Frugal Confession- We Loved New Cars

We were huge new car fans. We held the theory that since we were going to be paying a car payment for the rest of our lives, why not drive what we want? All of our cars cost about the same amount, but we kept losing equity every time we traded. All we cared about was that monthly payment, but we didn't realize that payments were what were killing us. We only looked at the little picture- month to month, paycheck to paycheck.

It is a sad story- one with lots of great memories of beautiful, fast cars, but it cost us a lot of money. In the last five years we have had six different cars. SIX. Looking back, I can't believe we were so stupid. And as Dave would say, we've paid the stupid tax.

We could have bought our first car in cash and only bought future cars with cash. We would have saved ourselves so much money I don't even want to calculate it. We probably wouldn't have any other debt right now.

These days we are doing our best to change our car buying habits forever. We are trying to sell our current car, which we have paid thousands down on, and buy a cheap used car with cash. We are eager to put this new car-buying nonsense behind us now that we realize that a car is just that, and it's certainly not worth having a payment for the rest of our lives.

The Future Isn't so Bleak After All

We didn't sell our property like we thought we would. Instead the man bought a lot on another street. We were very disappointed. It is so hard to get your hopes up and then to have them let down. It really feels like God is teaching us a lesson in patience. And it's a hard one.

On the bright side, we started our taxes and it looks like with our refund, the stimulus rebate, and a few side jobs that are in the works we should still be debt free for the most part! If we sell our car at an even lower price (we have been paying it down with whatever we get) and buy a $5000 car or less we will be almost debt-free. We still owe some money to a family member from our college days, and we consider that the next debt in line.

All of this extra money would come in around May. So potentially, by May of this year we could be nearly debt free and still own our property. That was quite exciting, as we weren't planning on any money from the taxes or the new rebate! There still might be a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. ;)

Dave Ramsey Pick Up Lines

This is from Dave Ramsey's website- it totally cracked me up!

Written by our own Chris Russell, courtesy of My Total Money

I still have money in my "restaurant" envelope ... can I buy you dinner?

Would you like to dance? I'd love to show you my Baby Steps.

Why am I nervous about talking to you? Because you're better than I deserve.

Allow me to introduce myself ... I am "borrower", and you must be "lender".

Good thing I got just term life insurance ... because I saw you and my heart stopped!

You can't spell Financial Peace University without U and I.

I've already kicked Sallie Mae out. Want to take her place?

I just bought a bass boat with cash ... and it's a good thing, because you're quite a catch!

I'm not mortgage interest baby ... don't write me off.

The good news? I'm debt free. The better news? I'm also date free.

Frugal Confession- We Eat Out.

It's a terrible, terrible thing in the personal finance world. Eating out is a budget killer.

We do it. Two or three times a week. Never eating out would be much cheaper but sitting around our favorite table at our favorite deli drinking great tea and only paying $12 for our family to eat- it is just something we love to do. We pay for the great food and the great experience.

In fact, we pretty much eat at the same restaurant two or three times a week. Sadly enough we actually know all of the managers by name and how many kids they have, etc. In our less frugal days we ate out way more often, like 5-6 times per week. Life was busy and we used it as an excuse to eat out. Now that our pace has slowed and we are trying to get out of debt, we make most of our meals at home and try to only eat out a couple of times per week while really looking forward to each of those meals out. Every pay period we budget money for dining out into our grocery category and usually stay within that constraint.

I wouldn't say that we eat out for the food as much as the experience. We love to eat without having to perform work for it. Meals at home are much healthier and usually more filling but often take over two hours to prepare, eat, and clean up. I think that's why we really enjoy eating out- it's quick, relaxing, and enjoyable. It's the only "entertainment" we pay for. It's been a nice outlet for us and it allows us spend a little extra money on this when we are getting low on gazelle intensity.

We've reduced our dining out significantly over the past year, but will we ever get to the point of rarely eating out? It's possible. We hope the Lord blesses us with lots of children so eating out really wouldn't be a very easy or cheap solution for meals. In the mean time we are still enjoying relaxing at our favorite restaurant and adding in the dining out money to our monthly budget.

Trying to Avoid Being Excited!

Since yesterday I have been trying very hard not to think about this new possibility!

We have property we have been trying to sell for almost a year so we can become debt-free. We own the property outright so we would gain all the money from it's sale.

Yesterday my husband comes home with the news that someone wants to buy our property!

He met with them yesterday and they said several times that they want our piece of land. It's an older man and his wife that are building their nice retirement home. They just have to look over the restrictions and check on a few logistics, but it seems they are ready to buy.

I can't believe it. I see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel!!!! I want to keep my eyes shut though so my hopes don't get crushed if something doesn't work out.

If we sell this, we can be completely debt free!

It's terribly exciting, but I don't want to be happy about it yet, until it happens.

I can't wait to call Dave and scream we're debt free! Wohoo! Pray that it sells for us! :)