Debt

So here’s a not fun topic and something I never thought I would publicly discuss. Like most people, I don’t like debt, it’s irritating to owe someone money. To have that hanging over you, flying around you like a dang gnat.

Lately at church they have been discussing finances and how money is something that should be talked about and dealt with. I won’t get into the biblical aspect of this because that is not my area of expertise nor is it something I want to discuss in this blog. But religious, spiritual, or not, they brought up some great points. It made me review what I am doing with my brother. I went to his office the other day and said “what can I do differently? what do you do so I can put myself in a better position?” For the most part, I have a good handle on it. I don’t make a lot and everything is put where it supposed to go, there just isn’t anything substantial enough left over to save a lot or pay down debt.

My goal: no car payment and no car payment ever again, no credit cards, start paying down student loans.

I have no clue how long this will take me but at least it’s on my mind. I want to eventually be able to say, “it’s okay if I lose my job because I own my assets outright and no one can take them from me”.

My brother also brought up the idea of having a zero credit score. ZERO. Sounds awful right? Not necessarily. If you have a zero credit score it can mean that you don’t owe anyone anything, so you are not being tracked. You are using CASH to pay for what you need/want. If I can’t afford it in cash…guess what? Then I don’t get it. It’s scary to not have that credit card around in case things get hard. But it makes you rely on yourself. Luckily, I’m not that materialistic and want a lot of things so it won’t be hard to not go shopping but that makes it a little harder to save in my opinion. If I’m not shopping….then what in the world do I cut out of my budget? Need food, need diapers (could finish potty training him but I’m sure he’ll quickly need something else after that money frees up), need transportation. I would love to get a different car and lower my monthly payment but I can’t sell my car for enough to pay off the balance quite yet…so that’s not an option.

My brother also recommended listening to a finance series called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. So I am going to listen to the disks to and from work and I will report back here on my thoughts.

Anyways. I’m gonna try this out. Sorry to those that I end up saying no to going out but I would really like to be somewhere else financially, so bear with me while I do this please 🙂

Here is my challenge for the remaining month. No spending except for the basic necessities. I also have to exception the trip that was already planned. Here is where I got this idea. Sounds extreme so I’m sure I won’t get it right on my first try. I’m giving myself through the end of the month to start getting in this mindset. I want this to be a lifestyle, not an extreme diet fad.

Now it feels like a game, a challenge….the last time I challenged myself, I lost 40 pounds. 😉 Heck, I may lose the last 10 pounds by not spending money on going out food!

Now that the weather is getting nicer, bike more, use gas less. That really isn’t going to get me far, but it will save a little bit. The store is less than 1 mile away and same goes with my parents. I have a bike trailer for Smiles and groceries. Bonus: Smiles loves being outdoors. …note to self : need to get a bike lock.

Here are some more helpful links I may tap into:

Interesting Article 

Thrifty Fun

Way above my head at this point but want to bookmark it anyway

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6 thoughts on “Debt

  1. Re being tracked: you can build a nice tinfoil helmet just be sure to line it with cash for padding. Crazy financial conspiratorial issues usually are borne pf the right wing pr religious sentiment… you do the math. Your brother also failed to mention one thing about those that subsist on a cash only economy: the poor. Ask them how they enjoy not having credit. Credit is not the devil. Over consumption to the point of spending on credit with no ability to pay back is the devil. Credit is a nice way for me to make money. What u say? That’s right. I pay almost everything with a credit card that pays me cash back. I pay on time, I keep a zero balance, I am not subjected to interest and I get over $1000 yearly paid to ME.

    • I, nor he, ever said credit is the devil, it’s definitely not, but it has a place. I guess my point of this is to lessen my consumption. I don’t need everything I have. I want to get to the point where I do not need credit. I’m not judging anyone else or saying their method is right or wrong but I wanted to try something different since I have been in the same place (or worse considering the divorce) for a year.
      And like I said, it really for me, doesn’t have anything to do with religion, just so happens I start thinking about this topic more because of someone who is religious. Doesn’t make it crazy because of where I heard it.

  2. I look at living within my means but not restricting myself to the degree that I miss out on things like family vacations, family outings, experiences for my kids to experience the world. After all, if my goal is restrict, restrict restrict and I owe no debt on my house and cars and my kids are off to college and I missed out on making a lot of fun family memories I am poorer for this. Financially enriched and familial poor. It takes a balance Sharon.

    • I completely agree. But for right now while I figure out this balance I need to restrict additional spending, because that’s what my “means” are. What I mean by that is, not going to the cafe at lunch when I’m too lazy the night before to make my lunch at home for the next day. Not stopping by Starbucks because I feel a little sluggish. Not going shopping because I am in a mood and no longer like anything in my closet. Those types of things aren’t creating memories, they are creating a stress for me financially and creating a bigger waist line. I also think memories can be made without spending a lot. My parent’s did it, I’m sure yours did too, and I still have a lot of good memories. I was just talking to someone about how one of my best memories was when my mom took me on a bus ride from Mesa to Phoenix one day. It maybe cost her $20 with food? It doesn’t take a lot to create memories, just someone who wants to have fun and be around.

  3. The most important part here is that you are thinking about it and hopefully setting goals. Budgeting is the number one thing I recommend to all my fans whether they have debt or not. We are in our mid 30’s, debt free and have enough to own our home in the bank. So we can say if we lost our jobs it’s ok, we would survive and it feels good. We can all get to a place where we can sleep better at night but it starts with the person who sets the goal. It’s all about spending less than you earn… Good luck to you!!! Pop around or check me out on Facebook.. great group of fans from around the world. Mr.CBB

  4. I agree, there needs to be a balance–and you need to do what works for yourself and Smiles! I totally agree with not spending more than you make each month. It’s awesome that you are addressing the issue. It also great to have life goals! In each stage you are in, you will reassess those goals and modify. (Thanks for telling me you enjoyed our trip on the bus!) My grandma Snodgrass did that when I was in 5th grade). Love you

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