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  • Members Blog

    1. cadberry
      Latest Entry

      Happy New Year, fellow LLNOE'ers.  We hope you have a prosperous 2020 and meet the financial goals you've set for yourself.

      It's hard to believe how much things have changed for us in the last year.  As a recap, we inherited money from DH's father in 2018 but didn't make a decision about using it to pay off our debts until March 2019.  We used some of the inheritance to clear us from BS2 and provide the balance necessary for BS3.  I was able to increase my retirement contributions to meet BS4 (DH is already retired).  And BS5 and BS6 were already handled.  Which landed us tenderly in BS7.

      We don't take it lightly that we are in BS7.  In fact, we are still working on aggressively replacing the inheritance money so we can feel like we didn't "rob Peter to pay Paul."  Which means Christmas wasn't much more than a craft again this year, but we were able to do more giving to others than in years past.  DH and I cancelled a vacation we had planned in September (more on that later in this post); instead we used our timeshare for a week with our guys post-semester end / pre-holidays.  It was nice to have a vacation that I didn't feel like we were broke!  We actually over-budgeted for the trip which I think surprised us all.  

      The reason we cancelled our vacation in September is that I had a job change.  For a variety of reasons, I left a place I had worked for nearly 3 decades to do the same work just somewhere else. A better environment, an opportunity to increase my skill set, and overall improvement in my quality of life.  The new place was very generous in offsetting the benefits I was losing (my insurance, for example, was only $30/month for family plan at my former place as the rest was covered by the employer; my new job is $180. My new job offered more salary dollars to offset that difference among other things.)  I have been so much happier since making the job change.  (Oh, we had trip insurance on our vacation plans and even though we cancelled within penalty window, our trip insurance covered the difference so we didn't lose anything).  

      Other accomplishments:  DSHome graduated in December!  He started a full time job in July in his field.  He is looking forward to having "just work" now after doing a semester of full time school and full time work.  We are so proud of him.  He'll still be DSHome until he moves out hopefully by summer.  He's been saving his money and has enough saved up for a car and moving expenses already.  So we'll help him start looking for a dependable car this month and then an apartment in the spring.  (He's our son with Asperger's so everything is a step at a time.)

      DSAway is one semester from graduating himself, but he's not sure what he wants to do / where he wants to live after college.  He'll be participating in career fairs, etc., this month, and I'll continue "job coaching" him in terms of alerting him to possible positions of interest.  His lease expires the end of July so he has until then to have his next steps figured out.

      As for me, while I love my new job, I am thinking about retirement.  I'm 14 months away from being eligible, so I'll have some big decisions to make with DH later this year. I do want to have the inheritance money replaced before I retire, so that's a goal and will play into the timing.  I am using Lloyd's spreadsheet to project how much each month we need to replace in order for me to retire at various points in time.  Dhis 8 years older than I am, so I don't want to delay too long on retirement for us to enjoy some time before we're unable to physically.  Thankfully I am enjoying my work and expect that to continue, so it's not like I will "need" to leave.  Just things to consider.

      So all this said to say we are looking ahead to an exciting year ahead of us, finally with a feeling of financial peace!

    2. going up $10. And I don't even care. Glad I'm debt free. I don't like that it's going up but I worried about it for about 1 minute. They did not even mail me the letter they left it outside my door. cheap skates did not want to spend money on 36 stamps. lol. I just got a small raise so the rent increase eats that up. Perfect timing! I pay $685 month (new rate) which includes water and electric. still not a bad deal for an apartment in my state/county. My apartment is 420 sq feet, an efficiency.


    3. Hello friends, inspirations and financial confidants,

      I was working through a pile of collections statements and plugging numbers into the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I decided to stop by LLNOE and see what was going on as of late. It's really incredible, I began this journey in 2011 and so much "life" has happened, ups and downs, stupid and wise decisions, career momentum - everything! And it is so funny, as I technically sit here in BS2 again, it does not upset me because I've been through this before and know it can be done again! I feel pretty elated about our future together so whatever dirty work needs to be done now, is totally worth it.

      So last time I left you off, I shared that I'd sold my house, reconnected with a fellow and we were renovating an RV. I was getting my schooling finished, paring down possessions and was looking at beefing up my IRA.

      Fast-forward about 8 months to today: that fellow asked me to marry him, we his mom and sister planned an elaborate backyard ceremony and we are happily newlywed as of June. We have an insane amount of plans/dreams/goals to keep us occupied and are eager to get cracking. I finally got my associate's degree in hand/on a piece of paper/ready to frame on the wall like I wanted. :) I had applied for a different position within my company around the time of my last blog post - I got the job and started in late February. I love my new team, new boss and the line of work I've gotten into, and was offered a substantial pay raise with the inclusion of a monthly commission that I was not previously eligible for. So, really - all great things! Our RV renovations are complete "enough" - the bathroom is still an untouched time capsule of 1987, but everywhere else is complete barring some minor cosmetic finishes. RV Living is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's eye opening how little we really need to lead perfectly healthy and normal lives. 

