?

Monday, September 14, 2009

To Bookswim or not?

Last night I was checking out bookswim, which I think is a fabulous idea and was super psyched to try it out, especially when I saw that they were servicing my area! That never happens. Then I saw the monthly fee ($19.95 for 3 books a month plus $4.99 S&H) and I'm not sure if it's worth it...

Pros for joining

  • a lot of books I want to read aren't available at the library and are available here
  • I buy a lot of books for book groups that I don't really want to hang on to
  • I can easily browse for new books
  • I can start a queue of interesting books I hear about but aren't quite ready to read
  • I'd read more
  • I'd read more of the books I want to read through out the year verses waiting until my birthday or Christmas when I get a ton of books I want to read all at once and then only read half
  • the monthly incentive would motivate me to finish books for the next swap
Cons for joining
  • a lot of books are available at the library
  • I currently only buy 1 book a month around $10-$15 if that
  • it's an increased monthly expense
  • I don't get to keep the really good books
Really the dilemma is that joining bookswim will not saving me money but will cost me a little more for my reading habit. The plus side is that I would read more (which I want to do) and I could read books that I am really interested in and not just the books that are available at the library. I'm leaning towards yes, but it's just the extra $25. It is a little too high, I was hoping for $15 or $20. What do you think?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Declutter Success!

Yesterday DH and I had a very successful day cleaning out all of our old stuff. Of course now our garage is full of junk but at least it is out of our living space, right?

Here is a before and after pic of the living room:

Our first month in the house:

Two years later, it actually looks like a home:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Got to Keep Busy

Yippee! The new carpet is in! Thursday night while I sat in an empty living room on a nasty carpet, I realized how much bigger the living room looks with less stuff in it. DH and I agreed not to return all the furniture back to it's original place and I have to say our house looks bigger because of it.

Of course that means we have 5 boxes of "stuff" that we now need a home for so I've got some hardcore cleaning, throwing out, and organizing to do next weekend! DH and I went through all of our clothes yesterday and were able to remove 3 garbage bags full. And I'm hoping with the rest of the cleaning we can move a bunch of stuff in boxes to the garage. Our spare room is full of seasonal stuff and things only used on a rare occassion so I'd love to remove them from our every day living areas so we aren't as cramped.

Items for labor day weekend (or before):

  • clean out filing cabinet (top 2 drawers)
  • top drawer of spare room dresser
  • spare room closet
  • top half of kitchen hutch
  • 5 boxes of books and DVDs need a new home
  • the kitchen cabinet with baking and coffee stuff