Back to Reality

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The kids, The Dude, and I returned last night from a week away on vacation. It was wonderful! Other than the two days on each end driving (the first of which was through winter storm Pandora) we spent the time on Jekyll Island in Georgia. I’ll share some photos and details in a later post.

We arrived home to single-digit temperatures, a chicken killed by a fox, water that smells like sulfur…and this in our living room:

Water damage from an icy, leaky roof.

Water damage from an icy, leaky roof.

Dude sent me a text message while I was at church today with a photo showing that the bulge visible at the left edge of the photo above had let go, dumping another gallon or so of water onto our couch (so long, sofa!) and creating even more of a mess. There are water stains on our bedroom ceiling as well, and my sewing closet also has had water leaking in (luckily I had moved most of the fabric in direct danger when we first got a little leak the week before we left).

So I guess you could say between trying to deal with the parsonage issues, going back to work after vacation and not enough sleep, the kids creating drama during church, Dude stressing about the repairs and my stress, the kids having colds that we’re trying not to catch (it felt like riding in a petri dish the last two days with all three alternating coughing, hacking, and sneezing through 24+ hours confined to the van!), well, it’s been a long day. Tomorrow the kids go back to school, I go back to my second job, Dude goes back to work, and life goes back to the normal routine.

I miss vacation already.

Moving Right Along on the Path to Freedom from Debt: Four-Month Check-In

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Financial Fixin's

I last checked in on my debt reduction process at the beginning of November, when after only two months, I’d paid off $5,000. Well, things just keep going well. By the beginning of January, four months into my focused pay-down, I was just shy of having paid off $10,000, meaning that I am THISCLOSE to getting my debt under six figures! Yes, that’s still a terrifyingly high number, but focusing on how far I have to go is intimidating, so I’m choosing to focus instead on how far (and fast!) I’m going.

I also hit a big milestone yesterday: I paid off my highest-interest card! Card #1 is down to ZERO, baby! Discover card zero balance Pic Monkey

My original plan was to take the “debt avalanche” approach and attack my next highest interest rate, but I have a zero-interest balance transfer that expires in April, so I want to get that at least paid down, if not off, so I’m not hit with a big interest charge, which would pretty much negate the purpose of doing the transfer in the first place.

However, at the rate I’m currently paying things off, as well as now being free of one payment, I should have no problem zeroing out that account before the interest kicks back in and moving on to the next one!

I will have to redo my chart, because I had no idea I would be making so much progress so fast, but it’s a good problem to have!

I know I’m lucky in that Dude’s income pretty much covers all our living expenses so that I can put most of my earnings towards my debt. Not everyone has that luxury. But I’ve noticed that the more I do it, the more I want to do it. Working a second job is hard–I end up with only one day “off,” which means that’s the day to have fun and relax, or get stuff done around the house, and sometimes it feels like I never get a break–but when I see the payoff, and am reminded that I’m sacrificing some short-term flexibility for long-term freedom, it’s definitely worth it.