      We purchased 2.5 raw acres locally in March using proceeds from my home's sale to help with down payment and begin our Construction Fund. We're slowly but surely taking the steps to make it build-ready. Logging, well drilling and electric hookups (must cashflow these) are all are items needing completion before we can even think about turning to a lender for a home construction loan. On the other hand, DH is toying with the idea to try cashflowing/DIY'ing a build (he works for a home builder and is pretty experienced) and keep living in the RV during the process, but I am not quite there yet mentally :)

      We have a decent amount of debt to drill through to bring us, as a married couple, back to solid footing. DH had a lot of medical and court-related debts in collections for years so now's better than ever to clean that up. Back story on the court stuff: When he and I dated 10 years ago, we had a great time and fell hard for each other. We dated almost 4 years during the ages of 21-25 years old so pretty young. But he liked to drink a lot. It got him into a couple of fights/incidents and even a couple DUI's. Both our moms and I intervened but he didn't want to accept that he had a problem. Things looked bleak so I ended the relationship. During this time I'd also found Dave Ramsey and was trying to take responsibility for my adult life. In fact, I probably ranted about him on this very blog in my early DR days, haha! DH is now 5+ years sober and he's the wonderful man I knew before alcohol was involved. He's totally willing to work the DR plan and I've got a LOT of experience with that!

      So it is our intent to really knock this out of the park and carry on. Can't go back and change mistakes now, but we can be responsible and own up to them and get them squared away. I tallied up all of our shared debts, including my credit union VISA which is clearly out of control since I set it up as my overdraft protection.... yeah, my car loan, and his collections debts from varying debtors. It's nearly $50,000. Yes, I do feel a little queasy typing that up and sharing with all of you. From experience, though, I know that's a very necessary but painful step in the right direction.

      On the bright side: I'm attempting to settle the collections accounts for the original amounts owed rather than all the interest. Several of the accounts are currently sitting at 2x the original amount just from 12% interest fees and length of time debt has been sitting. It's fair to offer a payoff of the original balance to a collection agency, right, since they got the debts for far less? I used a low snowball estimate in the Debt snowball sheet, and the prediction was an August 2020 payoff. Well, I want to be paid off in, like, January 2019, so we've clearly got some work ahead of us!

      Attaching a photo of our RV, taken from me standing in the kitchen :)

      It is good to be here and read up on how everyone has been. Thanks for the support and inspiration, as always!


    4. Chérie
      Latest Entry

      WINDFALL BLISS!!!!!!! 

      We had a site-wide meeting today and they were giving out HUGE checks to the top performers!!! 

      I was not expecting to get called up to receive a check... but I did!!!!

      They called me up for being a top performer for my metrics! That check was for an amazing $1,250!!!!

      While I was standing in front of everyone with this huge check, trying not to cry, they called my name AGAIN for "Best Overall Quality in the Enterprise" WOW!!!!! 

      That check was another $750!!!! 

      So, I'm the only person who got TWO checks!!!! Total: TWO GRAND!!!! What????

      The day couldn't possibly get any better, right? WRONG!!!!

      We had a site-wide competition for Visa gift cards that has been going on for the past 2 weeks. Top prize: $250. 

      Yes, I won that too!!!! I am on cloud nine!!!!!

      The gift card will take a week to come in, but the regular-sized checks are tucked in my purse and will be deposited tomorrow!!! Soooooo excited!!!



    5. momto6
      Latest Entry

      Dh's LAST diabetes appt was today.  18 months ago or so his A1C (blood sugar) was somewhere around 11.8 or something like that... high enough that he ended up in the ER, and freaked himself out.  

      My last update was 6 months ago, where we learned about "partial remission", and with this appointment his A1c was 5.4 (NORMAL) and since it's been that way for a year without meds or surgery... the doc called it "FULL remission" and says she doesn't need to see us anymore!!!  He still has to keep an eye on the A1c every 6 months or so, but all the reprecussions have reset back to what they were before.

      So now, we're kinda done with this season of life.  *whew!*   Best part for me, I mean other than having DH healthy, is that the doc has now seen it work, she now knows that it's possible and has helped one other person (her second) to go off the meds and control their blood sugar on their own.  Which I think is just awesome!  Our journey helped one other person..... And that makes me happy.  =0)

      It's not all rainbows and posies.... he is still more susceptiple to it, it could come back, no promises.  I don't think they do a whole lot of studies about this, and I don't know how many people end up right back where they started once they've been "in remission" for an extended period of time, but all that we'll just have to take one day at a time.  And if it ever does come back, we'll deal with it.  But for now.....


      =0)  and I'm a happy girl!!


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