Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who do we owe?

Some of you see that debt number over there and for the most part it does not seem to change.
Someone flat out emailed me (because they knew us personally) and asked,
'what debt do you owe that large?'
It's a biggie.
The IRS.
Long story short, we were misguided a while back. That is not placing blame elsewhere.
We should have investigated what was told to us.
We should have been bothered to make sure what we were doing was sound.
We didn't.
And now we owe the IRS $28k. And we aren't the only ones, the whole group of us got hung with a large bill at the end of the day. Some were more prepared, some were not.
We have a monthly payment plan that gets us no where. As it just puts a stab at the interest. Some of it.
If we pay the plan like they have outlined, we will never be out of the $28k debt. Ever.
They are lovely folks to owe, I will tell you that.
They work with you at every turn and we have yet met anyone in there not truly nice.
Course they have a job to do but they do it without being rude or inconsiderate.
Bank of America, take note.
Our goal is to pay more than the payment plan so we can truly get out of this debt.
First, we have some other small bills to pay off. Mostly medical. And some owed to family.
Then we want to have our EF in place. Then tackle this IRS debt.
It's a long road.
A learning process a long the way.
But one that bears good fruit.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Budget Fudget

Making a budget is a new concept to me.
Even at my ripe age of early 40's.
When you have not a lot of money it is kind of depressing to see that on paper.
So,we never had a budget per say.
Just kind of a loose direction.
But I do now.
It took me years of resistance and 1 minute of Youtube to finally make a
budget in Excel.
Excuse me while I over extend my arm to pat myself on the back.
We will ignore the years of resistance for the moment.
What an eye opener.
So much is wasted.
Must. Do. Better
So much is spent on useless items.
And the up side?
We do have money.
Hot dang!
Down side?
Its usually almost all consumed in waste and late fee's.
Apparently, we are the main reason our area's Sweet Tomatoes resturant will never go under.
Sweet Mother of Pearl is more like it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Life is a changing....

My hubby has got a new job lined up!
This is a huge deal for us.
He has been at the company he is leaving for nearly 12 years.
Painful to leave but he has exhausted his time there.
New job is more pay, but best of all it's abundance of opportunity.
Our life is going to be very different but in a good way.
It will challenge us, stretch us but I feel our family will be better off for it.
All that said, what I really want to say is....
God is good. So good. All the time.
His provision is so faithful even we are not.
Thank you Lord! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just when I think I've got somewhere...

I have been purging and decluttering my home for over a year now, hardcore.
Lately I have slowed down and was very happy with how much I have either sold or gave away.
Until tonight.
The problem is I have only been looking at what has gone out.
I didn't look at what is STILL coming in and what is STILL here.
Our very restrained budget has slowed the influx of incoming. But I am shocked at how much still remains.
I mean, I have taken literally, not kidding here, complete multiple van loads to Goodwill over this year.
First, I want to know how I continue to cleverly hide it.
Second, what the hell was I thinking when I bought it?
Third, where in Harry Potter's name did I find money to buy it??
I probably won't know the real answers to any of those.
But I assure you, it stops. It has to. Our budget can't afford it. I hate the look of schtuff everywhere.
And I desire to be someone who takes a week to pack their house, not months, should we have to move.
(More on that as we go.)
So, after church tomorrow even though it's a day of rest....I continue the purge.
I will fight the good fight.
I will conquer this.
I have to!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Buying Used - Why it makes cents.

A lot of people ask us the best way to save money. Hands down our biggest way to save money is trying very hard not to buy anything new. Now, of course we have buy food and such new. But most people only buy used when it comes to clothes or a car. We buy used in almost every category. Used appliances. Used furniture. Used clothing. Used tires. Used toys. Used electronics. Used auto parts. Used ,second hand, pre-loved...whatever you want to call it, it makes sense. Or cents if you think about it.

Now, let me start off by saying if you are one of those people who thinks its always better to buy new... thank you. Because of that attitude there is always a plethora of used items for me. Bless you. No sarcasm there. Because without consumers, there is nothing for those who wish to buy used.

If your one of those people who maybe on the fence, this post is for you. When you buy an item new, regardless of what it is, it loses it value the moment you purchase it. Don't believe me? Buy a new home gym, take it home, use it once or not at all and then try to sell it a month later on Craigslist. You can expect to take a 30% loss.  If your lucky. More in the range of up to 50%. In life this is called depreciation. Very little in life grows from its purchase price with the exception of real estate. And in today's market I wouldn't be so sure about that.

When I buy your used Crock-pot at your sale for $5, I am avoiding that depreciation. You have already took the hit for it. I get the item in very usable condition. And guess what? When it dies on me, even if heaven forbid its 2 years down the road, I lost less than you did. I paid $5 and it lasted me 2 years. $2.50 a year.You had it for 3 years and paid $30 for it. $10 a year. See my point?

I will no doubt get responses about how unsafe it is to buy used. In all my years of buying the items above used I have never had an issue. I am sure your friends Aunt's cousin may have. But the point is it is very slim. Buying new does not guarantee no problems. When I have a spare year I will post my saga of why I will never own anything Bissell ever again. Not even used.

Letting other people pay depreciation is how I keep more money to myself. As always, use your own comfort level. But typically I find when someone wants to save money and get out of debt, their comfort level changes. So, don't be afraid to branch out of your comfort level. Do your research and don't buy new or used blindly. Another day I will talk about what is worth buying new in our home. Also another post for another day is how buying used is a perfect way to recycle!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Here is the deal...

New blogger here.
Just wanted to give any reader a glimpse into what this blog is about and who we are.
We are a family of 5 living in the South on one income less than $35k a year.
Mom is the writer of the family.
Dad works and in his time off, hides from my Mom's to do list.
Kids are various age, 4 total, who is homeschooled.
One is off to college now. 
We have some debt that we are buried under.
Probably more lurking out there because frankly, we just didn't care previously.
We are very frugal but always willing to be stretched.
We are conservative Christian.
We will talk about God here.
We will deal with real numbers, not estimates.
And we will talk about the failures and the successes.
I feel like an episode of MTV's Real World right now.
"Where life gets REAL...."
Nice to meet you.